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The George Clooney Role That Almost Killed Him

In the eyes of many, George Clooney seems as if he’s the kind of leading man that can do no wrong. But in the early 2000’s George Clooney was directing the film Good Night, and Good Luck, he was also suffering from a serious head injury that made him consider taking his own life. Join Facts Verse as we explore the George Clooney role that almost killed him.

George Clooney Gave More to Syriana Than Necessary

In 2005, the American political thriller Syriana was released. Nowadays, the movie isn’t talked about all that much. Looking back, it seem like little more than run-of-the-mill Oscar bait, thought it didn’t end up sweeping the Academy Awards ceremony come 2006. One of the few wins that film managed to secure at the 78th Academy Awards was the award for Best Supporting Actor, which was bestowed upon cast member George Clooney. George certainly deserved recognition for his role in the film regardless of it’s reception, as the actor almost lost his life during it’s production!

Syriana took it’s inspiration from a memoir by a former CIA agent, which was called See No Evil. One scene in the film featured George Clooney tied to a chair and being beaten. It was during the filming of this scene that George suffered the accident that would nearly end his life. According to the actor, the chair that he was tied to accidentally got knocked over during a take. Since the actor was tied to the chair, he had no way of preventing his head from slamming onto the hard floor. When this happened, it did some serious damage to the star’s brain! The impact tore some of his brain’s connective tissue, which made it so his brain was essentially floating around in his skull without a buffer. As one might imagine, this started causing some serious problems for the actor almost immediately. However, it took a significant amount of time for doctors to figure out what the issue was.

While most in George’s position could’ve simply popped a few painkillers and been on with their work, George’s family has a history of substance-abuse problems. Because of this, the actor has always made sure to stay away from substances that can be addictive, even when a medical professional prescribes them. This is certainly an admirable goal, though it made the actor’s recovery from his Syriana mishap a lot more difficult than it might’ve been otherwise. Still, the actor persevered and tried to find other ways to manage his pain before the doctors eventually figured out what was wrong. George claims that he went to special therapy classes where he was taught how to ignore his pain, and that this helped him through the production of his 2005 directorial effort: Good Night, and Good Luck.

George’s Injury Made It Difficult to Keep Working

Good Night, and Good Luck was filmed right after Syriana, and George Clooney was feeling the effects of his head injury severely over the course of the film’s production. George also played the lead role in the film, and his brain was in such dire straits that he allegedly had to write his lines down on a little piece of paper just in front of him in order to remember them. Despite the fact that George was facing some severe physical setbacks during the production of Good Night, and Good Luck, the movie ended up being positively received. In fact, Good Night, and Good Luck got quite a bit more positive attention around the time then Syriana did. Unlike Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck managed to secure a nomination for Best Picture at the aforementioned 78th Academy Awards. George was also nominated that year for directing the feature and writing it’s script, though the film lost in all three of those categories.

As George continued suffering the pain of his head injury, he began to contemplate whether or not he was going to be able to keep on living. According to the actor, the pain got so bad that he would sometimes contemplate taking his own life so that he would no longer have to deal with the feeling. Thankfully, the doctors ended up realizing the cause of the pain within a year. Then, they were able to make George’s pain go away by performing a series of surgical operations. Finally, George was able to continue on with his career free from constant agitation! If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

George Has Always Taken Responsibility for Himself

Most actors that underwent what George Clooney did on the set of Syriana would’ve blamed the film’s production, but George blamed only himself. In particular, he blamed the fact that he had chosen to put on roughly 40 pounds in order to play his role in the film. It stands to reason that 40 more pounds on the actor would’ve meant 40 more pounds of impact to his head, so we can see his logic! The actor also felt that his gained weight made it harder for him to recover. George Clooney went on to call the year that he was suffering from this brain injury the worst year of his life. The terribleness of that year was also apparently exacerbated by the fact that he lost a few loved ones and a pet.

At the time that George was suffering from his brain injury, he was already considered one of the biggest stars in the world. However, the actor was already no stranger to adversity. It had taken a lot of time and hard work for George to get where he was, having gotten his big break by performing on the primetime medical soap opera ER.

George Clooney was an original cast member on ER, which premiered in 1994. As soon as the show started gaining traction, the actor started making attempts to segue into a career on the big screen. One of George’s earliest film roles was in 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn, which saw the lovable scamp of an actor play an out-and-out murderous criminal tasked with fighting off a bar filled with freaky vampires. Quentin Tarantino, who also played a significant role in the feature as George’s on-screen brother, wrote the film. Though George’s character in the film is no hero, he’s not quite as vile as his brother. While From Dusk Till Dawn is undeniably a classic amongst horror audiences, it didn’t do much to make it’s lead actor into a lovable presence on the big screen. The following year, the actor would take part in a film that would have an even more negative impact on his burgeoning career as a film star: 1997’s Batman & Robin.

How George Got the Role That Almost Ended His Career

The story goes that 1989’s Batman was a huge success, so Warner Bros. Pictures gave it’s director complete creative control over the film’s follow-up. That director was Tim Burton, and the follow-up was 1992’s Batman Returns. Though plenty of audience members enjoyed the film at the time and continue to enjoy it today, the fact of the matter stands that Batman Returns was too dark for children. Because of this, the studio mandated a more kid-friendly tone for the film’s subsequent sequels. This meant axing director Tim Burton, as well as original lead Michael Keaton.

Val Kilmer played Batman in 1995’s Batman Forever, though he wasn’t interested in returning for 1997’s Batman & Robin. Joel Schumacher directed the third Batman feature, and the film was considered a significant disappointment compared to the two Tim Burton-directed movies that came prior. The film was considered cheesy even by the standards of the time, with it seemingly taking more influence from the Adam West series than the previous big-screen blockbusters. Though Batman Forever was relatively maligned, it made money. Because of this, Joel Schumacher was brought back to direct 1997’s Batman & Robin. Since Val Kilmer didn’t want to return, the director needed a new leading man.

When it came time to cast their third big-screen Batman, Warner Bros. Pictures knew that they were going to need an actor who was willing to take some risks. For one thing, there was a good chance that 1997’s Batman & Robin wasn’t going to be a hit with critics. For another thing, there was a good chance that whoever ended up taking the lead role would be pigeonholed afterwards. Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer didn’t have this problem, as they were already big stars when they were tasked with playing the part. However, the studio wanted a relative unknown for the fourth film.

George Clooney Became a Major Film Star Anyways

George Clooney ended up being given the role of Batman. The actor reluctantly took it, but started to regret it almost immediately. Today, Batman & Robin is considered one of the worst films of all time, with the follow-up having doubled down on the cheesy nature of it’s immediate predecessor. However, George somehow managed to become a film star anyways thanks to critical and commercial successes like 1998’s Out of Sight and 1999’s Three Kings. The actor-turned-director is still at it today, though he recently took a four-year break from working to focus on his family life.

George Clooney suffered a debilitating head injury on the set of Syriana, but he was able to overcome it and is still working at the top of his game today! Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that George Clooney suffered a serious brain injury on the set of 2005’s Syriana, and that this brain injury almost inspired him to take his own life? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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