George Clooney Talks The Midnight Sky

George Clooney and Caoilinn Springall attend a Critics Choice Association press conference for The Midnight Sky. Courtesy of Netflix.

Actor-director-producer George Clooney and actress Caoilinn Springall participated in a press conference to discuss The Midnight Sky.

Critics Choice Association members were invited to attend last Tuesday’s press conference.  It was the penultimate Netflix press conference for CCA before 2020 comes to an end.  Netflix has been hosting virtual press conferences for CCA members dating back to Da 5 Bloods this summer.  The press conferences are mostly limited to their awards contenders and allow members a chance to ask questions to filmmakers and talent.  The last time I had a question in was when I asked Spike Lee about not using CGI or recasting actors this summer.

I grew up in Kentucky so naturally, there are a few actors on the list of people that I absolutely want to meet in my lifetime: George Clooney, Ashley Judd, and Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve yet to meet Clooney in person and participating CCA members were completely off camera during the Zoom press conference.  Suffice it to say, just being able to listen to George Clooney answer my question is a highlight of this dumpster fire year.  When Nick Clooney ran for Congress in 2004, I volunteered for his campaign and got to meet a few members of the Clooney family.

Before I get to my question, I wanted to let you know that I’m also a Kentucky native and also went to Northern Kentucky University.

George Clooney: Ahh!

What led to the decision to feature “Sweet Caroline” and were there other songs considered for that great bonding scene?

George Clooney: We thought about a lot. We thought about “Fly Me to the Moon.” We were trying to—we had to think of a song that we knew would be around 30 years from now and thought people might still sing. Sometimes when you do a movie and it takes place in the future, everything has to have been that time and of the future. But the truth is we still sing The Beatles songs from 45 years ago so it’s just about playing a song that would be timeless and that everyone would know or most everyone would know and that it had some fun to it. It just had to have fun. These guys are in the middle of a miserable trip and they needed a break. They needed some comedy relief and that felt like it was a fun song.

It was funny—when we got the rights to do the song, we had to call up the Neil Diamond estate or whatever it’s called. They said, “Okay, we’ll lease it to you and you pay a pretty hefty fee for it.” But they said, “We won’t if you’re anything that makes fun of the song.” We were like, We’re not making fun of the song. We actually love it. If you’re a Boston fan, they play it at every game so we figured we’d lock in Boston with that song.

The moderator pointed out that Tiffany Boone’s character was like, “Nope, don’t know it.” Caoilinn Springall, a newcomer who co-stars in the film, was asked if she was familiar with the song and responded that she was.

The Midnight Sky is now streaming on Netflix.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.