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Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

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Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Katiedot on Thu Mar 17 2011, 23:24

From Movieline

1 October 2000

George Clooney: The Mind Behind The Eyes

Hot off the blockbuster The Perfect Storm and soon to hit screens in the Coen brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou?, George Clooney explains why even his supposed failures were actually lucky breaks, reveals who his “absolute hero” is, and disses the agent who once sent him to read for one line in Guarding Tess.

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In Joel and Ethan Coen’s upcoming film O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney plays a Depression-era, Deep-South version of Homer’s Ulysses. As the leader of a motley chain gang, his odyssey is foretold to him by a nameless, old blind man as follows: “You seek a great fortune … and you will find a fortune—though it will not be the fortune you seek… But first you must travel a long and difficult road, fraught with peril, pregnant with adventure… And though the road may wind and yea your hearts grow weary, still shall ye foller the way, even unto salvation.” The prophesy could easily apply to Clooney’s professional journey in Hollywood and to the salvation he seems now to finally have arrived at. With the big box office success of The Perfect Storm, the debate about Clooney’s movie-star status can at last be laid to rest. His “long and difficult road” has led from TV fame to membership in an elite group of leading screen idols.

When I meet Clooney, he looks—for an actor so handsome he gets away with not wearing makeup while working—like hell. Turns out he was up partying till around four a.m. While he may have matured as a leading man, at 39 Clooney is still famously Peter Pan-ish. But the world knows all of this already—the string of beautiful women, the bachelor pad, the pet pig, the life-of-the-party rep. What the world might not know is that Clooney has as savvy an understanding of show business as anyone in the business. He’s exercised the wisdom of sacrificing a big salary in order to get a film made. He’s had the nerve to deliberately keep his fees low in order to get the opportunities that the Travoltas and Fords of the world cost too much to get. He’s had the taste and the insight, especially lately, to select provocative, memorable material (think Out of Sight, Three Kings and O Brother) that he can shine in.

But as much as know-how has played a role in Clooney’s success, his tale is also one of sheer perseverance. Only after 15 other pilots failed did “ER” prove the charm. And only after meeting with mediocre results (The Peacemaker, Batman & Robin, One Fine Day) and ruinous marketing (Out of Sight) did Clooney fully succeed with his plan to leave behind the security of “ER.” Right up to the very weekend when The Perfect Storm hit like a, well, perfect storm, naysayers were openly wondering if Clooney could survive another disappointment. Now, though, George Clooney is looking just about as smart as he actually is.

MICHAEL FLEMING: As The Perfect Storm was being released, the press seemed to be suggesting that if it didn’t succeed, you’d be proving yourself just another TV star who didn’t make it on the big screen.
GEORGE CLOONEY: Every time I’ve done a movie, they’ve said, “Well, if this one doesn’t hit, the great experiment is over.” At the premiere of The Perfect Storm, one of the top Warner Bros. executives leans over and says, “Everybody here really wants this for you, wants a hit for you.” The truth is I’ve only had one movie that didn’t make money—and that movie, Out of Sight, is, in my estimation, by far the best film I’ve ever done. I look at it this way. I just keep going to work. I might have shortcomings, because I’m not a method actor—I don’t “become” the guy—but I go to work, treat people nicely and they treat me nicely, and I do my job as best I can, keeping in mind Spencer Tracy’s maxim, “Never let them catch you acting.” Then I get off work and have a life.

Q: So none of this commentary bothered you?
A: You have to realize you can’t control what people think of you. I came out of sales—I sold ladies’ shoes. One thing you learn is, you put out a good product and advertise it as best you can, and sooner or later, people will find their way to you. You may never become a giant franchise store, but you’ll be able to make a good living.

Q: It must be difficult, though, when you put out a terrific product like Out of Sight and they sell it wrong.
A: Marketing can be frustrating. They kept marketing Out of Sight as an action film, and then they put it in the summer because Meet Joe Black wasn’t ready. I used to get calls from Casey Silver while he still ran the studio, saying, “Look, what do you want me to tell you, we blew it.”

