George Clooney is adamant about creating more opportunities for teens in film and television. ET’s Cassie DiLaura spoke with Clooney Wednesday at the Roybal School of Film and Television Production Magnet, downtown Los Angeles’ newest magnet high school, about why it was so important for him to spearhead the school’s opening.
Housed within the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, the magnet school aims to build a pipeline of students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in entertainment but may lack the opportunity to break into union jobs on film sets, like camera operators, set decorators and makeup artists.
“We’re excited about this,” said Clooney, founder of the Roybal School of Film and Television Production Magnet. He was also joined by Don Cheadle, and Mindy Kaling, Roybal Advisory Board Members, who were on hand for the school’s debut. “We feel like there’s a real opportunity here, and it’s something that I think we missed in our industry, and I think it’s something that it’s pretty obvious what the solution is — and it’s starting earlier.”
He continued, “I just felt like, if you see a hole, you try to fill it, and this is one that it just seemed like — I was in London, and we were staffing up, and because it’s been a very busy time in the industry, it’s hard to find crew, and we need to do a lot better about inclusivity.”
While Clooney won’t be taking on a full-time teaching role at the school, he will be a resource for the students and plans to visit their classes and lend some of the knowledge he’s gleaned over his storied, 44-year career.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m gonna come in,” Clooney explained. “And listen, this is below-the-line guys, right? So, I’m not really gonna come in and talk about directing or acting, but I can come in and sit down with the kids when they’re editing and stuff like that, so, something like that.”
As for his own kids getting into the business, Clooney, who is Dad to 5-year-old twins Alexander and Ella, whom he shares with wife Amal Clooney, he said his children can do “whatever they want.”
“They can do whatever they want,” Clooney maintained. “My guess is that they’re a little smarter than me, so, they’ll probably do something — they already speak three languages, so, I’m still working on English.”
Clooney is set to return to the screen with Ticket to Paradise, out next month. While he was on the carpet for the film’s London premiere just last week, he shared that the film’s official U.K. premiere has been delayed in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. Clooney called it an “easy decision to make.”
“People are in mourning, and it’s not the time to do it,” Clooney said of the decision to push back the U.K. release of the film. “It was such an easy decision, there was no hesitation. It just feels like, look, we’ll all get back to our lives, as we will, but we have to have a moment to have the respect of the queen and of the office.”
For more on Clooney, check out the video below.
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