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George Clooney ready to exit stage right

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George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by laetval on Wed Dec 21 2011, 20:39

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The actor, who starred in 'The Descendants' and 'The Ides of March' this year, is looking forward to working more behind the camera.

By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
December 22, 2011
The movie business is predicated on predictability. Studios churn out sequels and remakes, directors rarely stray from their preferred genres and actors gravitate to the same sorts of roles. It's a pattern most everyone in Hollywood understands and accepts — but apparently not George Clooney, who's wrapping up a career year. And precisely when he couldn't be more admired as an actor, Clooney says he is pulling back from the very job that brought him renown.

At a point in his life when it would be easy to play safe — he's 51, has a supporting actor Oscar for "Syriana" and can pay the bills with his international TV commercials — Clooney instead placed two speculative and not insubstantial bets on himself this year.

Just as people have grown understandably indisposed toward anything political, Clooney directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in the election drama "The Ides of March." Rather than play the candidate any number of people wish he were (Clooney says he's not interested in actually running for office), the actor's "Ides of March" presidential contender is about as honorable as John Edwards. And while starring in an Alexander Payne movie might initially appear risk-free, the film's cuckolded protagonist is not necessarily the type of character Clooney's peers would fight to play, and it proved to be a part Clooney said concerned him no end. "I was terrified from the moment it started," he says.

Clooney's depiction of Matt King in "The Descendants" is sure to land him in the lead actor race, and the film itself looks destined for a best picture nomination. But like a baseball slugger who decides he'd rather coach than play even as he's batting .300, Clooney says that he'll start taking himself off the acting field, that he's not excited to work in front of the camera and that he'll be far more selective in performing in the years ahead.

Next May's lead role opposite Sandra Bullock in director Alfonso Cuarón's sci-fi thriller "Gravity" could mark the beginning of the progression toward more directing and producing work, even if Clooney (and filmmaking partner Grant Heslov) are developing an array of projects with potentially juicy parts, including their recently announced movie about the Smothers Brothers.

"I'm less and less interested in seeing myself on screen, honestly," Clooney says. "I want as an actor to become more economic in terms of the kinds of things and parts I play. As you get older, and you sort of slowly move into that character actor world, there's actually some fun stuff to do. But I don't enjoy seeing myself on screen in certain things anymore."

Fortunately, "The Descendants" proved not to be one of those certain things.

As adapted by Payne and screenwriters Nat Faxon and Jim Rash from Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel, "The Descendants" places Clooney in the midst of a family in free fall with no parachute to soften the crash. Matt King's wife, Elizabeth, has suffered an irreversible brain injury, forcing the largely clueless father of two daughters to plot a course not only for his wife's last days but also his children's future.

Clooney has said that a mistake actors often make is imagining the best, rather than the worst, version of a movie they are about to star in; it is in tempering your own optimism, the actor says, that you often make the most informed choices. With "The Descendants," the question Clooney had to answer was, Could you win in playing a loser?

While no one would doubt Payne's stewardship — his previous three films, "Sideways," "About Schmidt" and "Election," were nominated for a combined eight Academy Awards and won one Oscar — Clooney said King was not precisely in his wheelhouse, which ultimately was part of its attraction. It's hard to make Clooney look bad, but King bears scant resemblance to the polished-to-perfection Danny Ocean in "Ocean's Eleven" or Ryan Bingham in "Up in the Air." As Clooney himself describes King, he's a schlub, and there's not much to look at on the inside, either.

"It was a part that worried me, and I always like parts that worry me, that take me out of my comfort zone," Clooney said. "I've played characters that are flawed and don't know it. I've played characters who have had to come to terms with a lifetime of failure, in 'Michael Clayton,' 'Up in the Air,' films like that, when [the character] thinks he has it together, and he doesn't.

"This was sort of the next step in a way as a character. It's a coming-of-age film, but the person who is coming of age is a 50-year-old guy. There's a much different kind of vulnerability to this character. The characters I've played before were always overachievers, successful. They were good at what they did, and no one beat them. They were these characters who always win the scene, they win the argument. And they're good at it — until they realize they've given up their soul. This is a character who loses every argument — he loses to a 17-year-old, he loses to everybody."

Payne, who declined to cast Clooney in "Sideways" (he chose Thomas Haden Church instead), said he felt Clooney was exactly right for "The Descendants."

