Clooney is the epitomy of a Hollywood superstar, with tremendous movie success, a fortune of money and continuous involvement with beautiful girls.George Timothy Clooney was born May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to parents Nick, a TV newscaster and talk-show host, and Nina, a former Miss Kentucky pageant runner-up. George hails from a family that knows all about being in the spotlight, from his father Nick and his aunt, renowned singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, to cousin Miguel Ferrer, an actor. He also has an older sister, Ada, who lives a less high-profile life. A young Clooney got his start on TV at the age of 5, when he would appear on his father's talk-show, The Nick Clooney Show. Although he went off to major in Broadcast Journalism at Northern Kentucky University, he always wanted to be a professional baseball player. Clooney only turned to acting after he was rejected from a Cincinnati Reds tryout. He got his start in commercials and in a horseracing film his cousin Ferrer was making. He finally got a break when he was cast in a medical comedy in 1984, incidentally named ER. He became known as an actor whose face was recognized, as he was in every TV show, but whose name remained unknown. Clooney became most famous for his roles as the carpenter George on The Facts of Life from 1985 to 1987, and Roseanne's womanizing boss Booker, in Roseanne, from 1988 to 1989. He made appearances on The Golden Girls and Sisters, but was cast in a string of failed shows such as Combat High, Sunset Beat, Baby Talk, and Bodies of Evidence.
Clooney was also appearing on the big screen, in campy films such as Return to Horror High and Grizzly II: The Predator in 1987, and Return of the Killer Tomatoes! in 1988. Everything was to change for the relatively unknown actor, when he was cast in Michael Crichton's NBC medical drama, ER. As pediatrician Dr. Douglas Ross, Clooney became the newest heartthrob for women and the envy of men, ever since 1994. Once his star factor grew, Clooney was cast in his first "real" film, From Dusk Till Dawn in 1996. A string of roles followed, including One Fine Day, co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer, and 1997's Batman & Robin, in which he donned the bat suit.
In 1997, Clooney co-starred with Nicole Kidman in Dreamworks' first film, The Peacemaker, and appeared as himself in Full Tilt Boogie. He received critical praise for his role in Out of Sight, opposite Jennifer Lopez, and in 1999's Three Kings, as a Desert Storm Sergeant searching for gold in Kuwait. Clooney left ER in 1999 to pursue a full-fledged film career. Clooney made a small appearance in The Thin Red Line, had a cameo in Waiting for Woody, and lent his voice to South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut (as well as in the TV series, as Big Gay Al's dog, Sparky).
2000 was a busy year for the actor, who starred in the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a role for which he signed before reading the script and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Role in a Comedy or Musical (he and the world discovered he could sing, after a lot of practice and magic of recording studios). He also starred in the summer blockbuster The Perfect Storm in 2000, and starred in the made-for-TV movie Fail Safe, which he also produced.
Clooney's production company, Maysville Productions, already has a list of films to its credit and in the making, such as Kilroy, Rock Star (starring buddy Mark Wahlberg), and the upcoming Ocean's Eleven (starring Clooney, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt), Welcome to Collinwood, Insomnia, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. In addition to his reputation as a good actor, Clooney is also widely known as the womanizer who will forever remain a bachelor. He was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1992, and has dated Kelly Preston, Denise Crosby, Dedee Pfeiffer (Michelle's younger sister), actress/model Kimberly Russell, French model Celine Balitran, actress Brooke Langton, and is now on and off with British host and model Lisa Snowdon.
A tabloid favorite, Clooney boycotted tabloid shows Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy for having filmed him without his consent. He even abdicated his "Sexiest Man Alive" honor by People magazine in 1997, although the magazine didn't change its offer and still outed him on the cover. Not only has he been named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People on several occasions, he has also appeared on practically every Best Dressed List. While these awards may pad his ego, Clooney is more preoccupied with the awards he has received for his acting skills, such as the SAG Awards he shared with his ER cast for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series for four years, an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance in 1996 for From Dusk Till Dawn, and his Golden Globe for O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
Italian villagers turn on George Clooney
Laglio, Italy, residents turned on Hollywood actor George Clooney after he attempted to buy the village's only access to Lake Como.
Three years ago, when Clooney first bought the villa Oleandra on Lake Como, the 400 villagers welcomed him with open arms.
No one complained when Clooney gradually bought more and more village buildings, but when he attempted to buy the town's only sunbathing beach -- although it is not more than a 25-yard stretch of gravelly sand -- there was a protest.Some villagers said they didn't want to live in Clooneyville, reported the Sunday Telegraph.
