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December 2001: George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

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December 2001: George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

Post by Katiedot on Sun Jan 15 2012, 10:42

An old one, but a nice read on a Sunday afternoon.

From CJ online

George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2001
By By Ron Dicker
Special to The Hartford Courant

HOLLYWOOD -- George Clooney sighed and sat back with his boots up on the table near the end of a long day of interviews. "Clark Gable wasn't doing 150 media outlets," he said.

Clooney wasn't complaining. He was merely illuminating the off-screen demands on the modern leading man. Today's opening of "Ocean's 11," the A-listed remake of the 1960 Rat Pack caper movie, will put his on-screen magnetism to the test after a relatively private year. According to his "Ocean's 11" co-stars, he is up to the task.

"George is this great, wonderful kind of goof of a guy," Julia Roberts said. "And the fact that he can make it go away when the camera's rolling is a pretty funny trick that he does. He becomes very charming and suave, when that's just not the way he is at all."

"He has a fantastic wit," added another "Ocean's" player, Brad Pitt .

Clooney's powers apparently worked on those stars' wallets. In his first effort as a producer with director Steven Soderbergh, he persuaded Roberts, the $20 million woman just days removed from her Oscar victory in "Erin Brockovich," to take a huge slash in salary, along with Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Andy Garcia. The sum of all payouts reportedly totaled $30 million, a relative bargain. All agreed to take the same percentage cut and share the profits, Clooney said.

That's pretty much the arrangement that Clooney's Danny Ocean strikes with his criminal recruits in "Ocean's 11." Ocean hatches a plan to steal $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by a modern-day Bugsy (Garcia) who's dating Ocean's ex-wife (Roberts).

The egos of the actors involved in the movie would be enough to fill the casino vaults by themselves. But everyone apparently heeded the request of the Oscar-winning Soderbergh ("Traffic") that they not bring entourages. "It was the weirdest shoot you've ever seen," Clooney said. "No one was ever in their trailer."

Two summers ago, audiences paid almost $183 million to watch Clooney crushed by a huge ocean wave in "The Perfect Storm." Later he took a Gable-esque turn in the chain-gang odyssey "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Time away from the media has let rumors fly. He said he was not romantically involved with "Bridget Jones' Diary" actress Renee Zellweger. "She's my friend," he said. "She was going to be in a film of mine, and she is my neighbor. Remember, now, I've gone out with Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts and Renee Zellweger. It's starting to get fun now. I'm kind of waiting for who's next."

An item saying Clooney's 150-pound pig Max broke up a relationship with model Lisa Snowden was also hogwash. "She loved Max," he said. "She used to go out and feed him. Max is not a problem. He doesn't smell. It's the bulldogs that are a pain ... "

There is a serious side to Clooney. He said he tends to get in trouble when he speaks out on matters. He recently protested the Screen Actors Guild's decision to oust three members who worked during the commercial strike, saying this was a time of forgiveness. And he exchanged snipes with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly over charity payouts after the Sept. 11 attacks.

O'Reilly broadcast a story that Clooney would not appear on "The O'Reilly Factor" to account for the millions of dollars the actor had raised for the families of the victims through a celebrity telethon. Clooney responded through other outlets that the money was going to the right people and that O'Reilly used the accusations to boost his viewership. A decreasing death toll demanded patience in distributing the fund, Clooney said, because the organization would have written 1,300 checks to supposedly deserving recipients who didn't exist.

O'Reilly "is the only person I know who has profited from the Sept. 11 tragedy," Clooney said, adding that O'Reilly's story was "criminally irresponsible" and has prompted some donors to void their checks.

Clooney begins directing his first feature, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," on Dec. 17.

In "Ocean's 11," he and Soderbergh picked a possibly foolproof combination of popular actors and slick escapism. But in "Dangerous Mind," Clooney is taking on a head-scratching premise: Former "Gong Show" host Chuck Barris claims -- as he did in his cult memoir, on which the film is based -- that he was spying for the CIA.

Clooney will have a small role as the man who recruited the wacky Barris. "It's the best script I've seen in years," said Clooney, who has another idea to expand his reach in Hollywood: "Dance. I'm trying to bring back the lambada."

He still has his coterie of eight actor pals who stuck with the Augusta, Ky., native through more than a dozen failed sitcoms and side gigs in successful sitcoms such as "The Facts of Life" and "Roseanne." That was all before he hit it big as the pulse-raising Dr. Doug Ross on "E.R.," which he left in 1999.

One of Clooney's charms is an unapologetic love of a good time and his willingness to talk about it. If a hangover is involved, so be it. He said other actors might take his cue and loosen up.

"It's not the action that causes a controversy," he said, "it's the hiding of the action. Sometimes stars get in a position where they try to protect things."

Katiedot
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Re: December 2001: George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

Post by melbert on Sun Jan 15 2012, 16:09

Good read Katie. Thanks! Not much has changed in 10 years, eh?

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Re: December 2001: George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

Post by it's me on Sun Jan 15 2012, 17:10


"It's not the action that causes a controversy," he said, "it's the hiding of the action. Sometimes stars get in a position where they try to protect things."


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it's me
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Re: December 2001: George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

Post by Katiedot on Sun Jan 15 2012, 17:13

I wonder how he's getting on with re-introducing the lambada to hollywood . . .

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Re: December 2001: George Clooney spreading his wings, still having a good time

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