"I was eager to work with the guy. He's so affable, and everyone who's met him just thinks the world of him," Payne said. "He was perfect for the part. He wasn't perfect for Jack in 'Sideways.' He wasn't the right guy. This one: right look, right temperament, right age, right degree of fame that could propel an American commercial narrative film — just the right guy. And, boy, was I lucky."

In selecting Clooney as Matt King, Payne had to believe that moviegoers could imagine a woman married to him would not only be unfulfilled but also cheat on her husband with "Scooby Doo's" Matthew Lillard. But Payne says she did so only because Lillard's Brian Speer paid attention to her when her spouse didn't.

But King learns from his shortcomings. He "finds love and forgiveness by accepting his role in his failures," Clooney says. "And I thought that was a very tough and interesting thing to play."

Tough and interesting are apt descriptions of "The Ides of March" as well, a movie with so many commercial disadvantages that Warner Bros. declined to back it and Clooney and Heslov had to personally sell the independently financed movie territory by territory at the American Film Market in Santa Monica last year.

The film's candidate, Mike Morris, appears to be Clooney in a nice suit — he's unapologetically liberal (as president, he'll eliminate the internal combustion engine), charismatic and, you might at the outset believe, steadfastly principled. But a young campaign strategist (Ryan Gosling) uncovers a skeleton in the Morris closet, and all of a sudden he's revealed to be as inauthentic and cynical as most actual politicians.

"We wanted to make a movie that scares people," Clooney says. "Not scares them politically, but, 'Oh, my God, what's going to happen to him?"

Even if the movie was not a commercial and critical smash (although Gosling has an outside shot at supporting actor attention, as do Clooney, Heslov and Beau Willimon for adapted screenplay), it sharpened Clooney's interest in directing. Clooney feels he's "done a lot of stuff as an actor," including a load of television in the 1980s and 1990s, "and I haven't really done that as a director. And I really enjoy it."

The results, unlike his work in front of the camera, are so far mixed. He has directed 2002's "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," 2005's "Good Night, and Good Luck" and 2008's "Leatherheads." But he has studied at the feet of many masters. In addition to Payne and Cuarón, Clooney has acted for Steven Soderbergh, the Coen brothers, Jason Reitman and Tony Gilroy.

"Directing is infinitely more creative, as is writing, and it's more fun to do," says Clooney, who hasn't yet decided which movie he will helm next.

Besides the planned Smothers Brothers movie, Clooney and Heslov are producing "Argo," a thriller about the Iranian hostage crisis directed by and costarring Ben Affleck; "Our Brand Is Crisis," a feature film remake of the documentary about South American politics; and the serial killer story "The Monster of Florence."

But first Clooney aims to tend to himself, repairing damage, dating back to an injury while filming "Syriana," to his back, neck and right arm. "I'm just going to be a mess. I am falling apart."

In Hollywood, though, he couldn't be healthier.


Last edited by Katiedot on Thu Dec 22 2011, 18:43; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added that gorgeous pic of George)

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 21 2011, 20:45

back, neck and right arm


now is
back & neck

giusto?

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 21 2011, 20:46

oh
and quit acting






Doh! dove troveremo le foto, ora????




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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 21 2011, 22:50

[so?
all Shocked speechless?
48 viewers
and nobody posts?]

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Guest on Wed Dec 21 2011, 22:55

49 now lol!

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by LornaDoone on Wed Dec 21 2011, 22:58

it's me - posting just so you don't feel lonely! Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 21 2011, 22:59

oh thank you verrry much Hug1
but I'm still feeling alone
about commenting this news!

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by madsky on Thu Dec 22 2011, 00:02

I know I may be alone in this, and I would miss seeing his face on film, but I hope he does do more directing than acting in the future. After watching Ides I just like the way he frames a story and some of the images he uses. I think he is very creative and would only get more interesting with more films.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Joanna on Thu Dec 22 2011, 00:09

He's made these comments before though ?
I think he'll be in front of camera for a while yet and may go on to be
like Clint Eastwood where he directs and still has a role in the film.
George has always enjoyed the creativity of writing
and directing hasn't he ?
Fingers crossed that he'll still be on our screens
for a good while yet ! Give Flowers

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by LornaDoone on Thu Dec 22 2011, 05:37

As much as I've enjoyed George on film I do like when he directs. I was really impressed with Good Night and Good Luck.

