George Clooney has had a number of successes over the years, having starred in a number of hit films and TV shows, though there is one particular credit in his filmography that still has some superhero fans feeling a way. This is, of course, 1997’s Batman & Robin, which saw Clooney play the Dark Knight under the direction of the late, great Joel Schumacher. Although the movie has arguably become the bane of some Batman fans’ existence, Clooney’s ER co-star Juliana Margulies has revealed that his work in the film allowed her to thank Schumacher for a gesture he made early in the actress’ career.
Before Julianna Margulies became an entertainment mainstay through her role as Nurse Carol Hathaway on ER, she was a waitress at a Hollywood hotspot where she’d encounter some of the industry’s biggest stars. During a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Margulies recalled a particularly challenging night that saw Joel Schumacher and the cast of Flatliners pay a visit:
Every night. So where I was working it literally was for six months the place where everyone went… there was one night where I had a full table. It was Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland and they had just finished doing Flatliners. Joel Schumacher, who just passed away I think a year ago, was the director, and they came and there were 20 of them. I was always in the VIP section because I’m anal retentive and they knew I could take care of tables well. It was a tough table. They kept getting up and moving seats.
If waiting on the cast of a film sounds exhausting to you, then you have the right idea. Julianna Margulies went on to say that the night was “rough” and that there were a lot of demands. However, she explained that Joel Schumacher ended up making her night with a sweet gesture:
It had been a rough night and there were a lot of demands. Then, I came out with all the desserts. I had five on each arm and [sic] my food runner had the other ten behind me. They all at that moment got up and left the restaurant. I just remember standing there with all these desserts thinking like, ‘This can’t be my life.’ And Joel Schumacher paid the bill. We pooled our tips… as I’m cleaning off the table, Joel Schumacher walked back in and handed me a $100 dollar bill. He’d already tipped very well and he said, ‘I know you pool your tips. That table was really difficult and I’m sorry. This is for you.’
Such a generous tip was an incredibly classy gesture on Joel Schumacher’s part, and it’s clear to see that the moment has definitely stayed with Julianna Margulies. And thankfully, she would get the chance to thank the filmmaker down the road:
Years later when he was directing Batman, that George was on, he would come to the ER set to talk to George about Batman and his gorgeous outfit. And he and I would kibitz the whole time. I was like, Joel you were like the one person who came in that really cared about us waitresses and I really appreciated it. You don’t forget stuff like that.
This is definitely a major positive to come out of George Clooney’s Batman & Robin collaboration with Joel Schumacher. Reuniting with Schumacher on the set of ER must have been an auspicious moment for Julianna Margulies, especially considering that she was meeting with him as a working actress that time around.
Fans will likely continue to disagree on the merits of Batman & Robin and its place within the genre. Yet the late Joel Schumacher will continue to be revered for his contributions to cinema and, now, fans can remember him for his immense kindness as well. You can stream Batman & Robin now on HBO Max.