Was The Descendants fashion a Payne for Clooney?

The director and star talk pants... and Hawaiian shirts.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

"Hey," Clooney interrupts, "those were my pants!"

"Hey," Clooney interrupts, "those were my pants!"

At the press conference for the NYFF closing night gala film The Descendants, I said to director Alexander Payne: "For someone who dresses as well as you do, you really know how to put George Clooney into the ugliest pants he ever wore on screen."

As Payne looked somewhat wide-eyed at the suggestion he is a smooth dresser, Clooney, right next to him, sat open-mouthed.

"Hey", Clooney interrupted me, "those were my pants!" I continued to ask Payne about the hibiscus flower print overload and his collaboration with the costume designer Wendy Chuck.

First, he asked me back, if I had ever been to Hawaii, which I haven't, and then explained that this is exactly how everybody dresses there. Beau Bridges, who plays Clooney's cousin Hugh in the film and has a house on Hawaii in real life, is the next to interrupt.

He asked if I remembered the shirt he wore in the bar scene. "I silk-screened that myself 20 years ago," he added, to the audience's delight. Payne added: "The first time I saw George with the Hawaiian shirt tucked in his pants" that he knew it would be the end of Clooney's career as the seducer. Not yet ready to give up the most absurd fashion interview I have ever conducted, I asked Clooney how he felt wearing the high-waisted khakis from hell.

"The higher they went, the more uncomfortable I felt," he said. "But, hey, I'm from Kentucky…"

Moving away from the pants, it seems the whole cast of The Descendants must have enjoyed the experience immensely, as they had nothing but genuine praise for their director.

Payne recollects the first time he saw Clooney with his Hawaiian shirt tucked in his pants
Payne recollects the first time he saw Clooney with his Hawaiian shirt tucked in his pants
Little Amara Miller [who plays Clooney's youngster daughter, Scottie in the film] regretted having had too much ice-cream during her scenes, Shailene Woodley [older daughter Alexandra] was relieved about how welcoming Clooney was to her on the set, Nick Krause [Alexandra's pal Sid] loved to be punched in the nose by Robert Forster.

Meanwhile, the disarming Judy Greer [the wife of the man with whom Clooney's spouse was having an affair], said she was "always kind of nervous" and hinted at an unusual sex scene she had with Clooney for a film many years ago, at which he dead panned:"You are nervous ever since…".

Matthew Lillard called his part as Brian Speer, a once in a lifetime opportunity, "up there with Lawrence Of Arabia", because he is the one who steals George Clooney's wife from him in the movie.

It was the most engaging press conference of the festival, and the last one for this year.

All photographs: Anne-Katrin Titze

Back row: George Clooney, Alexander Payne, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer Front row: Robert Forster, Nick Krause, and Matthew Lillard

Beau Bridges asks if I remembered the shirt he wore in the bar scene. "I silk-screened that myself 20 years ago". L to r Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, and Robert Forster

Share this with others on...
News

Mountain views, part 2 Laura Bispuri and Alba Rohrwacher on creating characters and transformation.

Westward bound Kodi Smit-McPhee on love, murder, horses and Slow West.

Fatherland David Evans and Philippe Sands on A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did.

Indigo blue Saverio Costanzo on casting and directing Hungry Hearts.

Seattle announces full line-up 41st edition to screen 450 films, including 49 world premieres.

Saving the planet in Cannes Closing title from Penguins director.

More news and features

We're bringing you all the latest direct from Tribeca.

We're looking forward to Cannes.

We still have reviews coming in from Glitch, the New Directors/New Films festival, BFI Flare and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.



Read our full for recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

Win some fabulous Unfinished Business goodies and a limited edition T-shirt in our latest .