George Clooney Curated

American actor, film director and producer.

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This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow George Clooney have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase George Clooney's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming artists. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • You’ve talked about how lucky you are. What have you learned from your failures?

    It’s hard when you get thumped. I’ve been proficient at failure. But the only thing you can do is say, “Here’s what I won’t do next time.” I was a baseball player in school. I had a good arm, I could catch anything, but I was having trouble hitting. I would be like, “I wonder if I’ll hit it; just let me hit the ball.” And then I went away for the fall, learned how to hit, and by my sophomore year I’d come to the plate and think, “I wonder where I want to hit the ball, to the left or right?” Just that little bit of skill and confidence changed everything. Well, I had to treat acting like that. I had to stop going to auditions thinking, “Oh, I hope they like me.” I had to go in thinking I was the answer to their problem. You could feel the difference in the room immediately. The greatest lesson I learned was that sometimes you have to fake it. And you have to be willing to fail.

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  • You also picked up malaria.

    Yeah, that was on the first trip [which Clooney took with his father in April 2006]. That was a fun flight home. I think they had to hazmat the whole plane.

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  • Didn’t a 12-year-old kid put a gun to your head?

    It was up against my throat. David Pressman [a human rights lawyer, now the director for War Crimes and Atrocities on the National -Security Council] just grabbed the gun barrel and pushed it away, saying, “Don’t do that.” He treated him like a 12-year-old, and that was that.

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  • Going there has been dangerous for you, hasn’t it?

    There were times when it was hairy.

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  • You’ve traveled a number of times to Africa, especially to Sudan, drawing attention to conditions there after decades of civil war. You also put a spotlight on the successful referendum earlier this year for South Sudan to become a state independent from Sudan. What prompted you to make this your cause?

    Two million people were killed in the north-south war in Sudan before 2005. I wasn’t going to stand on the sidelines and not participate. We [Clooney has traveled with organizations including the International Rescue Committee and the Enough Project] went there four times, got the Newsweek cover [Feb. 28, 2011]. I set up this satellite system on the border of Abyei, and we’ve had incredible success in photographing mass atrocities. The idea is, we’re just going to keep the pressure on. Turning the lights on doesn’t mean anything stops. But it makes it harder, and that’s our job.

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  • Do you find yourself thinking about what your legacy will be?

    I’m the first person to say that it’s all luck that I’m in a position where I get to pick what I want to do. But if you’re in that position, it’s your responsibility to pick projects that will last longer than an opening weekend, that you can look at in a couple of years and go, “Oh, that’s interesting.” I’m also spending time working on the issues in South Sudan. Maybe there’s some of this fame spotlight I’ve got that I can use elsewhere. My days are filled doing a lot of emailing and coaxing. I find it’s liberating to do those kinds of things and not have to worry about my career anymore.

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  • But you also really like spending time here.

    I love the way life is spent in Italy. It’s really nice to sit down and have a two-hour lunch, which the Italians do. I realized that I had spent probably 15, 20 years standing up and shoveling food down my throat. It’s not about wealth; it’s about taking time and actually enjoying things. All of my friends think of this as their home. They come even when I’m not here. [laughs] There’s nothing that makes me prouder than this group of friends I’ve managed to stay very close to for a long, long time.

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  • How did you come to buy this villa?

    I bought it as an investment. I never liked the stock market—to me it’s Vegas without any of the fun parts, the girls in bikinis. I like owning dirt. You know, I spent a lot of time broke when I moved to California. So deep in my soul is still this idea of being un-employed. To me, owning land means you could sell it at some point and have money.

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  • How do you continue your public life and maintain privacy?

    I don’t tweet, I don’t go on Facebook. I think there’s too much information about all of us out there. I’m liking the idea of privacy more and more. There will be funny things, like I’ll read something I’ve said about a woman somewhere. And I haven’t spoken about my relationships in 15 years. It will be something I said years ago, and they’re still using it.

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  • Was getting the AARP magazine a surprise?

    It shocked me—“Are you kidding?” [laughs] I told them they should do “The Sexiest Man Still Alive.”

