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Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

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Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Mazy on Tue Mar 11 2014, 03:55

Maybe there's an article I'll check.


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Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu May 08 2014, 08:39; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : changed title)

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Catie on Tue Mar 11 2014, 03:58

Thanks Mazy, hope there is.

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Sevens on Tue Mar 11 2014, 05:26

Thanks

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Mazy on Tue Mar 11 2014, 05:38

There is but I cannot gt it yet, I don't have a subscription to the magazine to get the ebook copy. I'll keep checking if anyone else can do it, maybe.

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Joanna on Tue Mar 11 2014, 10:31

It just says "George Clooney opens up about his latest film Monuments Men"

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Nicky80 on Thu May 08 2014, 08:36

here is the interview (from frenchies)

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George Clooney may be Kentucky-born, but make no mistake, the film star is as Celtic as they come.
His ancestry includes both Irish and Scottish roots. On his father’s side, the actor can trace his Irish ancestry back to County Kilkenny to his great-great grandparents who immigrated from Ireland to the United States. In 2012, director Gabriel Murray released his documentary titled George Clooney’s Irish Roots, in which the actor travelled to Dublin and then County Kilkenny with U2 singer Bono to retrace his ancestry.


His Celtic background is just one of his many hidden sides.  He’s far more complex than his easy-going, supremely charismatic movie star façade would suggest.  Beyond his notorious fondness for pranking his co-stars and even his father, he has a cynical and even sad view of how “mean” life can be, observing that he “doesn’t believe in happy endings.”  But at the same time, the 52-year-old matinée idol also believes that you should “try to live the good life while you can” and is determined to leave his mark by making meaningful films.  Though he is an avowed bachelor whose relationships never seem to make it past the three-year mark, George has no hesitation in admitting how much women mean to him.


“I have a great appreciation for women – they’re a huge part of my life,” Clooney says.  “I grew up falling in love with the actresses of the movie heyday.  I really fell in love with the young Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun and with Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.  I will also never forget that image of Grace Kelly when she comes out of the water in To Catch a Thief.  You can’t imagine a woman more beautiful than that.  It’s insane how beautiful she is. Breathtaking.”


As much as he loves women, Clooney also loves movies with a message. His new film, The Monuments Men, is about a secret Allied mission launched in the latter stages of WWII to save vast art treasures looted by the Nazis. The movie sees him do triple duty as director, actor, and co-screenwriter.  Shot in Berlin, the film reflects the kind of serious moral compass that Clooney brings to his work by playing veteran soldier Frank Stokes (based on the life of Lt. Commander Frank Stout). Stokes led a heroic platoon of curators, art historians, and soldiers willing to risk their lives to save much of Europe’s cultural heritage. The unit included Lt James Rorimer (Matt Damon), a medieval art expert who bonds with a French spy (Cate Blanchett) to help rescue the stolen masterpieces. Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin also co-star.


Making its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, The Monuments Men, is also a classic case of art imitating life.  The film comes on the heels of the November discovery of a cache of priceless looted paintings found in a Munich flat.  German authorities seized over 1500 works, including masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and Chagall from the home of Cornelius Gurlitt, the 80-year-old son of a Hildebrand Gurlitt, a German art dealer whose close affiliation with the Nazis allowed him to acquire works arbitrarily stolen from Jewish collectors.  The son had secretly held on to his father’s stash of stolen art and supported himself by selling the occasional piece.  One recovered painting was the long lost Portrait of a Lady that had belonged to Paul Rosenberg, grandfather of Anne Sinclair, the former wife of the disgraced head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.


Clooney divides his time between his home in L.A.  (which formerly belonged to Clark Gable) where he drives around in a black Porsche Carrera, and his palazzo in Lake Como, Italy that gives him the chance to indulge in beloved cross-country motorcycle trips. He took some time away from his work to speak to Celtic Life International.


Why did you want to make The Monuments Men?
It’s one of those extraordinary stories of human valour that often don’t get told or the attention they deserve. Hitler wanted to build a Führer Museum and during the war he had Nazi units collect five million pieces of art from all across Europe. It was the greatest art heist in history. But when the tide of the war began to turn my character George Stout went to General Eisenhower with plans to recapture and protect those treasures. Eisenhower also realised that American bombing missions had to try to avoid destroying European museums and monuments or the U.S. would have been seen as the bad guy at the end of the war and during the reconstruction process.



