The Coens are masters of the unexpected.
Believe it or not, in the mid-1990s George Clooney was best known for being a part of it HE. He was the handsome doctor everyone wanted to be with. He was also in a campy Batman but still as a sex symbol.
Then the Coen brothers grabbed him and put him in as the quick-talking redneck with a plan Oh brother where are you It was an inspired idea, and it allowed Clooney to break out of his type instead of playing some kind of awkward idiot whose thirst for adventure keeps getting him into trouble.
The film received acclaim and rave reviews, which helped the Coens certify themselves as interesting writers who were part of the Hollywood king.
But this wasn’t the first time the Coens had changed the way an actor looked out of a movie. They used to do it with Tom Hanks in The lady killers, and they would do it again with Brad Pitt in Burn after reading.
So what makes the Coens so good at casting against Guy?
Check out this video from PopFluent and let’s talk afterward.
It’s interesting to see how the Coens so perfected their casting against guy with Clooney. I think what we actually learned from the process is that Clooney is a much more versatile actor than he was given credit for in the ’90s.
I’m not sure if you could assume he was against typing in the late 2000s Burn, plays the bohunk because we think he can do anything. But what I love about the Coens is that they still find a way to surprise us and make him lascivious and devious. Even in something like Hail Caesar, make Clooney a handsome goofus who is also vulnerable.
One thing directors can learn from this is to be open to surprises. Casting against guy doesn’t always work, but it can often open things up in your story. You see the character from a different angle and have access to actors who may be interested in making things deviate from the norm.
It can allow you to have bigger stars who really want to take a risk too.
So take a page from the Coens and try it out!
What’s your favorite Coens casting moment? Let us know in the comments.