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Why George Clooney Thinks Directing Is ‘More Fun’ Than Acting

Directing has been an increasingly satisfying manner of expression for George Clooney as the years have gone on. But over 20 years ago, it’s unlikely that he could have seen himself at the helm of nine feature films. This big swing in career trajectory changed with 2002’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” which saw him step up as things were getting out of hand. 

The film chronicles the fictionalized accounts of the late game show host Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell), who transitions to a life of espionage as a CIA hitman. The long-gestating project got its start in the ’80s when Columbia Pictures got the rights to Barris’ 1984 book “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Chuck Barris.” Several directors came and went from the project, including Curtis Hanson,  David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, and David Cronenberg, to name a few. 

With this and other production issues running rampant, Clooney took on the arduous task, even if it wasn’t his deepest desire. “No, it wasn’t something that I was looking to do,” Clooney shared in an About interview. “I directed it because it had fallen apart so many times that it wasn’t getting made. We were in pre-production, we were about eight weeks from shooting, and they pulled the plug from us financially.” Taking his childhood experiences of being on his dad’s game show set and with advice from filmmakers such as the Coen Brothers and Steven Soderbergh, Clooney helped save the production. Little did Clooney know, this hectic experience birthed what would ultimately become his passion. 

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