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  • One theme I see in your life—not only in the way you live but also in the way you direct—is that you try to keep things simple.

    I find that as you get older, you start to simplify things in general. By the time you get a subscription to AARP, which I just got, you have some idea of who your friends are, at least.

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  • This fall, you’re starring in another film, The Descendants. But do you see yourself more as a director now?

    Directing is much more satisfying to me than acting. You know, I turned 50 [in May], and I look at myself on-screen and go, “I don’t look like I did when I was 40—I know that.” The people I’ve respected most in the industry over the years—Paul Newman, for instance. I just loved the way he handled growing old on-screen. It’s understanding that you’re now basically a character actor. Which is fine, but you have to pay attention to it. It’s like William Holden says in Network: “It’s all suddenly closer to the end than to the beginning, and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me, with definable features.” I love that line!

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  • Your father, Nick Clooney, ran unsuccessfully for Congress from Kentucky in 2004. Did his experience inform your film at all?

    There’s a scene I have with my character’s wife that I sort of took directly from my father’s experience. We’re in the car and she asks if I’m going to take this senator on [offer him a position in return for his endorsement]. And I say, “I wasn’t going to do any of this. I wasn’t going to make union deals, I wasn’t going to run negative ads. I can’t on this one; I have to draw the line somewhere.” I remember my father saying, “I’m going to have to go out and shake hands with people I wouldn’t normally shake hands with [to raise funds],” and it killed him to do that. It’s soul-stealing. So I thought that was an interesting thing to talk about in this film—how nobody gets in without some dealings they wouldn’t normally do. Nobody.

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  • Good people get caught in bad systems. And there’s a lot of ambiguity.

    ENTERTAINMENT What Drives George Clooney SEPTEMBER 25, 2011 – 11:50 AM – 0 COMMENTS David Gergen By DAVID GERGEN Outside the gates of his 18th-century villa, paparazzi wait, ready to pounce. Tour boats pause as passengers snap photos. But inside, dressed in cutoffs and a T-shirt, George Clooney is relaxed and unfazed. Each summer, he retreats to this 13-bedroom piece of paradise, nestled beside Lake Como in the foothills of the Italian Alps. He has a studio here where he writes and edits his films, but mostly he loves to entertain friends. Clooney’s closest buddies stretch back to before he was a star, and they come year after year for conversation, lingering meals, wine, and the freedom to let go. In August, Clooney opened his doors to PARADE for an interview. The other guests that weekend included a human rights activist who has traveled with him to Africa and an L.A. pal of long standing. No girlfriend, no Hollywood. My tally for two days: 10 hours of sleep, 20 hours of talk, one nasty hangover, nonstop fun. Clooney, it turns out, is a master host. Likewise, he’s an engaging interview on a wide range of topics, starting with his new movie The Ides of March, a taut political drama about loyalty and betrayal, sex and power (in theaters Oct. 7). Clooney cowrote and directed the film, in which he plays an inspirational presidential candidate whose flaws—and reluctance to compromise—may bring him down; Ryan Gosling costars as the candidate’s idealistic press secretary. Clooney also delved into more personal areas: turning 50, his work in South Sudan, the roles that luck and confidence can play in life. Serious but quick to laugh, he seems to be in the midst of a life transition, aiming to move from success to lasting significance. It is easy to see why he has great friends—and why they always come back. PARADE: The Ides of March, which is based on a play called Farragut North, is a cracking good story. It’s also quite dark. It’s the disappointment in the taking away of a dream. Ryan Gosling’s character goes through a really insane week, and you watch how quickly good ideas can be dashed on the rocks. I’ve seen that happen in my industry. Good people get caught in bad systems. And there’s a lot of ambiguity. I’m at a point where I can make films that ask questions and don’t necessarily supply answers—because I don’t know what the answers are. I don’t know if winning at any cost is wrong or not. There are times I’ve thought that the end justified the means. There’s a scene late in the film between the candidate and his press secretary that has a very sinister quality.

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  • The Ides of March, which is based on a play called Farragut North, is a cracking good story. It’s also quite dark.