Q: Even though Out of Sight failed at the box office, many people took it as clear evidence that no matter how long it took, you were obviously going to be a huge movie star. When you watched the film, were you surprised you were as good as you were?
A: I’d thought: everybody was going to be good, because the script was well-written. Our problem was that we had so much fun making this film. One day, Scott Frank, the writer, and [coproducer] Danny DeVito and I were laughing after a take, and I said, “We’re having a really great time—I just hope we don’t screw this damn thing up.” What we didn’t really understand was how brilliantly Steven Soderbergh was going to put it together. If you just told it in a straight way, it was a good story. Steven told it in a way that made it an exceptional movie.

Q: That love scene with Jennifer Lopez was innovative, two adults taking their time.
A: Those freeze-frames are like photographs, moments in time you remember in an exceptionally erotic way. In the script, that scene was written in three different locations, and we said dialogue in three different locations. Steven told us to do all the dialogue in the bar, and we said, all right, whatever dude. And he overlapped it all brilliantly.

Q: You obviously have a high opinion of Soderbergh’s talent as a director.
A: Steven Soderbergh is my favorite director to work with, bar none. I loved Wolfgang Petersen, the Coen brothers, I think they’re geniuses and want to work with both again. But Steven and I, we work great together, we enjoy each other’s company. He understands how I work best, of anybody. I decided I’d rather make movies that last the test of time than do lousy movies that make a lot of money.

Q: Your experience with Soderbergh seemed to be a turning point with respect to choosing better projects.
A: I decided I’d rather make movies that last the test of time than do lousy movies that make a lot of money. The reason you work with the Coen brothers is that you say to yourself, “It’d sure be nice to do one of their movies and have it sit around awhile.” Even movies of theirs that everybody else hates, The Hudsucker Proxy and The Big Lebowski I just love. When they hit— Blood Simple, Fargo, Raising Arizona—they’re shockingly good.

Q: O Brother, Where Art Thou? is an unusual film even for them.
A: I was working on Three Kings in Arizona when I got a call to see if I’d meet the Coens in Phoenix. So I drive to Phoenix. They throw a script on the table: We wrote this and we want you to do it. As soon as I read the title, I said, “This is the movie that Joel McCrea’s character wanted to make in Preston Sturges’s [1941] movie Sullivan’s Travels. I’m a huge fan of Sturges and Sullivan’s Travels.” So I said, Yeah, sure, I’d read it. I checked into the hotel room because I didn’t feel like driving back and I read the script. First page it says it’s based on Homer’s The Odyssey, and I realize I’m playing Ulysses. And it’s a musical, and it has a little sex in it. I couldn’t believe my luck. The whole thing made me laugh. It took a couple weeks to set up the movie and we were off and running.

Q: Looking at your career odyssey, it’s amazing you ever got off television. At a time when being stamped a TV star meant you had no chance of a movie career, you did 15 pilots and seven major series. Were you intent on being a TV star back then?
A: Every actor wants to be a big movie star. I don’t give a shit what anyone says. Truth is, you’re already beating the odds if you’re just making a living, since 95% of our union doesn’t. When I first got out here, there were these so-called Brat Pack kids. I was a couple years too old for it. By the time “ER” came around, I’d been the wrong guy at the wrong time for so many years. Finally I was the right guy at the right time. I always wanted to get into movies, but there was this chasm you just wouldn’t believe. As recently as when I was on the series “Sisters” and Warner Bros, was paying me $40,000 a week and I was a very successful, unfamous guy who could get a pilot greenlighted by a network, I couldn’t get a film agent at my then agency, William Morris, to represent me. At all. I went to see this guy who used to work there named Brian Gersh, who sat there like a bloated pain in the ass and went down a list of big stars that had Bruce Willis at the top. “Here are the clients that I represent, what do you think I can do for you?” They sent me to audition for one line in Guarding Tess. It was incredibly frustrating.

