George Clooney: Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants were ‘idiotic’

The film-maker, at the Toronto film festival promoting political comedy Our Brand is Crisis, says history will laugh at the Republican presidential hopeful

George Clooney has said that Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’sdescription of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals” was “idiotic”.

“Anybody who says as intolerant words as those should be laughed at and that’s pretty much what history will do,” Clooney said.

Trump is currently the front runner for the Republican nomination according to a CNN/ORC poll published this week. During his campaign he has repeatedly demonised Mexican immigrants, suggesting that they are drug smugglers and carriers of disease. Rick Perry, who today became the first candidate to drop out of the race, called Trump “a cancer on conservatism” during his time on the stump.

Clooney, who said he was wary of airing his political views too explicitly, was speaking at the Toronto film festival press conference for his new film as producer, Our Brand is Crisis. Directed by David Gordon Green, the film is a political comedy starring Sandra Bullock as an American election strategist who is invited to Bolivia to help a senator win a presidential election. It is based on the 2015 documentary of the same name by Rachel Boynton, which focused on the campaign marketing that helped Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada win the Bolivian presidency in 2002.

Bullock said the film was about “big business and how we as a people are manipulated”. “We need to take start to take ownership back and look at things for what they really are, rather than what we’re being sold,” she said.

Her character, a quick-witted depressive with an alcohol addiction, was originally male, before she requested that Clooney and his co-producer, Grant Heslov, switch the part’s gender. Bullock and her co-star, Zoe Kazan, said it was significant that the character had no overt desire for children, nor an on-screen romantic relationship, though Kazan suggested this might have been because she was originally written as a man. “That’s not a great sign,” she said.

“Women aren’t just child-bearers,” said Bullock. “We have excitement about life and dreams and work. Sometimes that includes children and sometimes that doesn’t.

“We’re complex, crazy little creatures. We deserve to have stories that reflect that. And normalise that instead of it being a rarity. ‘Oh she’s intelligent? She wants to travel the world and do things for herself? Well, that’s weird’. That’s the way it’s played out for so long”.

Bullock implied that one way for women to get access to richer, less stereotypical roles might be to ask studios to switch the gender of parts written for men.

“We’re going to make 12 Angry Women next,” Clooney joked.

“We’d all be on the same cycle,” Bullock replied.

Clooney was asked which of Bullock’s roles he would play, if he had the chance to re-write any of her characters as a man.

“We all know it would be Miss Congeniality,” he said.

“Have you seen his legs?!” Bullock asked.

Our Brand is Crisis was given three stars by the Guardian’s Benjamin Lee after it’s premiere in Toronto last night. In a review that praised Bullock’s “top form” performance, Lee said: “Her comic timing, wasted in lesser, plane-ready comedies, is on top form and she imbues her neurotic character with more than the thinly sketched quirks provided on the page”.


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