Do you see this film as part of your own mission to make movies that are part of the legacy you want to leave behind you?
You want to do something that stands the test of time. I haven’t always succeeded but I’m as determined as ever to keep working as hard as possible and find great stories. Ever since I knew that I wasn’t going to become a great journalist like my father I always had it in the back of my mind to try to accomplish something of value with my life. My uncle (George) also taught me a lot about the importance of making your time on Earth count and not waste your opportunities. That weighs on me. I don’t necessarily feel that I have to prove myself, because I’ve been able to make some films that I feel people will want to see 20 or 30 years down the road. But I still have a lot of drive and desire to work hard and have a little fun along the way.



Your Monuments Men cast mate John Goodman says that he feels bad that you can’t walk down the street like anyone else?
It’s part of the price you pay in this business.  I’m used to it and it’s not something that really bothers me except times like when I’m in Italy and I want to do something like relax on my boat (on Lake Como) and sooner or later there’s a bunch of paparazzi following me around in a flotilla.  So I go and read a book in the garden instead.  It’s not an ordeal. I have a good life. I was lucky enough to get to a point where I was able to do interesting work and have the opportunity to keep doing that work. I’m going to keep pushing as hard as I keep making movies for as long as I can.



Your character Frank Stokes is based on the real Lt. Commander Stout who led a group of art historians and curators on a dangerous mission that wasn’t about fighting the Nazis, but saving art treasures. Why was that significant?
He went on a treasure hunt on behalf of European culture. It was an utterly selfless act devoted to preserving great works of art that allow societies to define their collective past and identities. Stout and the rest of the team put their lives at enormous risk to save great works and make sure that this massive cultural heritage was defended and that that was just as important as recapturing cities and defeating the Nazis on the battlefield. Most of the men who were part of the mission were middle-aged guys, scholars and art experts, who had no military experience whatsoever but still wanted to get involved. And in the case of Stout himself and a few others on his team who had already served in WWI and done their duty to their country they viewed this mission as their duty to history and world culture.





Part two:

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In part two of our exclusive interview with Hollywood legend George Clooney, the actor opens up about his latest film The Monuments Men.


Would you risk your life to save an object of great value if it came to that?
If my house was burning down and I was faced with the prospect of losing something deeply personal to me, like seeing the flag that been draped over the coffin of my uncle George, which is still folded in a triangle, being destroyed in the fire, I probably wouldn’t run into my house if that meant I would probably die trying to rescue it. You also might not want risk dying to save the Mona Lisa or any one particular work of art. But if you see some neo-Nazi thugs stomping on the American flag, you might feel compelled to stop that even if it meant risking your life.  There’s a larger principle involved.



How did Stout and the other art experts see their mission?
The men who went on the mission to rescue those art treasures understood that those works were of unimaginable cultural importance and reflected European identity and history itself.  Art is the timeline of our lives and we can trace our origins and see where we were as human beings. Those objects are all we have of our collective past. The mission involved saving the culture of that generation and that of past generations and societies.  When you lose those works, you risk losing your identity.



Did you try to balance telling the nobility of the mission with the actual danger and complexity of the mission itself?
We wanted it to be a fun ride. I didn’t want the film to be a civics lesson or hammer people with any message. There was a very exciting story to be told and of course we wanted to make it into an entertaining story that everyone would enjoy seeing and also try to make more people aware of the importance of what was at stake. We don’t have video clips or footage of the past. We have books that describe the past, but art serves an even broader function that reveals the legacy of human creativity. You might not go running into a burning building and risk dying by saving the Mona Lisa or some other priceless work of art. But that’s not what our film is about. It’s about not allowing the destruction of art works which define our history and our culture.



Recently a huge cache of looted art work was discovered in a Munich apartment.  Are you aware of that?
Yes. The Germans recovered about 1500 pieces that an art dealer with Nazi connections had had managed to amass. It was all stolen from Jewish families and I hope our film goes some way towards making it that much harder for people and museums not to return works that were stolen during the ‘30s and the war years. WWII was also the first war where the victors didn’t hold on to the spoils of war.  The Allies wanted to make sure that as much of what the Nazis had looted was returned to their countries. That was a very honourable and meaningful step in the rebuilding and reconstruction of Europe.