    It’s the disappointment in the taking away of a dream. Ryan Gosling’s character goes through a really insane week, and you watch how quickly good ideas can be dashed on the rocks. I’ve seen that happen in my industry.

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  • Looking at what happened with the Oceans franchise, if the show is a really big success, can we look forward to Catch-23?

    Catch-23, Catch-24. I dunno how many more people we can kill. We’ve run out of people to kill. It’s just you [indicates Christopher] walking around naked. Catch-23 is going to be one episode of just you walking around naked.Yeah, no sequels for this one, unfortunately. I think even Heller tried to write a sequel for the book.

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  • The story, by definition, is very male. Is there a different vibe on such a male-dominated show, a bit more locker-roomy?

    Yeah, less locker roomy. More likely to have a cappuccino. The basketball stuff was the closest we got to locker rooms. We had Ellen [director Ellen Kuras, who helmed two episodes] there too to take out some of the testosterone. Listen, I remember being a young actor and getting to go away and do projects with a bunch of people on location. It’s exciting for them, it’s fun. And for most of the young actors, they were working one day a week, so they’re travelling around Sardinia and Rome.

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  • How was it filming in Italy? Would it not have been easier to film it in California?

    No, it wouldn’t have been. It was so much easier to shoot there. We actually scouted in Cornwall, we got off a plane and it was 20°f [minus 7°C] and the wind was blowing, and I was like “Really? You want to shoot this here, and it’s meant to look like Southern Italy? So it was really helpful to have the Italian environment.

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  • One of the things that struck me was the terror of the scenes in the air on the missions. How was that filmed? It’s incredibly realistic.

    We also did a fun thing, in this world of CGI where everything is technical, this is a poor man’s process, we put a B25 up on a giant inflatable balloon with a bunch of guys with two-by-fours bouncing it around while they were in there. Some of it was really old-fashioned.

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  • The book was very much of its time, but there have been criticisms about a certain misogyny in it. How have you tackled that in the series?

    There is another part to this. I remember when we did Goodnight and Good Luck, we got literally ten thousand postcards from the anti-smoking people, because everybody smoked in the film. It’s very hard to do a period piece and change everything. You can’t just sanitise it all. You can show that they all died of lung cancer, but you can’t change the way people were. I’m glad we don’t deal with it in this, but I do worry sometimes that we’ll be doomed to repeat our history.

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  • You’ve mentioned the Marx Bothers style dialogue in the book – is a lot of it verbatim in the script?

    But it’s also tricky. Remembering that, when you read those things, the ‘Who’s on first’ Abbott and Costello, or you watch His Girl Friday or any of the Marx Brothers things, that style of storytelling is very hard to do on a modern piece, because you’re answering before you can hear the question. So it required a tiny tweak to be able to make it so that you could hear the question before you answered it.

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  • Initially you had the role of Colonel Cathcart – why did you change that?

    I just didn’t have the bandwidth to do a huge part and it’s a huge part. I was directing, plus producing it, which in television means you’re there all day every day, and then with the part it was just too much. And, honestly, it bothers me that people know that, because what they should know is that Kyle Chandler is a spectacular actor, and I would never have done what he did. He’s just fantastic in that role.

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  • George, you play the delightfully-named Scheisskopf. What’s his story?

    He loves lines, he loves parades, and loves order. He represents, as Cathcart does, the constant pecking order of rolling downhill. And you get to see it with Cathcart, and then when I come in, and then with General Dreedle coming in above me. There is always somebody that you have to answer to.

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  • Are there themes in the book that still resonate strongly with what’s going on in the world today?

    I can’t imagine that they don’t. Unfortunately, they resonate more and more. The fight against the system, and that the system almost always wins. The absurdity of everything including old men making decisions and young men dying because of it.

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  • What about you, George, was it already an important book to you prior to this?