"We're not going to give him the beach.Just because he's rich and famous, doesn't mean he has to get everything that he wants," said one shopkeeper."If he's not stopped, soon he'll be buying the public jetty and the municipal car park as well.Enough, I say.It's just not right."
George Clooney speaks about 'Solaris' and 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'
George Clooney's self-image is put to the test with his latest film, Solaris. Teaming up again with Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh, Clooney fought hard to play the role of a soulful psychologist whose dead wife seems to have come to life on an abandoned space station. A mournful drama in which Clooney is required to cut himself off from his acerbic image, the actor wanted to push himself for this role. "I'm really just trying to keep doing stuff that interests me. It's so hard to find a good script, so every time a good one comes around, especially with a good film maker, you just want to work on it," Clooney explains in a Los Angeles hotel room. "I just want to do stuff where I keep on raising the bar, whether I succeed or not, time will tell, but it's fun just to keep trying."
Yet as profound as Solaris is with its metaphysical ideas on death, the media's focus here is not on profundity, but on George's bare buttocks. "I think that happened because it was the first stuff to come out, and the bottom line is this; I think Fox is in a very difficult position in selling this film." Clooney realizes that the hoopla surrounding his backside was a distraction from the real issue: How does a major studio sell a film that is as cerebral and thematically dense is this? With great difficulty, admitting that "the trailers for it don't work; It's not good marketing. I don't blame Fox. I don't think they quite have a handle on what to do and I don't think they know what to do. So, the first thing that comes out is this bum story and they sort of let it slide and let it out there just because they want some sort of ink on it. I understand that, it's fine. You know, it makes me laugh because you know nobody really cares if they got an "R" and certainly it isn't really an "R" rated film when you see it. But, I think that ultimately, you know, the dilemma is going to be in trying to sell a film for adults in a 30-second sound bite and I think that that's the problem."
Clooney remains honest and philosophical as to the likelihood - or not -of the success of Solaris. "I think Solaris is going to have a very tough time finding an audience, which is okay, but I think we'll do well overseas. I think it's the type of film that'll catch on a little bit more internationally because they'll be willing to sit still a little bit longer and watch it," Clooney concedes, laughingly. "After the MTV generation, everything has to be sort of these rapid-fire cuts, and this is a movie that dares the audience to sit still and ask questions." And that, Clooney says, means trouble, especially for American audiences. "Getting an audience to think is always dangerous, but you want to try and do films that are going to last past an opening weekend, and the fun part about this is you get to sit around with everybody and go, ‘Well, what's your legacy gonna be? What're you going to have when you're done? And they may not all be good, but you know, at a certain point when they get to your decision, they should at least be good attempts, until they stop letting me do it."
Clooney may have had no illusions that Solaris is not his most commercial film to date; yet the actor was anxious to do it anyway. He thrives on fear, he says. "It's the weirdest thing, but you know it as well as I do, you end up just repeating yourself over and over and over again if you keep doing things, " Clooney says. "Most of what I have done lately have been to try and push things. Oh Brother Where Art Thou scared the hell out of me when I did it because I thought that's a real different kind of stretch and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind certainly scared the hell out of me, not to mention doing a live TV show. I enjoy it that way because this was certainly terrifying in a way to do, but if you work with people you trust, it's a lot easier." That person is Soderbergh, who brought out the best in Clooney in Out of Sight. They have their own production company and the two are friends. He and the Oscar winning writer/director get along so well, explains Clooney, because "We share the same sensibilities. We like the same films, we stick up for the things that we like, and we're both willing to lose money doing it." Did he say he likes losing money? "I don't mind losing money if it's to get something done right, yeah; it's fine."
Clooney and Soderbergh love taking risks. Solaris is one of them. The actor has a very unusual attitude in a business here in Los Angeles that is money-driven. "I just love the idea that we're in the position where we can afford to lose money on projects we believe in, and so we'll go: Okay, well let's put our money where our mouth is and throw out the kind of cheese that we're able to make and get the films we want made, then, we're allowed to make Solaris and Confessions. For that matter the other films I did, Three Kings and Oh Brother, were all for a lot less money, just so that you can get the film made. Some of that's fun."