Do you hope that your film will also help encourage military leaders in future wars to pay attention to preserving art despite the destruction that wars involve?
We should be reminded of what we didn’t do in Iraq.  They lost a lot of their national heritage when we didn’t protect the museum (in Baghdad) and it was completely looted.



You asked Cate Blanchett to work on this film with you.  Are you friends with her?
I’ve admired Cate for years and I was very lucky that she was wanted to be part of the film. I first got to know her when we worked on The Good German together (which Clooney also directed) and I’d always wanted to do another film with her again. For me, Cate is one of the two greatest living actors in the game together with Meryl Streep.  I also knew that when it came to doing an accent she is on a par with Meryl in how her speech becomes so natural and effortless. You don’t notice the accent when she’s delivering the performance and that’s part of what makes her so great. She’s also fun and sweet to work with, her kids are on the set with her, and she just makes the whole experience of working on a film that much more enjoyable.



You’ve become close with a number of your female co-stars and other great actresses over the years?
I’ve been friends with Julia (Roberts) for a long, long time, I’ve gotten to know Meryl (Streep) over the years and I love her. And I’m happy for Sandy Bullock (with whom he co-starred in Gravity). So I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of wonderful, really talented women who are doing really well.



How have you managed to remain close to the same 10 guys including your producing partner Grant Heslov whom you’ve known since your early days in Hollywood?
We’re like an extended family.  We’ve been able to go on motorbike trips together, play basketball, and hang out for all these years because we value being able to maintain our friendships no matter what else has been happening in our lives.  That’s been very important to me and I can always count on them being there for me.



Your father Nick Clooney is one of the most important figures in your life. You cast him in a small role as your character’s older self in The Monuments Men.  How did your dad like that experience?
He wasn’t that crazy about the idea. I invited my parents to come on the set in Germany. My dad had served in the Army over there during the ‘50s and I had an idea that he could play my character as an older man since I need someone for that. He told me that I should just put some more grey in my hair. But I told him that if he’s no good, I’ll reshoot it with someone else. He’s still there in the film in the very last shot. But I played a little trick on him when I showed him a rough cut of the film when we were in Italy. In the shot, he walks off up the stairs and into the light of the church. Then, it goes to black. The first thing that comes up is a card that says, “In loving memory of Nick Clooney.” My dad’s like, “What’s wrong with you?” I go, “You know, it’s a long time ’till the movie comes out. It’s much cheaper to take this out than it is to put it in.”  He thought that was pretty funny!

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Nicky80 on Thu May 08 2014, 09:00

He said below that the art in Munich was ALL stolen. This is not true. Only some pieces of it which still are under investigation but not all were stolen. Maybe George was not corrected informed about that but just wanted to correct it here LOL

Recently a huge cache of looted art work was discovered in a Munich apartment.  Are you aware of that?
Yes. The Germans recovered about 1500 pieces that an art dealer with Nazi connections had had managed to amass. It was all stolen from Jewish families .....

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Joanna on Thu May 08 2014, 13:08

Or maybe his mind was elsewhere Nicky ?

"Nudge nudge...Wink wink" as we say here. LOL

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by it's me on Thu May 08 2014, 13:32

LOL Jo !!!!!

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Doug Ross on Thu May 08 2014, 14:24

Nicky80 wrote:He said below that the art in Munich was ALL stolen. This is not true. Only some pieces of it which still are under investigation but not all were stolen. Maybe George was not corrected informed about that but just wanted to correct it here LOL

Recently a huge cache of looted art work was discovered in a Munich apartment.  Are you aware of that?
Yes. The Germans recovered about 1500 pieces that an art dealer with Nazi connections had had managed to amass. It was all stolen from Jewish families .....

I think he meant that everything has been stolen belonged to the Jewish family.
He was not specifically talking about the art in Munich.

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

Post by Nicky80 on Thu May 08 2014, 15:12

Okay thanks Doug Ross. Could be..... Very Happy 

And Jo....I like the "nudge nudge " thing LOL OK OK got it...Wink Wink

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Re: Celtic Life Magazine: Interview with George Clooney

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