    It was. It was interesting, though, I hadn’t read it in 40 years. It was written about World War II, during Korea, and released during Vietnam. And whoever was reading it during whichever time period would absorb it. What was the truly seminal piece of it was the style of writing, the non-linear storytelling, the Marx Brothers rat-a-tat-tat. Interestingly, I started reading it again after we got the script, and some of that we’ve seen dozens and dozens of times since then, because people have copied it, so it didn’t feel quite as fresh. Not that it’s not a brilliant book – he did it first – but it meant that what the writers had to do was re-invent a little bit the narrative, meaning changing the non-linear structure.

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  • Catch-22 is one of the most adored and revered books of the 20th Century. Did you have reservations about taking on something so beloved by so many?

    Yeah, of course we did! We’re not stupid! You don’t like taking on beloved novels. It was certainly a seminal book – if you Google ‘Greatest American novels’ it’s usually up there. So we knew it was a big challenge, and when I was asked, I said no. And then they sent me these teleplays, and as I was reading them I thought “Two years ago I read 80 scripts that were sent to me to direct, and I passed on all of them, because if you’re going to be spending a year-and-a-half of your life on something, you want it to be a decent script. And these were good scripts.

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  • "Since this Sunday is Mother's Day, do you see yourself as a father in the future?" the reporter asked, making the arguably tenuous connection between the futuristic aspect of the film and Clooney's actual future.

    "I knew you were going to get to it somehow," Clooney said. "I didn't think you'd go the Mother's Day route." "I thought you'd do, 'There was a little kid who was you as a young boy. Does that make you feel like you should have a little boy? Like that boy. It looks like you, sort of, like having a child. But no, you went the 'You have a mother, and most of us have mothers, and wouldn't you like to be a father?' [route]," he said.You can go back and tell everyone you asked the question," he said, "but thank you for asking." At that response, Clooney got a rousing round of applause and laughter.

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  • What about the Buffet rule, that people of a certain income should pay more taxes?

    Asking people who have been lucky enough to make a great deal of money to participate more is a patriotic thing to do. I don't know how you argue against it.

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  • What do you think of Occupy Wall Street?

    Anytime there's an actual grassroots movement that isn't funded by people trying to create a grassroots movement, I find that interesting.

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  • Since you've lived there, has tourism to Lake Como increased?

    Tourism to my home has increased. Every year, bigger boats come by. And every year what they say I paid for my house goes up. Now it's like $25 million. Which I did not pay.

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  • Do you follow Twitter?

    No, because I drink in the evening and I don't want anything that I write at midnight to end my career.

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  • What are you doing with the Satellite Sentinel Project?

    We have a camera 400 miles [640 km] above Sudan, taking pictures. I want [Sudan's President] Omar al-Bashir to enjoy the exact same amount of celebrity that I do. And we've found mass graves when they were trying to quickly bury them. We have photographs of tanks and helicopters and planes where there was supposed to be just tribal fighting. We're able to give these to the U.N.

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  • Ronald Reagan said, "How can the President not be an actor?" How good an actor is Obama?

    If you consider a good actor to be the guy that you want when you got one take left and the sun is setting, then he's a very good actor, because when his back's against the wall, he's always terrific. He should sometimes bone up on some of the day-to-day skills of communication.

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  • Are you disappointed in Obama?

    I get angry at people who don't stand for him, actually. If this were a Republican president, Republicans would say, "We were losing 400,000 jobs a month. We stopped it. We saved the car industry." You could go down the list. Democrats should talk to Hollywood about how to posture some of these things. Say you're about to get into tax loopholes. Instead of "loopholes," say "cheating." And then on the floor of the Senate, get up and say, "We're not going to raise your taxes, but we're not for cheating. Are you?" I just think Democrats are bad at that.

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  • Your character, a presidential candidate, makes a mistake. Do people allow candidates failings if they don't influence who they are as politicians?

    I really do think it almost always comes down to not just the stupid act itself but the covering up of that stupid act. I truly believe if Nixon had taken the tapes and burned them on his front lawn and said, "Screw you. These belong to me," Watergate would have been very different.

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  • Your movie, The Ides of March, is pretty dark. Is your view of politicians that they're all compromised?

    My father ran for Congress in 2004, and I got a sense that there is no way to achieve much success without a certain amount of compromise.

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