Julie Ann Emery says 'Catch-22' co-star and director George Clooney was inclusive, 'charming, kind and incredibly smart'

Julie Ann Emery plays the role of Marion Scheisskopf in the soon to debut limited series 'Catch-22' where she will star alongside George Clooney. She spoke to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about her experience.


                            Julie Ann Emery says 'Catch-22' co-star and director George Clooney was inclusive, 'charming, kind and incredibly smart'

Actor Julie Ann Emery, who will be seen playing the role of Marion Scheisskopf in the upcoming Hulu limited series titled 'Catch-22' in an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) spoke about the show, her character arc in the six-episode series and her experience of working together with George Clooney who plays the role of General Scheisskopf, her husband in the series. Clooney also directed two of the six episodes of the show. 

Emery's role in the series came to her through Rachel Tenner, who also worked with her on 'Fargo' in which Emery played the role of Ida Thurman. About landing the role, Emery said, "Rachel Tenner, who cast me in season 1 of 'Fargo', was kind enough to see me for the role even though they were looking for something very specific that I did not necessarily fit. Marion is also unlike any character I have ever played, so it's not like I was an obvious choice to put in front of producers. I was in New Orleans at the time shooting Season 3 of Preacher, so I put myself on tape, then I did sort of a 'call back' on tape. A couple of weeks later I got the call that they wanted me to play Marion and it blew my mind. Never in a million years did I think it would be me. Catch-22 was a project everyone was eager to be part of during the casting process, and there are only a couple of female characters of significance because the source material is so light on women. Honestly, it still blows my mind. I mean… I always kind of thought George (Clooney) could have his pick of women for the role."

Julie Ann Emery at the premiere of Hulu's 'Catch-22', in which she plays the role of Marion Scheisskopf. (Source: Getty Images)

Speaking about Clooney, when asked about how it was to work alongside the actor on the show, Emery further added, "Because my auditions were on tape, the first time I met George in person was my first day on set. I was in jean shorts, my tee shirt, a wig cap, and a full face of Marion makeup. I kind of looked like a drag queen who hadn't gotten dressed yet. I felt a tap on my shoulder and a voice said, 'Hi, I'm George'.  All I could think was, 'Holy crap he really is that good looking. What I blurted out instead was, 'Oh my God I'm so glad you are meeting me like this'. Then we went into the hair trailer together and chatted while getting ready. My experience of George (who also directed one of my episodes) was that of a kind and inclusive man. And frankly, he doesn't have to be, he is George effing Clooney. But it was important to him that the set be a welcoming and inclusive place, a place where we could all do good work and have fun in the process. I so appreciate the tone he set and how lovely he was from moment one."

Emery also explained that the major part of her character would be seen naked on screen and while shooting this could have been awkward, if not for Clooney, Grant Heslov, Ellen Kuras, who directed the show and cinematographer Martin Ruhe who set an empowering and welcoming tone on set.

Emery also added that actor Christopher Abbott was "one hell of a scene partner" and explained, "They set such a welcoming and empowering tone on set that it felt more like simply slipping into character and doing the work. I don't know how to give a better compliment than that. I so appreciated all of them during the process. And Christopher Abbott is one hell of a scene partner. He was incredibly generous, respectful, kind, and dedicated to the work. I am so grateful to have navigated those scenes with him."

Of Clooney, as a director vs him as an actor, Emery said he is very similar. She said, "I found George as a director and George as an actor very similar. Charming, kind, and incredibly smart. No one talks about what a smart director he is, but he is. We were very fortunate on Catch-22 to have three intelligent directors who were more dedicated to the work at hand than throwing ego around. Grant, Ellen, and George would sometimes swap the day of the directing scene by scene if the location played in different episodes. And George and Grant would also swap that cap with acting in certain scenes. It was incredibly impressive to watch."

'Catch-22' also starring Hugh Laurie, Kyle Chandler, Martin Delaney, among others will premiere on Hulu May 17.

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