Now Clooney is taking his experiences working with the likes of Soderbergh and the Coen Brothers, into his directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which stars Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts. George jokingly admits that for his initial directing gig, he "stole from all those guys as well as Mike Nichols and from all my favourite directors." But directing for the first time was clearly a great learning experience for Clooney. "What I learned most in film directing as an actor, actually, is the responsibility to the piece more than to the character. Actors in general say, ‘Well my guy wouldn't do this,' or ‘I would only do that, or ‘He wouldn't react this way.' And that's important to defend, but what happens is this. Sometimes you try to do too much, right? Sometimes as an actor I go, "Okay, I'm playing the pizza delivery guy, but the reason I'm really delivering pizzas is because my parents are alcoholics, and you go through the thing. Well the truth is as a director I just need that pizza delivered, period. That's all I need. I need these people to get pizza ‘cause the rest of the movie has to go on, and so what you learn is, as an actor, is simplicity. I remember once asking my aunt who just died, and who was a wonderful singer, ‘Why are you a better singer now than you were 30 years ago? You can't hit the notes you used to, you don't hold the note as long as you used to? And she goes, 'Because I don't have to prove I can sing anymore.' She just served the material."
One would think that despite Clooney being on top of his game, he has little to prove either. Asked if it is possible to compare himself as a director to himself as an actor, Clooney is amusingly nonchalant. "It's really hard to have perspective of yourself ever, because I thought I was really brilliant when I was on The Facts of Life," he adds laughingly. The Facts of Life seems an eternity ago for an actor who really did pay his dues. Little did he know, when he started out trying to make a living as an actor, that today, he would be talking about his legacy. Clooney, who remains consistently grounded in his success, realizes that fame is illusory and that it was an advantage to have been a success relatively late in his career. "There's a great advantage to being 41 now and having not been famous for 25 years and a great advantage to sort of growing up for a period of time and understanding a little bit better. There's also a great advantage to the fact that my Aunt Rosemary went down the road before me and, so I had a lot of help. Therefore I never really thought that I'd be in a position of making decisions. After all, how many people get to green light a movie? It's amazing, and the funny thing is what you learn as you do it longer is the responsibility, and that's why Steven I take it seriously and we try to spend people's money as if it were our own. We do the best we can to make films that we think people will enjoy, and all we want to do is just constantly keep raising the bar. Not necessarily for everyone else, but at least for ourselves say, ‘All right, here's something I don't know that I can do.' "
Past failures, he says, are what have kept him grounded. "I can't explain to you enough what an advantage it is to have been in so many failed things for such a long time. You know, I watch shows like The Facts of Life and realize that I was so horribly overconfident and under talented. But at that point I think if things had really hit for me, I would've been in real trouble. It's a big advantage to sit back and go, ‘Yeah, you know, oh I'm a genius now.' But when things go well you find that good middle ground where when people compliment you, you go, ‘Well, that means they liked some of it,' and when they nail you, you go, ‘Well, alright, then they didn't like some of it. So you're not devastated by it." Clooney happily admits that "I'm in a great place confidence wise, because I feel as if, when I blow it at least I'll be blowing it trying to do something good."
Clooney smiles slightly when asked whether directing has made him a better actor. "I think everything we do makes us better at what we do as we go. I'm sure, just life in general makes you a better writer, because you know that you just get better at it." For a while, at least, "and then the alcohol and drugs start to kick in, and that's why I like to shoot up right into the head," concludes a laughing Clooney.
Continuing to relish in the fear of trying the unknown, following Clooney's Confessions, he returns to the screen in the new Coen Brothers film. Tight-lipped about the project, Clooney merely admits, "That was the scariest performance I've ever given, which makes what I did in O Brother Where Art Thou look like Tosca. I mean they're like, 'Just imagine you're like Popeye.' "
As much as he is in a perfect place professionally, and happy to talk about that, getting him to be serious when it comes to relationships, is near impossible. Clooney avoids being overly serious with humour. Asked when he intends to finally settle down, the actor laughingly responds "Yes, tonight". And her name is? "I'll let you know this afternoon." We're still waiting, but at least Clooney's professional legacy continues to thrive.
George Clooney: Whipping up a storm
He's sporting a five day stubble growth and trying to shake off a severe flu bug - having spent the past five days holed up in his hotel room - but even under such debilitating circumstances 'Gorgeous George' Clooney still comes close to a pretty perfect specimen of mankind.
"I've got some sort of chest bug," he apologises. "But I'm battling back, it's just nice to be out in public again."
Nice too for the millions of female fans who can't get enough of the 39-year old star.
Many were distraught when he quit the hit medical drama ER, which catapulted him to fame and fortune. But since then the versatile star has proved he's more than just a good looking TV doctor with a clutch of successful Hollywood movies behind him, including Out of Sight and Three Kings.
His latest, The Perfect Storm, has just been released, and if he's feeling a little delicate with flu right right now it's nothing to what he and his co-star Mark Wahlberg went through during the gruelling four-month shoot.
Based on a true story, the movie tells the harrowing tale of Halloween night in 1991 when a group of Massachusetts fishermen lost their lives at sea after three raging weather fronts unexpectedly collided to produce the fiercest storm in modern history.
