Michael Clayton: George Clooney on the Movie

George Clooney arrived at the Venice Film Fest on Friday alongside Tony Gilroy to promote his legal-conspiracy thriller “Michael Clayton,” which attacks, among other targets, American Big Business and the corporate world. (See Review).

In a well-attended press conference, when a foreign journalist asked the famous actor whether there was a contradiction between his starring and producing a movie that criticizes corporate America, while at the same appearing in commercials for “corporate” products, Clooney said: “I don’t have a problem with trying to make a living,” but then added, “You know what That’s an irritating question, so, answer that yourself.”

Most of the journos’ questions were about the film’s central issue, the corruptive nature of money and power.

The feature directorial debut by the screenwriter Tony Gilroy (“The Bourne Ultimatum”), Michael Clayton tells the story of a hot-shot lawyer (played by Clooney) forced to face up his compromised decisions.

“All these corporations you are referring to as a machine, they are all inhabited by people,” said Gilroy. “These people go home, they love their kids, but every day they go back and make small paper cuts on their morality.”

“It’s about the chain of command,” added co-star Tilda Swinton, who plays the defense lawyer. “I’m a soldier’s daughter and all my life has been a quest to explore what it takes for people to do inhuman things.”

“Michael Clayton” also plays the Toronto Film Fest, before getting released day-and-date by Warner in the U.S. October 5, 2007.