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So how graphic is that scene?
Marie-Christine Sourris From: The Sunday Telegraph November 14, 2010
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GEORGE Clooney may be the world's biggest sex symbol, but forget trying to get him in a sex scene. Rarely does he do them, usually opting for characters who count themselves lucky to score a kiss at the end of a film.
Rarely does he do them, usually opting for characters who count themselves lucky to score a kiss at the end of a film.
The closest audiences have come is watching him cuddle Julianna Margulies in bed in their ER days, a (clothed) quickie with an underwear-clad reporter in Three Kings and a steamy scene with Jennifer Lopez in 1998's Out Of Sight, albeit through flashbacks and cutaways. Even his romp with Vera Farmiga last year in Up In The Air gave nothing away.
Things are a little different in his latest film, The American. Not only is Clooney sans shirt for several scenes (including while working out) in his role as hitman-in-hiding Jack, he also visits a prostitute in a sleepy town in Italy's Abruzzo region, eventually falling in love with her.
Little wonder his graphic sex scene with beautiful Italian actress Violante Placido is causing such a stir.
True, we see a lot more of her - everything, in fact - than we do of him, but still, it's there.
"How can you rehearse a scene like that?" says Placido, laughing down the line from her home town of Rome. "We just talked through what our characters were feeling, what was inside of them, their journey, what they were looking for. We didn't think about actually doing it until that day."
Despite the title, the film has nothing American about it. It's European through and through, from the opening where Clooney sips his drink in a secluded cabin in Sweden, ensconced in the arms of a naked woman, to the refreshingly slow pace.
Placido is not your average Italian screen siren. The 34-year-old can act. More accurately, she was born to act. Her father, Michele Placido, has appeared in more than 100 screen roles in his home country (and several more in the US, including 1980's Bette Midler classic Big Business), while her mother Simonetta Stefanelli played Al Pacino's short-lived first wife, Apollonia Corleone, in The Godfather.
"My father never wanted me to become an actress; he never pushed me," says Placido, a former competitive horse-rider, who grew up dreaming of competing at the Olympics. She is also a part-time musician who released an album in 2006.
"It's not that he tried to tell me no - he was just watching me from a distance."
For a long time, Placido wasn't sure if she wanted to act: "But then I got my first real movie and I knew."
After more than 30 film and TV gigs, The American marks Placido's first big-time entry into the US market, and she's already been signed for her follow-up Hollywood role, alongside Nicolas Cage in the Ghost Rider sequel, Spirit Of Vengeance.
Did she see Clooney's notorious prankster side on set? "No, but every now and then he starts joking around and everybody laughs," she says, before musing, "Maybe it's a way to get in and out of your role and be fresh all the time."
Placido says she enjoyed working with Clooney.
"We connected, and I worked very well with him. He put everybody at ease."
Even when his Italian girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis, came on set. "I hadn't met her before. She came and I was there. It was short, but she was really nice," she says.
The American is now showing
So how graphic is that scene?
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