As to his injury - he mentioned recently - and I'm not sure where that's he's going to have neck surgery at the beginning of the year.

I wonder if he'll try to postpone till after the Oscars or if he's in pain and needs to get it done in January? And frankly, if it's so bad then why hasn't he done it already. He risks jeopardizing his long-term health if he waits too long!



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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by lucy on Thu Dec 22 2011, 05:49

I would love for him to become a full time director, IMO that's where his future success will be.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Katiedot on Thu Dec 22 2011, 06:34

I agree Lucy. Much as I like watching his films I think he's yet to explore his talent for directing.

Mind you, he has been saying this for some years while still starring in one or two films a year so who knows? Maybe the time has come when he's decided to put this plan into action but he does seem to have quite a lot of films on his plate next year.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by MM on Thu Dec 22 2011, 12:53

Why not have the best of both worlds: directing and acting? That way, he will have his bases covered.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by fava on Thu Dec 22 2011, 13:14

He has been saying this for a while, and let's face it, there will be fewer and fewer acting roles for 50-something men in the future, even ones of his stature. How many times have you seen Harrison Ford or Kevin Costner lately? They were huge box office stars in their 40s. Any other examples anyone?

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Thu Dec 22 2011, 13:19

no
and I don't care Razz
I care for him! Cool


Hug1

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Katiedot on Thu Dec 22 2011, 18:47

True, fava. It's kind of a shame though isn't it? Why can't older people have major starring roles in films? I know the main audience is teenagers but that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if all the films made are geared to teenagers.

Those of us in the 30+ plus bracket get a couple of months in the winter time to enjoy the good films and then it's the best part of a year of remakes and meaningless fluff.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Joanna on Thu Dec 22 2011, 19:03

Talking of good films ;

Have you seen Keeping Mum, a british black comedy, with
Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas ?

Also dear Patrick Swazy has a good role.

I can recommend it 100%


Last edited by Joanna on Thu Dec 22 2011, 19:05; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional Information)

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Cinderella on Thu Dec 22 2011, 22:18

Man, Joanna... that plot sounds terrible! lol!
But... I read it had wonderful reviews. I bet it's funny, too!

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Missa on Thu Dec 22 2011, 22:41

Katiedot wrote:
Those of us in the 30+ plus bracket get a couple of months in the winter time to enjoy the good films and then it's the best part of a year of remakes and meaningless fluff.

For real. I look forward to the the start of "Oscar season" all year just to get to see some decent movies. Although I'm kind of a movie addict, so I'm just as likely to see the meaningless fluff. I'm not happy about it, though. Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Missa on Thu Dec 22 2011, 23:00

fava wrote:He has been saying this for a while, and let's face it, there will be fewer and fewer acting roles for 50-something men in the future, even ones of his stature. How many times have you seen Harrison Ford or Kevin Costner lately? They were huge box office stars in their 40s. Any other examples anyone?

It's hard to say if Harrison and Kevin aren't working very much because of their age or because their last run of films have been god-awful and/or box office bombs.

If you look at a list of actors over the age of 50 (Oldman, DeNiro, Pacino, Freeman, Penn, Murray, and on and on), with a few exceptions they all mostly do character actor roles now, with the occasional starring role in an Oscar-bait film (although DeNiro's and Pacino's more recent choices continue to puzzle me). You could argue George has already started to move in that direction. The last mainstream, blockbuster movie he was in was Ocean's 13, and that was nearly five years ago. Perhaps for most of these men, once they've established themselves and have made their money, are drawn more to the small films, the more interesting roles, than they are to those tentpole movies. Maybe they don't feel the need to work as much, and begin to value quality over quantity. Even the teeny-bopper movies typically have roles for older actors (parents/teachers/authority figures). These guys could be working more frequently if they wanted to.

At least they get until 50. Doesn't this nonsense start around age 35 for the ladies? Rolling Eyes

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by sisieq on Thu Dec 22 2011, 23:19

Missa wrote:
Katiedot wrote:
Those of us in the 30+ plus bracket get a couple of months in the winter time to enjoy the good films and then it's the best part of a year of remakes and meaningless fluff.

