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The Universal Pictures film casts the pair as exes who find themselves on a shared mission to Bali to stop their lovestruck daughter, played by Kaitlyn Dever, from making the same mistake they once made. After so many outings together, an easy question to toss to Clooney and Roberts: What’s the best part about working together?
“The money. Cash,” Clooney joked to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday night while standing next to Roberts on the pink carpet outside Westwood’s Regency Village Theatre, host of the U.S. premiere.
No doubt the paycheck was hefty — Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures produced the film alongside Roberts’ Red Om Films and Working Title — but Roberts deftly changed the subject to offer an earnest response.
“Having a backup, having a friend,” explained Roberts. “It’s such a puppy pile of a job where there are so many people involved and then you’re kind of sent off like this satellite to talk about it all by yourself. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. And so, to be in lockstep with someone, it just makes it so much more fun.”
Previous fun for the two includes 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven, 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, 2004’s Oceans Twelve, 2013’s August: Osage County (produced by Clooney and starring Roberts), and 2016’s Money Monster.
Roberts went on to say that when she would call home to talk to her children — Ticket to Paradise filmed on location in Queensland, Australia — they would ask whether she was out there all alone, but when she confirmed that Clooney would be by her side, “even they kind of feel like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be fine then,’ you know?”
Clooney picked up the baton from there. “This is all fun. We’re proud of the film. We enjoy it. It’s a hit already and so we already feel like it’s sort of been a great success,” he said.
About that cash. Clooney nodded to the international success of Ticket to Paradise, which has already opened in 76 overseas markets and earned north of $72 million ahead of its domestic debut. The strong showing not only reiterates the star power of two of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars but should also give the industry plenty to ponder about the future of the genre, especially on the heels of Universal’s disappointing returns for Billy Eichner’s LGBTQ romantic comedy Bros.
“Universal did a very brave thing,” Clooney concluded of the studio backing an original romantic comedy that is only being released in theaters during an era dominated by superheroes, sequels and streaming. “These things are only going on streamers now, and they did a very brave thing to make a movie like this. We’re grateful. We’re hopeful.”
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