LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: George Clooney  attends the "Ticket To Paradise" World Film Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on September 7, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Movies - TV
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Wasn't Clicking For George Clooney Until Joel Coen Stepped In
After making movies like "Fargo," "Raising Arizona," and "The Big Lebowski," filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen were able to land George Clooney when it came time to create "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" in the late '90s. However, even though Clooney said yes, he had trouble figuring out how to play it until Joel Coen stepped in.
Clooney played Ulysses Everett McGill, the leader and smartest of three dopey criminals who escaped from a chain gang in 1937 rural Mississippi and went through a series of mishaps while trying to get home. However, Everett isn't just a garden-variety dummy; he's an unintelligent person who is convinced he's intelligent, partially because he's smarter than the company he keeps.
According to Interview, he had some trouble with his initial portrayal of Everett because, in the actor's words, "I played Everett like an idiot because he's an idiot." Everything was resolved when Joel Coen helped, with Clooney stating, "Joel [Coen] came over and went, 'Just remember you're the smartest guy in the room in every room you walk into.' [...] And I was like, 'Oh f**k, of course. You're right.'"