The act of playing an astronaut is one that’s pretty physically demanding, as all the wire work in the world can only get you part of the way towards a believable performance. To go the full mile, even an actor like David Oyelowo needs some advice to make it all believable; which is why it’s a good thing that his co-star/director for the Netflix blockbuster The Midnight Sky George Clooney was on hand to give him, and the rest of the cast, some pointers. Looks like those lessons from Gravity are still paying off to this day, as Clooney helped make those spacewalks more believable.
As CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell was on hand to speak with David Oyelowo, on behalf of Netflix’s The Midnight Sky being released into theaters and streaming, spacewalking was a natural choice of discussion. Not only because of George Clooney starring as an astronomer trying to stop a crew of astronauts from landing on a post-apocalyptic Earth, but also because just seven short years ago, he too was a man among the stars. That only made this new gig a match made in heaven, as David Oyelowo shared the advice that helped him nail those spacewalks:
The key is putting maximum effort into making it look effortless, and that involves a lot of training. That involves having the kind of control over your core that is not your every day. Myself and Tiffany Boone, who largely were doing the spacewalking, had 2-3 months of training with trainers, we had to keep that training going while we were shooting. And thankfully we had someone like George, who had played astronauts himself, iconically so, to guide us in terms of what it should look like. Little tips like, you know, your body has to move a lot slower than your mouth, and your mind. Those are things that, in the red hot eye of a scene, you forget, and you need constant reminding.
In an interesting note of coincidence, this isn’t David Oyelowo’s first time spacewalking for a Netflix picture. As a member of The Midnight Sky cast, Oyelowo found himself performing an EVA maneuver not too long after making The Cloverfield Paradox. Although that previous scenario was a bit varied from the more grounded experience that George Clooney was trying to bring to the screen this time out. So a different brand of realism was needed to tie things together in the Netflix original movie.
Knowing how to balance reality and fiction in space has kinda/sorta become George Clooney’s thing, as anyone who knows about that time he helped rewrite a scene in Gravity can tell you. Giving notes to help supplement the training of David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, and the rest of The Midnight Sky cast is just one of the many things that Clooney could do as director to help his actors bring realism to every aspect of his latest film. You can see the results of such work, as the movie is currently in limited theaters, with a Netflix streaming debut set for this Wednesday.