George Clooney said his new race drama Suburbicon was inspired by Donald Trump’s “angry” presidential campaign speeches, in which the actor said Trump talked about “building fences and scapegoating minorities.”
“The genesis of the screenplay [came when] I was watching a lot of [Trump] speeches on the campaign trail about building fences and scapegoating minorities,” Clooney told reporters Saturday in Venice, Italy, during the film’s post-screening press conference. “I started looking around at other times in our history when we’ve unfortunately fallen back into these things, and I found this story that happened in Levittown, Pennsylvania.”
The Oscar-winner directed the 1950s thriller about a white suburban neighborhood violently protesting a black family that suddenly moved in. While the film’s script was originally written by Joel and Ethan Coen in the ‘80s — and updated by Clooney a few years ago — its plot is based on the true story of William and Daisy Myers, a black family who were terrorized for months after moving to Levittown, Pennsylvania, in 1957.
“When you talk about ‘Making America Great Again,’ America being great everyone assumed was the Eisenhower ‘50s, and it was great if you were a white, straight male, but other than that it probably wasn’t so great,” he said of Trump’s campaign slogan. “Its fun to lift up that curtain and look underneath that thin veneer and see some of the real problems that this country has yet to completely come to terms with.”