Q: Were you concerned you were running out of chances?
A: There’s a point where you resign yourself to the idea that you’re going to be a journeyman. But I had a nice house, a couple of cars. I was living an exceptionally nice life. There was a turning point after I’d read five times for Ridley Scott for the part that Brad Pitt ended up getting in Thelma & Louise. That was the closest I’d ever gotten to a big film. I literally stopped and took an honest look at my career. I thought I’d be doing television series the rest of my life.

Q: It must have hurt to watch Brad Pitt catapult to full-fledged movie stardom with that role.
A: I wouldn’t see that movie when it first came out. I was just… so… mad. And Brad just kept going and going and going. I finally saw it a year later when it came out on tape. I sat there with my mouth open, saying, I would never have thought of doing things the way he did them. Suddenly I realized how right Ridley Scott was. When you don’t get a part, you think, the directors just an idiot. Truth is, he couldn’t have been more right. Brad couldn’t have been more perfect for the role.

Q: What was the lowest point you hit before “ER”?
A: When I realized I’d fallen into full-on mediocrity and I was getting out of a marriage that wasn’t working. Things just weren’t going my way. I was doing a series called “Baby Talk,” and [executive producer] Ed. Weinberger and I were fighting like mad. What Ed lacked in couth, he made up for in pure anger. It was the first time I ever thought of doing something else with my life.

Q: You walked off that series, didn’t you?
A: When I quit, I thought I’d be fired for good. But the minute I stood up to this guy, who was a jerk, things changed. Actors always come from a place of fear that they’re never going to work again in this town. Like there’s this little club where they sit around and say, “You know this guy Clooney? Let’s never hire him again.” The truth is the opposite. Suddenly, I could make ballsy decisions, take falls.

Q: The success of “ER” got you your first starring role, in the vampire pic From Dusk Till Dawn, followed by One Fine Day, The Peacemaker and Batman & Robin, all of which were considered disappointing.
A: That’s not how I thought of them. All of them were great breaks for me. From Dusk Till Dawn was a huge break Quentin Tarantino, coming off Pulp Fiction the year he got the Oscar, wrote it and played my brother. Robert Rodriguez, coming right off El Mariachi and Desperado, directed.

Q: Had you known Quentin before?
A: I read for Reservoir Dogs, the Michael Madsen dancing-around scene. I probably would have been horrible and I thought he was so great in it. It’s the best thing I ever saw Michael do.

Q: Considering how long you waited for your shot at features, From Dusk Till Dawn was an odd choice. It was unapologetically violent, and it was two films grafted into one.
A: But the script was so good. In the first half of that movie the dialogue is spectacular, it’s Pulp Fiction. The second half is a much different kind of film, the kind I also enjoy. People who love that film absolutely love it. But the ones who hate it, wow! When I bring it up to some entertainment reporters, you can actually see made twitch. They hate the gratuitous violence. I understand that, but it made me laugh. And my part was so well-written, I saw an opportunity.

Q: What opportunity?
A: When a part is well-written, I’m good. I know what my limitations are as an actor, but my strength is putting myself into a well-written part. When I get in trouble is when I have to fix it, or when I have to carry it on personality.

Q: What was the result of that film?
A: The world changed. Steven Spielberg sent me a note, saying, The Peacemaker is the first film from our new studio and I’d love you to do it. I’d made $250,000 on From Dusk Till Dawn and then Steven was offering me $3 million to star in his first movie at DreamWorks.

Q: Didn’t he get you extricated from a pay-or-play deal at Universal to be The Green Hornet, something only Spielberg could have done?
A: Absolutely, it was a heady time. Of course, you realize later that it was because I was cheaper than anyone else.

