I interviewed Ben Affleck earlier this week during the virtual press day for The Tender Bar, and one of the topics we discussed was his experience working with George Clooney, given the similarities in their careers. As Affleck explained, he took a lot from his time with his fellow filmmaker in the making of the film, and he was actually taken somewhat aback by what they shared in common. Said the actor/filmmaker,
In the making of the new film The Tender Bar, two of the movie industry’s most successful actor-turned-directors had the opportunity to collaborate like never before. Ben Affleck and George Clooney previously had the chance to work together on Argo, as the latter was a producer on the Academy Award-winning feature, but with the new coming-of-age drama they had their first opportunity to meld minds as performer and filmmaker (with Affleck in front of the camera, and Clooney behind it). To say the least, it’s an interesting team-up, and for Affleck it turned out to also be an impressive learning experience.
Watching George Clooney’s past directorial efforts – which is a filmography that includes titles like Good Night, And Good Luck, The Ides of March, and last year’s Midnight Sky – Ben Affleck evidently perceived that he was simply a natural filmmaker who achieved a great deal from instinct. In actuality, though, the two men found common ground in their approach, as they both lean heavily on what they’ve learned from collaborations with other talented directors.
As Affleck continued, I got the sense that he continued his personal habit of learning from the best in the making of The Tender Bar, as he made it sound like he really studied George Clooney’s method during their close collaboration. He worked to define what it is about Clooney that makes his style work, and he explained that part of it is a superior understanding of story, but also an ability to make small changes that end up having big effects:
The Tender Bar is based on the memoir of the same name by J.R. Moehringer (adapted by William Monahan), and it tells the story of the author’s path from childhood to becoming a professional writer. Ben Affleck plays an exceptionally prominent supporting role in the movie as Uncle Charlie – a mentor of J.R.’s who teaches him the most important lessons in life and makes sure that the kid stays on the right path.
Ben Affleck clearly appreciated the opportunity that he had to work with George Clooney in the making of the film, as their time together apparently only positively enhanced his opinions. Affleck explained,
The Tender Bar, co-starring Daniel Ranieri, Tye Sheridan, Lily Rabe, Max Martini, Rhenzy Feliz, Briana Middleton and Christopher Lloyd, arrives in theaters this Friday, December 17, and will be available to stream on Amazon Prime January 7, 2022. To learn more about all of the big movies that are presently scheduled to come out next year, be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Calendar, and if you’re in the mood for a Ben Affleck marathon, head over to our streaming guide for the actor.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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