After the fascinating and enjoyable press conference, it was time to head to The Monuments Men premiere in London’s Leicester Square to catch up with George Clooney, Grant Heslov and the cast on the red carpet.
First over to say hello was Bob Balaban who had nothing but praise for his co-stars, who he said were talented people and so nice! When asked who was the most fun on set he responded, ‘I can’t say [laughs] … they were all equally fun’. On working so closely with Bill Murray, Balaban added: ‘I think we enjoyed ourselves. I would say we’d probably risk doing it again…’
‘I think we enjoyed ourselves. I would say we’d probably risk doing it again…’ Bob Balaban on working so closely with Bill Murray
French actor and star of The Artist, Jean Dujardin, was on hand to talk to us about the film (albeit with his trusty interpreter at his side just in case!). The actor said working with this group of people was ‘unbelievable’, adding – in that incredibly sexy French accent of his – that ‘as a director, George [Clooney] is perfect.’ All the crew and cast were ‘very kind’ and ‘attentive’, he added, and the most fun person on set was between George Clooney and Bill Murray.Co-writer/producer Grant Heslov was up next and said that the story all came about because he was in an airport having forgotten a book. He picked up The Monuments Men and that was it. ‘It was a version of World War II I didn’t know anything about,’ Heslov explained. ‘I just thought it was fascinating, with great characters. I always wanted to make a World War II movie.’
‘I just thought it was fascinating, with great characters. I always wanted to make a World War II movie.’ – Grant Heslov on why he wanted to make The Monuments MenOn the cast, he laughed that ‘they’re not too shabby’ and said that he and George Clooney wrote the film with all these people in mind. When asked what he had taken away from the film, Heslov answered: ‘how important art is to our culture and what it says about who we are’.
I then asked Heslov about the cameo he makes in the film which, he said, was not his idea. The actor who had been cast in the role couldn’t make it when they started shooting so, Heslov said: ‘I had to step in’.It was then star/co-writer/co-producer/director George Clooney’s turn to chat to us. Clooney began by explaining that getting this cast together was not all that difficult. ‘Mostly they’re friends of mine,’ he said. ‘Which made it easier to call them up.’
‘Mostly they’re friends of mine,’ he said. ‘Which made it easier to call them up.’ – Clooney on assembling such an incredible castWhen I asked Clooney if any of the cast needed a little persuasion to come on board, he joked that ‘Matt Damon drinks a lot, you know that, and he’s hard to get on the set. It’s hard to get him out of his trailer sometimes. I don’t like to use the word “diva”. I don’t like to throw that around loosely but you know what I’m saying.’
At least we assume he was kidding…