Q: The film right after From Dusk Till Dawn was One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer, a movie that was deemed just OK. Is it a good memory?
A: It was another gigantic break. I can’t even explain how big a break. For the first time I was doing a romantic lead in a movie, and I was eye to eye with one of the top five leading women in the country. And the reviews were nice to me. The movie was what it was—everybody did their jobs. It wasn’t groundbreaking stuff, but it makes you smile. And it made a lot of money. Was it a great film? Absolutely not. Was I proud to be in it and was it a lucky break for me? Absolutely.

Q: The Peacemaker was another film that could be perceived as a disappointment.
A: Or as another big break. Now I was doing an action film. But it was the first film I’d done where the script was in serious trouble from the very beginning. The story was compelling, and Mimi Leder did a really good job telling it, but the dialogue had problems. Still, it was me as an action star, something I’d never done.

Q: So when people point out your “failed” movies, they’re missing the point—that you were proving you could exist in these worlds.
A: I wasn’t really trying to prove anything. There was no master plan. I got jobs, and they were big breaks. On The Peacemaker we took some harder hits than we deserved.

Q: Why?
A: DreamWorks was being reviewed rather than The Peacemaker. It was the first time I’d gotten bad reviews ever in my life. Actually, Batman came out first, so it was like a one-two punch.

Q: You’ve often joked you were the actor who destroyed the Batman franchise.
A: It’s a pretty horrendous film. Joel Schumacher is a good friend of mine. Akiva Goldsman, who wrote it, is a very close friend of mine. None of us really did it right. I got a call from Joel right after I made the deal for The Peacemaker and he said, do you want to play Batman in the next film? And I jumped up and down, screamed and said. Yes, I will play Batman.

Q: Did your excitement falter when you read the script?
A: I thought it was a bad script. But again, a gigantic break. Batman changed everything. Without Batman, I wouldn’t ever have gotten to do Out of Sight. And as bad as it was, Batman & Robin was still a gigantic hit. It still made $230 million worldwide, plus tons of merchandise.

Q: The other three films may not have given Batman much to do, but this one turned him into the organizer of a superhero day care center.
A: Batman movies have always been the story of the bad guys. Bruce Wayne sits around, going, It’s so hard to live because my parents were killed when I was little. We as an audience, go, OK, you’re rich, you’re schtupping the most beautiful babes in Gotham City, you’ve got a mansion and the coolest gadgets. Get over it. Other than that, it’s been about the Joker or the Riddler. There wasn’t much for me to do and I didn’t do it very well. There are reasons.

Q: What were they?
A: One of them was it was intimidating. They were paying me $3 million to do it and that was a lot of money even though it was a $110 million film and they paid Arnold $20 million. Also, the entire film was completely looped—even when Bruce Wayne is sitting there talking to Alfred. I am the most hated man on the looping stage. As likeable as I like to be everywhere else, on the looping stage I’m the devil. After the first season of “ER,” I never looped. I hate looping and every time I see a loop on screen I notice the dead air and see how it takes away from the performance. I’d rather hear scratching noises in the background and get the real performance. It’s part of where the studio system went wrong, trying to gloss over everything.

Q: But isn’t that just part of filmmaking?
A: I knew that in the last part of The Perfect Storm we were going to loop because you couldn’t hear any of it. But the looping in Batman & Robin sucked the life out of the film.

Q: When you got those bad reviews for the first time in your career, was it a blow, or were you hardened by the earlier series futility?
A: I’d never been thumped before, so I took it hard. But you have to say, OK, this lets me get other films made. You know you’re going to take some hits along the way. But it still hurts when they come.

Q: The Batman experience seemed to be a wake-up call for you.
A: They pay you to do publicity for a film, but I draw the line in lying about it. You find ways to talk around it. You say it’s the biggest movie I’ve ever seen and working with these guys was one of the greatest times of my life. You say everything but the fact that the movie is an hour too long and just doesn’t work. I decided after Batman that I wanted to be sure I could go in and say, “I’m really proud of the film.” So I didn’t do a job for a year, I just focused on finding the right script.