For real. I look forward to the the start of "Oscar season" all year just to get to see some decent movies. Although I'm kind of a movie addict, so I'm just as likely to see the meaningless fluff. I'm not happy about it, though. Very Happy
Oh, tell the truth! You're like some of us who go to the movies for the free A/C during the summer! Wink

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Thu Dec 22 2011, 23:50

Joanna wrote:Talking of good films ;

Have you seen Keeping Mum, a british black comedy, with
Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas ?

Also dear Patrick Swazy has a good role.

I can recommend it 100%

wonderful, yesss! Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Joanna on Fri Dec 23 2011, 00:37

Cinderella wrote:Man, Joanna... that plot sounds terrible! lol!
But... I read it had wonderful reviews. I bet it's funny, too!


Yes very funny, if you like subtle British humour and Maggie Smith !
It's also an insight into close village life in UK, but I doubt that such happenings go on
in one village. Do try to see it cinderella.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by sadDonkey on Fri Dec 23 2011, 00:58


Are you sure, Joanna? The movie is with Mr. Bean, uhm I mean Rowan Atkinson. I don't like his humor.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Fri Dec 23 2011, 10:32

he was great there
IMO
really different from Mr Bean

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Joanna on Fri Dec 23 2011, 11:00

Rowen Atkinson plays a village vicar with marital problems that he's totally unaware of. Nothing like Mr Bean at all, thank goodness.
He gets it all sorted eventually in quite a lovely way.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Fri Dec 23 2011, 11:14

the scene with his wife
in the bedroom-then-bathroom
was sooooo different
from his Mr Bean!

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by melbert on Sat Dec 24 2011, 16:24

I believe that George is going to go more in to his writing and directing, but I DON'T believe he's going to give up his face time on the screen. He knows what puts the bacon on the table, but he also wants to do what HE wants to do. He's at a point where he can do that.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Sat Dec 24 2011, 16:26

good

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George looking forward to working behind the camera.

Post by lovelylois on Wed Jan 04 2012, 04:07

George Clooney is looking forward to working more behind the camera

By JOHN HORN — Los Angeles Times Posted: 3:00am on Jan 3, 2012; Modified: 8:22pm on Jan 3, 2012 2012-01-04T01:22:18Z