Although much of the catastrophic action has been recreated using computer graphics it still called for Clooney and the crew to spend the best part of the shoot up to their necks in water.
"We were on the water for 12 hours a day for about four months. Every day it would be like 'we cannot be wet one more day,'" he recalls with a grimace.
"We'd get up at seven in the morning and you'd get there and you'd have to get in the water tank. I have this photo of Mark and I standing between takes and we look like we couldn't be more miserable," he adds laughing.
Despite this the buoyant star did manage to find his sea legs, which is more than can be said for his co-star Mark Wahlberg.
"Only one of us - and it wasn't me - got seasick and he threw up longer than anyone I'd ever seen throw up in my life," he laughs. "We were doing a scene where we have a big fight in the wheelhouse, it was a pretty rough day out on the water and Mark was just green. It wasn't between every take, it was between every line he would throw up," he adds.
Clooney, who plays the boat's skipper Captain Billy Tyne, was not only up against the elements but also the local community of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where the family and friends of the dead men still live.
"That was tough," he says looking thoughtful. "Because we're telling a story that is about real people, but we're making up what happened because no one knows as they never found the boat. So we're sort of portraying these people that existed but we're not really portraying the people.
"The tricky part about doing this is that we're walking a very fine line between entertainment and also dealing with real people, so you can't just go 'my ex-wife's an idiot,' because that lady actually lives in this town and she will be forever in trouble or made fun of for a comment like that."
Clooney's rough and ready portrayal of Billy Tyne is about as far removed from ER's smooth-talking Dr Doug Ross as you can get but the star says he hasn't deliberately set out to cast off the mantle of his phenomenal success.
"I don't think you can ever shake off a character in a show that was as popular as that was worldwide," he says. "As opposed to swimming up stream trying to fight it, you just accept that as part of your life and it was a big part of my life.
"The lucky thing is that I didn't get completely pigeon-holed into that being the only thing I will ever do. Most people who work in films are out of a TV series. I enjoyed the show and was very proud of it."
What he does seem more eager to shake off is the 'Sexiest Man Alive' tag which has been bestowed on him time and time again.
"I don't like it because when I get older and things start falling apart then they're like OK, you're a character actor," he says modestly.
And what's more he seems indifferent about his looks, saying they have neither hindered nor helped his career.
"I don't want to sound like a jackass," he smiles, "but I just think I get good roles. I have managed to get good jobs for the last few years in spite of whatever that is, so I don't really have any complaints. I am in a very good place in my life and career right now. I don't think that there is anything that is a hindrance. I manage to keep getting jobs and jobs that I am proud of."
But although his professional life might be going swimmingly, the same can't be said for his love life at the moment.
After one failed marriage and his recent split from long-term partner French law student Celine Balitran, the world's most eligible bachelor seems to like nothing more than spending time with a bunch of hard-drinking mates and his potbellied pig.
"The pig is healthy," he laughs. "The boys are best friends for 20 years, they come by with their wives and kids. It's a fairly normal mid-western lifestyle."
But as to whether they'll be replaced by a wife and kids of his own Clooney, it seems, hasn't entirely ruled the prospect out.
"Am I ever going to settle down and get married?" he teases. "I have no idea. I just don't know."
No doubt whipping up a storm of anticipation among his besotted female fans everywhere.
George Clooney Talks About "Ocean's 12"
Warner Bros. Pictures wanted the Los Angeles Premiere of "Ocean's 12" to have all the feel of an old-time Hollywood event. Hollywood Blvd. was blocked off, bleachers were set up across from Grauman's Chinese Theater to hold the horde of cheering fans, and everyone was invited to join with the spirit of the event by dressing in formal or evening attire.
"Ocean's 12" stars, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia, were impeccably dressed and in a partying mood as the red carpet event looked like a rehearsal for the upcoming Academy Awards. In fact, based on the number of celebrity guests and screaming fans in attendance at the "Ocean's 12" premiere, the Oscars will be hard-pressed to top this glitzy affair.
While some stars chose the easy way out and walked around the fans and the media, George Clooney was most accommodating, making sure he gave the fans his attention while finding a way to spend a good amount of time with the media.
I had the chance to throw a few questions Clooney's way and with a smile that would charm the most hardened heart, George provided a tiny bit of insight into "Ocean's 12:"
INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE CLOONEY ('Danny Ocean'):
What's the attraction of working with Steven Soderbergh?
We’re partners so we’ve done quite a few jobs together. Mostly it’s that we don’t bug each other, I think (laughing).
Have you developed a shorthand working together?