Q: Your choices became more offbeat after Batman. Did you worry at all that unless you made commercial choices you’d risk being a character actor?
A: Every good leading man worth his salt is a character actor. Mel Gibson is a character actor. He’s a handsome leading man, but he does character actor performances.

Q: Most stars would raise their price after a film like The Perfect Storm. Did you?
A: I had an opportunity recently to raise it up a bit. We had a talk over at CAA, and we said, Why not stay where we are which is already a lot of money. I’d rather not take a giant fee up front, because you bust the budget and then you can’t get the costars you want. I’m no good without that. And when I take $12 million of the budget upfront, a $30 million movie becomes a $42 million movie. That’s a big difference, and it hurts the film. I’d like to take little or no money up front and get a legitimate piece of the backend. If the movie makes money, you make money. If it doesn’t, you got to make a movie you wanted to make. The hard part is that they’ve worked it out with so many lawyers that I’ve never seen any money from any backend deal I’ve ever had, and some of those movies have made good money.

Q: Why do I fear your agents at CAA are going to read this and say, George, you’ve just become the Kmart of leading men?
A: Guys have been doing this forever. We wouldn’t have made Three Kings if I’d gotten paid the deal that I had, which was $10 million. I gave back $5 million to get it made. I took $2.5 million and they gave me another $2.5 million later, as a thanks.

Q: Speaking of Three Kings, what was more trying, getting hit with thousands of gallons of water on The Perfect Storm, or fighting with director David O, Russell in the desert?
A: By far, being in the desert. David and I get along fine now, but it was a very bad time on that film.

Q: In the well-publicized brawl you had with him, it sounded like you didn’t object to his abuse of you, but rather to his bullying an extra.
A: In fairness to David, he came after me enough that I was probably already sufficiently irritated. You sit there saying, he’s the director, I’ll take it, he’s the director, I’ll take it. Maybe I went off because I was angry in general. It was a hard film to do for so many reasons. The elements were really hard. I was working two jobs at the same time, flying in and out. And David directs by telling you while you’re on camera how to say every single line, which is not a way I’m capable of working.

Q: From the altercation with Russell to your battling TV Guide with charges that they wouldn’t put your “ER” costar Eriq La Salle on the cover because of skin color, you seem quick to take on powerful adversaries when it’s not in your self-interest.
A: Eriq wanted to go after TV Guide and rightly so—he’d done three photo shoots for them, and they never put him on the cover. Maybe you do one and they don’t put you on the cover, but not three. Problem was, his complaining made it look like he was an actor who was upset about not getting on the cover of a magazine as opposed to the bigger issue of racism. I said, let this cast, all of us, take this up. First thing we had to do was research. Then I called the editor and asked. Why? He said, You can’t tell us what to do. I said, Absolutely not, but I can point it out when you don’t do it. We were going to go after them, but then the whole thing happened with Princess Diana and I became the go-to person on that issue.

Q: Which was because of your earlier battle with the tabloid show “Hard Copy,” Where does your willingness to fight all these battles come from?
A: It’s all from my dad. He’d say things like. Don’t come back and look me in the eye if you don’t do the right thing. With the Diana thing, I knew I was going to be talked about as one of those whiny actors. But as people, we are all held responsible for our actions. With the “Hard Copy” issue, I’d told Paramount I wasn’t going to help them make money by being on one of their shows [“Entertainment Tonight,” “Hard Copy’s then-sister show] when they encourage kids with video cameras who walk through the airports and pick rights with my girlfriend, saying, “Hey, who’s the fat chick?” so that I get into a fight with them and they sell that to Paramount Television for “Hard Copy.” Every day another celebrity joined the boycott, and it turned out to be a great success. And for all intents and purposes, I’m still standing, and “Hard Copy” is gone.