By JOHN HORN LOS ANGELES -

The movie business is predicated on predictability. Studios churn out sequels and remakes, directors rarely stray from their preferred genres and actors gravitate to the same sorts of roles. It's a pattern most everyone in Hollywood understands and accepts - but apparently not George Clooney, who just wrapped up a career year. And precisely when he couldn't be more admired as an actor, Clooney says he is pulling back from the very job that brought him renown. At a point in his life when it would be easy to play safe - he's 51, has a supporting actor Oscar for "Syriana" and can pay the bills with his international TV commercials - Clooney instead placed two speculative and not insubstantial bets on himself last year. Just as people have grown understandably indisposed toward anything political, Clooney directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in the election drama "The Ides of March." Rather than play the candidate any number of people wish he were (Clooney says he's not interested in actually running for office), the actor's "Ides of March" presidential contender is about as honorable as John Edwards. And while starring in an Alexander Payne movie might initially appear risk-free, the film's cuckolded protagonist is not necessarily the type of character Clooney's peers would fight to play, and it proved to be a part Clooney said concerned him no end. "I was terrified from the moment it started," he says. Clooney's depiction of Matt King in "The Descendants" is sure to land him in the lead actor race, and the film itself looks destined for a best picture nomination. But like a baseball slugger who decides he'd rather coach than play even as he's batting .300, Clooney says that he'll start taking himself off the acting field, that he's not excited to work in front of the camera and that he'll be far more selective in performing in the years ahead. Next November's lead role opposite Sandra Bullock in director Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi thriller "Gravity" could mark the beginning of the progression toward more directing and producing work, even if Clooney (and filmmaking partner Grant Heslov) are developing an array of projects with potentially juicy parts, including their recently announced movie about the Smothers Brothers. "I'm less and less interested in seeing myself on screen," Clooney says. "I want as an actor to become more economic in terms of the kinds of things and parts I play. As you get older, and you sort of slowly move into that character actor world, there's actually some fun stuff to do. But I don't enjoy seeing myself on screen in certain things anymore." Fortunately, "The Descendants" proved not to be one of those certain things. As adapted by Payne and screenwriters Nat Faxon and Jim Rash from Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel, "The Descendants" places Clooney in the midst of a family in free fall. Matt King's wife, Elizabeth, has suffered an irreversible brain injury, forcing the largely clueless father of two daughters to plot a course not only for his wife's last days but also his children's future. Clooney has said that a mistake actors often make is imagining the best, rather than the worst, version of a movie they are about to star in; it is in tempering your own optimism, the actor says, that you often make the most informed choices. With "The Descendants," the question Clooney had to answer was: Could you win in playing a loser? While no one would doubt Payne's stewardship - his previous three films, "Sideways," "About Schmidt" and "Election," were nominated for a combined eight Academy Awards and won one Oscar - Clooney said King was not precisely in his wheelhouse, which ultimately was part of its attraction. It's hard to make Clooney look bad, but King bears scant resemblance to the polished-to-perfection Danny Ocean in "Ocean's Eleven" or Ryan Bingham in "Up in the Air." As Clooney himself describes King, he's a schlub, inside and out. "It was a part that worried me, and I always like parts that worry me, that take me out of my comfort zone," Clooney said. "I've played characters that are flawed and don't know it. I've played characters who have had to come to terms with a lifetime of failure, in 'Michael Clayton,' 'Up in the Air,' films like that, when (the character) thinks he has it together, and he doesn't. "This was sort of the next step in a way as a character. It's a coming-of-age film, but the person who is coming of age is a 50-year-old guy. There's a much different kind of vulnerability to this character. The characters I've played before were always overachievers, successful. They were good at what they did, and no one beat them. They were these characters who always win the scene, they win the argument. And they're good at it - until they realize they've given up their soul. This is a character who loses every argument - he loses to a 17-year-old, he loses to everybody." Payne, who declined to cast Clooney in "Sideways" (he chose Thomas Haden Church instead), said he felt Clooney was exactly right for "The Descendants." "I was eager to work with the guy. He's so affable, and everyone who's met him just thinks the world of him," Payne said. "He was perfect for the part. He wasn't perfect for Jack in 'Sideways.' He wasn't the right guy. This one: right look, right temperament, right age, right degree of fame that could propel an American commercial narrative film - just the right guy. And, boy, was I lucky." In selecting Clooney as Matt King, Payne had to believe that moviegoers could imagine a woman married to him would not only be unfulfilled but also cheat on her husband with "Scooby Doo's" Matthew Lillard. But Payne says she did so only because Lillard's Brian Speer paid attention to her when her spouse didn't. But King learns from his shortcomings. He "finds love and forgiveness by accepting his role in his failures," Clooney says. "And I thought that was a very tough and interesting thing to play." Tough and interesting are apt descriptions of "The Ides of March" as well, a movie with so many commercial disadvantages that Warner Bros. declined to back it and Clooney and Heslov had to personally sell the independently financed movie territory by territory at the American Film Market in Santa Monica last year. The film's candidate, Mike Morris, appears to be Clooney in a nice suit - he's unapologetically liberal (as president, he'll eliminate the internal combustion engine), charismatic and, you might at the outset believe, steadfastly principled. But a young campaign strategist (Ryan Gosling) uncovers a skeleton in the Morris closet, and all of a sudden he's revealed to be as inauthentic and cynical as most actual politicians. Even if the movie was not a commercial and critical smash (although Gosling has an outside shot at supporting actor attention, as do Clooney, Heslov and Beau Willimon for adapted screenplay), it sharpened Clooney's interest in directing. "Directing is infinitely more creative, as is writing, and it's more fun to do," says Clooney, who hasn't yet decided which movie he will helm next. Besides the planned Smothers Brothers movie, Clooney and Heslov are producing "Argo," a thriller about the Iranian hostage crisis directed by and costarring Ben Affleck; "Our Brand Is Crisis," a feature film remake of the documentary about South American politics; and the serial killer story "The Monster of Florence." But first Clooney aims to tend to himself, repairing damage, dating back to an injury while filming "Syriana," to his back, neck and right arm. "I'm just going to be a mess. I am falling apart." In Hollywood, though, he couldn't be healthier. Sam Adams contributed to this report. Copyright 2012 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Order a reprint

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by it's me on Wed Jan 04 2012, 09:38

wasn't it already posted?!

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

Post by Katiedot on Wed Jan 04 2012, 10:49

Yes, this is a re-print. Merged the two threads.

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Re: George Clooney ready to exit stage right

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