George Clooney says the political campaign strategist drama "Our Brand Is Crisis" was sitting on the shelf when Sandra Bullock called up with a novel idea: Change the protagonist to a woman, and let her star in it.
Clooney and Bullock debuted the David Gordon Green-directed film on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, inspired by the 2005 documentary of the same name, is about a fictional political strategist (Bullock) who runs an American-style campaign in a Bolivian election.
Though the lead had been written as a man, Bullock said little in the script needed to be altered.
"The character is basically the same, other than the sex," she said after the film's premiere. She also ribbed her former "Gravity" co-star, saying it was "a role George could have played, or maybe I could have played it better."
Clooney suggested such gender switches should happen more frequently in Hollywood.
"There's a lot more out there if people just started thinking," he said to applause.
"Our Brand Is Crisis," which Warner Bros. will release Oct. 30, was produced by Clooney and his producing partner, Grant Heslov. It drew mixed reviews at its Toronto premiere.
One of its scenes prompted Bullock and Clooney to again consider their interchangeability.
When the election heats up, Bullock's character moons the rival campaign from a bus window. Asked by an audience member if she acted out the scene, herself, Bullock claimed Clooney was her "butt double."
"George is a lot less hairy down there," said Bullock, while Clooney turned around for the audience. "Baby bottom, versus what I've got down there, which is a Chia Pet."