Q: Despite these battles, you seem to be a real fan of journalism, You’ve said you want to make a TV movie out of Edward R. Murrow’s battle against Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunt, is he a hero of yours?
A: My absolute hero. Journalists were heroes to my father and to me while I was growing up. Journalists changed the world. Maybe the bravest act I’ve ever seen anyone do is Murrow standing up to McCarthy when no one was going after him. When I was growing up. Woodward and Bernstein brought down a crooked presidency. Walter Cronkite is the reason that the Vietnam War ended when it did. Journalists changed the world. Most of the journalists I know really want to do things right. What they hate more than anything is being grouped in with idiots who call themselves journalists.

Q: You are nostalgic for great journalists, and when you bring up actors, you bring up old greats. Who’s your hero as an actor?
A: I’ve watched tons of old movies, but new ones as well. Gene Hackman’s as good an actor as I’ve seen working. But Spencer Tracy is my all-time favorite. I also loved Henry Fonda. The best of the actor/actors, the guys out of the Actors Studio, was Montgomery Gift. He was better than Brando, better than Dean. Watch him in A Place in the Sun—you’d be hard pressed to find a better performance. Paul Newman in The Verdict is as good a performance as you’ll ever see. Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot is shockingly good—you just sit there and say, I quit, I am never going to be able to do that.

Q: You mentioned earlier you have limitations as an actor. How do you evaluate yourself?
A: Some of those limitations have come from fame. I’m not famous from theater or movies, I’m famous from television and it’s a whole different kind of thing, much more intrusive. You pay eight bucks to see a movie star, they’re 60 feet tall and it’s a big deal. I was in your house every day. You watched me in your underwear. “ER” did a 40 share with 150 channels out there—it was one of the most successful shows in the history of television when it was at its peak. We were this focal point in people’s homes even-day. They feel they get to know you personally. They don’t want to let you do other things.

Q: Is the reason you didn’t do a Boston accent like the others in The Perfect Storm that you thought the audience wouldn’t buy it?
A: First of all, Billy, my character in The Perfect Storm, didn’t have one; he was from Florida. But we talked about it. I’m a pretty good mimic. I can do accents pretty well. We tried it a couple times, but we decided that even if it was absolutely perfect, people would spend the first 15 minutes watching me and listening for it.

Q: Would it have been like Kevin Costner’s accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?
A: No. That was just a bad accent. He’s a talented actor, but that was a horrible accent. It would have been more like Out of Africa, when Redford had a good English accent, but the director took it out and explained, you’re Robert Redford. You do it great, but you’re Robert Redford and it doesn’t work. I get away with the Southern accent in O Brother, but then, I’m from Kentucky, so it’s easier, and the dialogue is written to be spoken that way.

Q: You’ve teamed up in a production company with your Out of Sight director, Steven Soderbergh. Normally, when a star forms a production company, it’s with a businessman who’ll cover things while they’re AWOL on a project. But Soderbergh will be as distracted as you.
A: We’re friends, and we share similar tastes in material and the two of us together can attract a different quality of project. I started out with a nice guy who had the old producer ideal—you get 35 projects in development and do two or three of them. I looked at all the projects and said, I wouldn’t do any of these. When that deal was up, I said to Steven, Look, let’s do movies we want to do. It was a way for me to protect Steven, and for Steven to protect me. He’s got great taste.

Q: Your next film is with Steven—an updated version of the 1960 film Ocean’s Eleven.
A: My friends and I are on a bus going cross country. I get the tape for Ocean’s Eleven, figuring it’s the coolest guys in the world, Frank, Sammy, Dean. We pop it in, and it’s like, Yeah, woooo, Ocean’s Eleven. Ten minutes in, and it’s like, Woo. Another five minutes, it’s like, Whoa, get this off. Ocean’s Eleven isn’t a good movie at all. Then Warner Bros, sent me Ted Griffin’s remake script, and I said, wow, this is a great script. The only thing similar is 11 guys pulling a heist. I’m not playing Frank Sinatra, nobody’s playing Sammy or Dean. Steven calls me that night and says, I just finished Ocean’s Eleven and I know how to do it. I’ve known Steven for four years and I’ve sent him 20 scripts and he not only passes, he says, no way dude. He’s a snob. Next day we walk in to see Lorenzo di Bonaventura at Warner Bros., and he greenlights it on the spot. We start talking to Brad Pitt and he’s in. Steven had just finished Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts and he sends her the script with $20 tucked in and a note saying. “I hear you get 20 a picture now.” She’s in. Then everybody starts calling, you can’t imagine the names. We’re going to have a terrific cast, everybody working below rate. We said, If we all get paid, we can’t make the movie, so why don’t we all just cake a big chunk of the backend, work cheap and see if there’s any money at the end.

