Syriana (2005) Poster



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George Clooney gained 35 pounds on a pasta-heavy diet to play CIA operative Robert Barnes. The actor also shaved his hairline for the right look.
Syriana is a term used by Washington think-tanks to describe a hypothetical re-shaping of the Middle East.
In the days leading up to the Oscar nominations, the Academy announced that the film's screenplay was considered original, not adapted. Since it had been strongly advertised as adapted, many believed the film would not be nominated. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but lost to Crash (2004).
George Clooney suffered a spinal injury during a stunt. Due to the weight he gained for his role, the injury left him bedridden for a month and caused severe migraines, which prevented him from doing publicity for Ocean's Twelve (2004). The injury was eventually corrected with surgery. Clooney has since called his weight gain "pretty stupid".
Harrison Ford was the original choice to play Bob Barnes, but turned it down. He later told Empire magazine that is one of the few movie career decisions that he has regretted.
Greta Scacchi played Bob Barnes' wife and Robby Barnes' mother. Her role was cut from the final release.
When George Clooney meets his son at Princeton University, he's actually in front of Sellinger Hall at Loyola College in Maryland.
Michelle Monaghan originally had a more substantial role in the film. When screening audiences reacted negatively to the long running time, her sub-plot was removed.
The scene in the front doorway of the Sloan Whiting law firm, next to the U.S. Capitol, is actually the real-life law firm Jones Day, located at 51 Louisiana Avenue, NW.
Stephen Gaghan wanted Christian Bale to play Bryan Woodman, but Bale had to turn the part down due to his commitment to The New World (2005).
In the original script, Bob Barnes was originally named Bob Baer, after Robert Baer's father.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

When Hossein Hashimi is assassinated, an actor who strongly resembles former CIA director George Tenet is milling around in the background of the CIA operations room.

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