When it came to gathering a cast for Ocean’s 11, George Clooney jokingly gave Julia Roberts $20 to appear as his estranged wife.
George Clooney shared an amusing story about he convinced Julia Roberts to join the cast of Ocean’s 11 for $20. Ocean’s 11 started off the heist franchise when it was released in 2001. It was a remake of the 1960 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. After the remake’s success, Ocean’s 12 came out in 2004, and Ocean’s 13 followed up in 2007. The franchise remained untouched for years until Sandra Bullock starred in an all-female Ocean’s 8 sequel as Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie Ocean.
In Ocean’s 11, Danny (Clooney) plans a heist to simultaneously rob three of Las Vegas’ largest casinos. In order to pull off the robberies, he gathers ten accomplices, including Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt,) Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), and Barney Rubble (Don Cheadle.) In Ocean’s 11, Roberts plays Danny’s soon-to-be-ex-wife, Tess Ocean. Tired of his life of crime, she had filed for divorce and moved to Las Vegas, where she started dating casino-owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia.) Danny plans to not only rob Terry’s casinos but to steal back Tess. She decides to accept Danny back into her life and even helps his team out with their heist in Ocean’s 12 by ironically portraying Julia Roberts.
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Clooney spoke of his Ocean’s trilogy days with GQ. He explained that his favorite aspect of filming the franchise was his relationship with his costars, including Roberts. Even though the films featured high stake heists, he explained that the behind-the-scenes environment was very relaxed. He explained that all of the actors were supportive of each other, and no one tried to steal the scene but rather raised each other up. Along with Damon and Pitt, Clooney bonded with Roberts over the course of filming Ocean’s 11. He had never met her prior to the film but revealed the hilarious way that he asked her to join Ocean’s 11.
“I remember Julia. I didn’t know her. I’d never met her and she was making $20 million dollars a film. And we just talked Brad [Pitt] into doing it and Matt [Damon] into doing it and we wanted Julia [Roberts] to do it. So, I put a $20 dollar bill on a script and I sent it to her. And I said, ‘I hear you get $20 a picture now.’”
He also shared some of the foolish hijinks that he and his costars would get into, from breaking character on set to breaking into abandoned houses. Their off-camera friendships clearly contributed to their on-screen chemistry. In these films, their characters had to have a lot of trust in each other, so building these friendships only strengthened the film. He explained that he and his costars are still in touch nearly 20 years after filming wrapped.
Clooney has had a long and successful career, but Danny Ocean remains one of his most memorable characters. Even though he didn’t originate the character, he certainly put his own unique spin on the character. Even though he was a mastermind criminal, he was cool in the face of pressure, making him an admirable leader. In Ocean’s 8, his character is pronounced dead. However, it’s likely just another one of his schemes, and if that’s the case, fans can still hope for Ocean’s 14 in the future.
Next: Ocean’s 14 Updates: Will A Proper Sequel Ever Happen?
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