Q: You’re involved in the project Gates of Fire, based on Steven Pressfield’s novel about the stand by 300 Spartans against tens of thousands of Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae, which Michael Mann is developing.
A: Gates of Fire is an amazing story. Gladiator was my favorite film of the year, but I think Gates of Fire is a better story. Bruce Willis calls me about once every two months, asking what’s going on. He’s dying, dying to do it.

Q: You were in the closing scene of The Thin Red Line, and everyone in the theater said, Hey, there’s George Clooney, and then it was over.
A: That’s the one movie I really got the shaft on. When I heard Terry Malick was doing a movie, I wanted right away to be in it. Everybody did. I had a few scenes. We shot them. I saw them, I’d done a good job. Later Terry called and said one of the storylines had gotten cut, so they had to cut some of my stuff. I said, OK, what am I in? He says, well, just that last scene. I say, Terry, please, cut me out completely. Don’t leave me in the last scene of the movie. He says, well, we kind of need that. I begged. I tried everything. I told him to say I sucked. I think because he lives in this igloo of an isolated life, he didn’t realize I was too famous to be in one scene at the end of the movie. He didn’t see it would stand out like a horrible casting thing.

Q: It must have been disappointing when you saw the movie.
A: I never saw it. I can’t see it, it’s too frustrating. No knock on Terry. I hear the film’s amazing, but that’s one where I lost big.

Q: You seem to be a student of history, yet you weren’t a good student in school. Were you a good reader?
A: I read a lot. My father used to give me book reports to do because he was afraid I wasn’t reading enough. I love books like Guadalcanal Diary. I was a big war book guy, always had American Heritage, those kinds of magazines I loved. I did all the normal books when I was a kid.

Q: What books stand out in your memory?
A: I remember reading Mein Kampf, thinking it was an amazing book. It’s shocking. It makes you think that [English Prime Minister] Neville Chamberlain is the stupidest man who ever lived. Did he read Mein Kampf, which Hitler wrote 14 years earlier? Hitler told him exactly what he was going to do.

Q: The way you’ve stood up to bullies and insisted on honoring your “ER” contract so that you came to be the lowest paid regular when you were the biggest star, you exhibit qualities a parent tries to pass on to their children. Yet you’ve been steadfast about getting married and having your own children.
A: I’m perfectly willing to do things that I’m supposed to do. People have made a big deal about my renegotiating the “ER” contract, but the truth of the matter is that wasn’t something spectacular at all. It’s a scary profession we’re in when just doing what you’re supposed to do is some kind of distinction. But there are a million other things I don’t do well, and I don’t want to drop all of those things on some kid. Everything you mentioned is easy to do. Raising kids is not. It you want to talk about heroes, parents are heroes.

Q: It does seem to be some kind of Peter Pan syndrome thing with you.
A: That’s exactly what it is.

Q: Your Peacemaker costar Nicole Kidman bet you $10,000 you’d have a kid by age 40. Why do I get the feeling she’ll be proved right?
A: She might be. When I said those things, I hadn’t hammered it out with two stones on a mountaintop. It was just something I said at the time. It’s an unusual thing to say and it stuck with me.

Q: The thing that tells me you might be parenting material after all is the pig you bought when it was tiny and cute and didn’t get rid of when it grew into an oversized filthy animal.
A: I haven’t bailed on him, but I’m sure if he could talk, he’d be saying things like, the guy’s hardly ever around. He yells at me, kicked me in the ass a few times, things you couldn’t do with a kid. Let me tell you, if “Hard Copy” was still around and that pig could talk, this would be a whole different interview.

