Why George Clooney Gave up the Lead Role in an Oscar-Winning Movie To Ben Affleck

by Jeremy Spirogis
George Clooney and Ben Affleck at the 2013 EE British Academy

There’s little question George Clooney is an achieved actor. Clooney performed a physician on ER earlier than commanding tens of millions for roles on the massive display screen. But at the same time as a Hollywood star, the 59-year-old has missed out on elements. One of the most important? The probability to play the lead in Argo

‘Argo’ is predicated on a real story

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Hitting theaters in 2012, Argo tells the story of Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), a CIA agent masquerading as a Hollywood producer in 1979 Tehran. His mission? To rescue six Americans being held there throughout the Iran hostage disaster.

The film follows Mendez as he makes an attempt to avoid wasting the Americans underneath the guise of scouting filming areas in Tehran for a sci-fi film. Not solely does Affleck star in Argo, however he’s additionally the film’s director. It got here after Affleck’s success directing The Town in 2010.

The star-studded solid consists of Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Oscar-winner Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Tate Donovan (The O.C.), and Titanic’s Victor Garber. 

Scheduling led to George Clooney stepping down because the star of ‘Argo’

Argo is a triumph for Affleck however he was by no means speculated to star within the film. Initially, Clooney was speculated to play the lead position of Mendez. The father of two stated as a lot throughout an interview with Page Six in 2012. 

“I used to be doing Ides of March and gave [Argo] to Ben as a result of we have been able to shoot,” Clooney informed the publication. “We felt really lucky he wanted to do it, and he did better than anyone could imagine,” he added.

George Clooney and Ben Affleck at the 2013 EE British Academy
George Clooney and Ben Affleck on the 2013 EE British Academy | Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage

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The cause for the casting change happened merely due to scheduling. At the time, Clooney had been getting ready for the 2011 political thriller, The Ides of March, a film he directed. Because of scheduling conflicts, he couldn’t star in Argo and had to surrender the position. 

Although he not starred within the film, Clooney didn’t utterly minimize ties with Argo. His manufacturing firm, Smoke House Pictures, produced the movie.

‘Argo’ turned a success with critics and audiences

When Argo hit theaters on October 12, 2012, it rapidly turned fashionable amongst each critics and moviegoers. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie earned upwards of $232 million in worldwide ticket gross sales.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes assume extremely of the movie, giving it a rating of 96%, a licensed recent score. Meanwhile, greater than 200,000 viewers rated the film to present it a mean rating of 90% on the positioning. 

‘Argo’ gained Oscars and Golden Globes

Argo didn’t disappoint with trade accolades. During the 2013 awards present season, Argo landed quite a few nominations. According to IMDb, the film garnered 153 nominations in all. 

Ben Affleck and George Clooney at the 2013 Oscars posing with their Oscar statuesBen Affleck and George Clooney at the 2013 Oscars posing with their Oscar statues
Ben Affleck and George Clooney on the 2013 Oscars | Steve Granitz/WireImage

Ultimately, the movie gained three Academy Awards; Best Picture, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), and Film Editing.

Not solely did the movie win Oscars, however it was additionally a standout on the Golden Globe Awards too. Affleck took dwelling the award for Best Director and the movie gained the Best Motion Picture class.

Clooney gained an Oscar for Syriana in 2006 earlier than leaving the awards a winner for Argo.

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