George Clooney has always leaned into talking about politics, enough so that many fans think he will one day run for office. While he’s usually quick to brush that idea aside, he isn’t shying away from his thoughts on some of the bad actors in the political world. But you might have missed the subtle message he was trying to get across in his 2011 film, The Ides of March, in which he plays politician Mike Morris, who’s having intimate relations with an 18-year-old intern. Clooney had some clear ideas on who that character was, and stands by them today.
The Oscar winner wasn’t trying to hit you over the head with a “preachy” message with this movie, but he wanted “to talk about how we elect our officials” in a more discreet manner. He told W magazine that he crafted the charismatic Governor Mike Morris to have visible layers of good and evil. He’s a presidential candidate, who just happens to be sleeping with an intern whose father heads the Democratic National Committee.
So it’s complicated, but Clooney made sure the audience knew what they were seeing. “I made him [Governor Mike Morris] the bad guy along the way,” he explained. “He wants to get elected, but he’s also having sex with an 18-year-old intern.” Yep, we definitely see his point! What’s happening in a candidate’s personal life could be a reflection of how he will handle his professional life; and frankly, beyond a political lens, we agree with Clooney that this scenario raises all kinds of not-a-nice-guy eyebrows.
Even back in 2011, co-star Ryan Gosling knew what Clooney was up to with the movie, that he wanted us to reconnect with who people are and not just the façade they put on, in politics or otherwise.
“I think the thing that’s important to know is that you don’t need to know anything about politics in order to enjoy it,” Gosling told SheKnows. “It’s not a political film, it’s just set in a political arena, but more than anything… George has been calling it a morality tale and I guess he would know.”
That’s probably not the last time we’ll hear from Clooney when it comes to political topics. So far, we’re glad we’re on the same page.
Before you go, click here to see celebrities who fight hard to keep their partners and kids away from paparazzi.