Interview: George Clooney
The icing on the cake arrived last year when he landed an overdue Oscar for his performance in Syriana.
Born in Lexington, Kentucky on May 6,
1961, George Timothy Clooney is the son of beauty queen Nina Warren and
TV newscaster Nick Clooney, and nephew of singer/actress Rosemary
Clooney. He was a promising enough baseball player in high school to be
invited to a tryout by the Cincinnati Reds’ organization.
He failed to make it to the pros, and
attended college briefly, but only found his true calling after
dropping out and heading for Hollywood where’s he’s enjoyed a storybook
career. The icing on the cake arrived last year when he landed an
overdue Oscar for his performance in Syriana. Once dubbed The Sexiest
Man Alive by People Magazine, here, the ever eligible bachelor talks
about reprising his roles as Danny Ocean.
BSN: Who do you credit for reassembling this all-star cast with so many
matinee idols for a third go at it?
GC: Jerry is the heart and soul
of it, period. This, particularly, is a Jerry Weintraub production. And
that’s the fun of it. He understands how to do it. You have to
remember, you gotta get all these guys together. That doesn’t mean that
they don’t want to be together, but it’s very hard to pull schedules
together. It’s really hard, because everybody’s got gigs. So, to find
one period of time when everybody can come together and do the job is
tricky, and only Jerry can do it.
BSN: What Ocean’s Thirteen’s basic premise?
GC: We’re back in Vegas for the
setting, and I think what we like about it is that there’s a really
good reason for everybody to come back together which is that Reuben
[played by Elliott Gould] gets hurt by somebody. And so this is a movie
about revenge, which I like a lot. We always like revenge films. So,
it’s about getting even with somebody, not about getting rich.
BSN: How did you enjoy the addition of Al Pacino to the cast?
GC: Al’s such a great foil.
He’s one guy you really want to get. And you enjoy it when he gets it,
when he plays a bad guy. So, he makes it really fun, and makes this
Vegas background really move and hum.
BSN: You also added a femme fatale in Ellen Barkin.
GC: Ellen is Al’s right hand
man, see, and sort of gets sort of swept up by Matt Damon’s love aura,
which you understand when you spend time around him. He’s got it. He’s
got that thing. And so we use Matt as a sex kitten in this one to sort
of attract her away, so we can steal some diamonds.
BSN: How does a director balance the needs of so many stars?
GC: Usually when you do these
kind of films, as you do them, you always have those automatic moments
where you go, “Oh, in comes this” and then it screws everything up. And
you know it, when it comes in the film. But Steven’s [director Steven
Soderbergh] theory was that these guys can handle anything, even when
you don’t think they can, they can.
BSN: Was it sad to say goodbye to all your fellow cast members on the set at
the end of filming? Or are you going to do an Ocean’s 14?
GC: The funniest thing about
movies is you’re very excited to start ‘em, you really like doing ‘em,
and you’re also really happy when you’re finished, because you sort of
need to like move on at some point. So, it wasn’t hard when we wrapped
it, but it’s always a drag when you’re, you know, this is a great group
of guys, and we felt as if this probably was it for it. And we sort of
knew that as we were doing it.
BSN: This film franchise is set in casinos. Do you like to gamble in your
GC: I’m not a big poker player.
I’m not a big gambler. I gamble in other ways in Vegas. [Chuckles] I
love casinos. I’ll go in and play a little bit for a minute, but then I
get sort of worn out on it.
BSN: Then, what do you do to relax?
GC: I’ve been working non-stop.
I recently wrapped a film in North Carolina [Letterheads] that I wrote,
directed and acted in. so, I’m pretty whipped.
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It was sexy to be against the war back then. He was probably in it to get laid.
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