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Joanna on Wed Dec 28 2011, 20:18

Thanks for posting it Katie.

I've just read this for the first time, eleven years later, and it makes interesting reading.

It seems to me that George Clooney is a grounded person, as everything he says here rings true and he could say it just the same now in 2011. Very thought provoking, especially his comments
on the "Hard Copy issue !"


Last edited by Joanna on Wed Dec 28 2011, 20:20; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : asthetics)

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by cindigirl on Wed Dec 28 2011, 20:55

Excellent, excellent article Katie, I actually sat for 10 minutes reading it. LOL It gives us a nice insight into what led him into his future in film making.

and thanks Joanna for posting the follow-up.

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Joanna on Wed Dec 28 2011, 22:10

It's riveting isn't it cindi ?
Grateful to Katie for posting it in March ! Give Flowers

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:08

interesting
yepp

Max
from where you are
tell us....

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:37

It you want to talk about heroes, parents are heroes.


in some way
but
they carry so much love

and he perfectly knows

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:40

Does anybody know, where we can find this George now???
(search) (search) (search) ;-)

Thanks so much for posting this Katie... real good read Very Happy

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:43

this George?

would like to know but...
somebody ask Stan!

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:45

No... I think George lost him! Very Happy

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:46

you mean G lost Stan
or
Stan lost G??

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:48

George lost George Very Happy

OK... another way of looking at it may be... George Clooney lost George Very Happy

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Wed Dec 28 2011, 23:59

and left Mr. Clooney
only

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Thu Dec 29 2011, 00:05

Sorry, I did not understand...

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Thu Dec 29 2011, 00:32

George Clooney lost
so
he left Clooney only


ok?
playing with words
noting more Very Happy

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Thu Dec 29 2011, 00:39

Good point though It's me... I must be sleeping... missed that!

Yes... it sometimes feels like "George Clooney" lost the "George" and is left with "Brand Clooney" only Very Happy... without George in it Very Happy makes sense too Smile hahahaahahhaa

Have to go... Ta for a while... Hello!


Aaaaaaw... that was a really nice interview to read... Smile Hmmmm...

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Thu Dec 29 2011, 00:48

happy you understood

hope he soon feels tired of that trademark

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Thu Dec 29 2011, 06:20

It's me: "...hope he soon feels tired of that trademark."

Oh NO It's me!!!

George:
Like a Star @ heaven CANNOT feel "tired" of his brand... because that is his legacy!!!
Like a Star @ heaven SHOULD NOT fall in love with it... because then, he can stand the danger of watching it through rose tinted spectacles Very Happy
Like a Star @ heaven SHOULD NOT worship it... because then he will also most definitely idolize himself, along with it... put it+himself on an obstinate, arrogant pedestal, that is lonely and restricting ;-)
Like a Star @ heaven MUST however simply love it, with all honesty... then he will be able to nourish+nurture it, like he would his family (was going to say Babies) Very Happy hahahhahaa


The moment George STOPS treating his brand like "one of his Girlfriends"... he will also see how the inside + outside of it can change for the better...

NO 10 commandments placard that!!! ;-) HAHAHAHHAHAA

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Thu Dec 29 2011, 09:32

well
guess he was all that
sometimes

but it was loooooong ago

he is watching at other
now

I'm sure


and sorry
you are wrong
his legacy is another Very Happy

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by Pari on Thu Dec 29 2011, 17:26

Well I guess... I can only see so much and nothing else Very Happy His "legacy is another"??? Oh well... yes anything is possible in that sense with George... and haaaa I am as always "wrong" ;-) hahhahhhahaaaa

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

Post by it's me on Thu Dec 29 2011, 18:11

not always
but sometimes

Bounce

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Re: Movieline 2000: The Mind Behind the Eyes

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