(Laughing) Yeah, there’s a shorthand. He says, “Move over there,” and, “Stand over there.” We’re good, close friends.
So, I heard there wasn’t much of a script?
No, there was a script.
A few of your co-stars said it was revised constantly.
Well, believe them (laughing). They’re probably telling you the truth. I never read the scripts. I just show up in the film at the end.
What was the craziest thing on the set?
The craziest thing on the set is Matt Damon. Period. People don’t know that. Everyone thinks he’s really together. He’s out of his mind, that kid. He’s the best.
What’s so good about playing a thief and would you like to be one in real life?
Well, I’ve done it a lot and I find it’s much more fun than not playing one (laughing). How would I like to do it in real life? I don’t know. I don’t think I’d want to. I’m trying to come up with a funny answer but I don’t have a single funny answer to give you.
Who is better, the French or Americans in the theft business?
Well, apparently the French because Vincent [Cassel] takes us down pretty good. He gets us good.
Cassel’s one of the few new faces in “Ocean’s 12.”
He’s so fantastic. First of all, he’s a world class actor. He’s one of the best. We were really surprised that he would do it with us. We were really thrilled. So we’re very happy to get a chance to work with him. And then he’s unbelievable. He sort of steals it. In fact, we’re not asking him back just because of that.
George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones Discuss "Intolerable Cruelty"
From the fertile minds of Joel and Ethan Coen comes “Intolerable Cruelty,” the story of prominent LA divorce attorney Miles Massey (George Clooney), a man who, having reaching the pinnacle of his career, is now looking for new challenges. Enter Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Marylin’s about to be the ex-wife of Massey’s client, Rex Rexroth, and Massey’s determined to keep her from getting one thin dime of Rex’s money. What he’s not counting on is just how far Marylin will go to get her revenge and just how hard he’ll fall for her in the process.
George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones team up for the first time for this refreshing romantic comedy, which co-stars Billy Bob Thornton, Geoffrey Rush and Cedric the Entertainer. In the works for eight years, “Intolerable Cruelty” is a dark comedy that takes aim at the high-powered world of divorce attorneys.
INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE CLOONEY AND CATHERINE-ZETA JONES:
This film presents a pessimistic view of marriage. How do you keep such a positive outlook?
CATHERINE ZETA-JONES: Take a day at a time and be kind. I think, especially in our business, we meet a lot of people and sometimes you spend so much time being nice to strangers… So, you know, just keep a clear head [and] be nice to each other. That's all the advice I can give.
In “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” you had an obsession with your hair and in this one it's your teeth. Is it fun to experiment with your character traits?
CLOONEY: Well, they kept looking for one. They got to do something with the hair on the last one so they obsessed with teeth on this one. I might be doing another film with them. I'm running out of body parts. Maybe [I’ll] wax my back.
You're like Cary Grant in terms of romantic comedies and suaveness. What attracts you to this genre?
CLOONEY: I don't know, they're fun to do. It's always a blast to do them. I thought “Solaris” was pretty funny (laughing). I've been working on comedies for a while. “Batman and Robin” was a hoot.
I love doing them and if you can do them with Joel and Ethan [Coen], then you feel really lucky - especially if you get to work with people like Catherine. It's really fun. I'm lucky enough, I think, in the backward way that a lot of films that I did weren't particularly successful early so I didn't get pigeonholed into having to do one particular thing. I've sort of been given a little free reign to try a bunch of different things and have them all fail at once, so this has been a fun one. Look, I'll do anything those guys ask.
Did you two model your characters on anyone you know?
CLOONEY: Ben and Jen (laughing).
ZETA-JONES: Who were you playing?
CLOONEY: I don't like her (referring to Zeta-Jones).
Have you run across any of these characters in Hollywood?
ZETA-JONES: Poor Hollywood! These things happen all over the world but what a great backdrop to have Hollywood in our movie. No, but I know people who divorce a lot….and have really nice houses (laughs). But I didn't model the character on anyone in particular. And if I did, I would never tell the name.
Were you pregnant while you were shooting this? What's life like with two kids?
ZETA-JONES: I'm not going to mention any specific dates but just that at the end of the movie, I got pregnant. I'm having a great time with my children. They're here in New York with me. I have a little ‘Lady In Waiting’ who is going to drive her dad nuts in about fifteen years, and my son is just terrific. He's a showman and he's a lot of fun to be around.
How do you feel about lawyers?
CLOONEY: Lawyers? Oh, they're fun (laughs). I don't know, you don't really need one until you need one, I guess. They're sort of a mixed blessing, obviously. We all feel the same way, which is we love to make jokes about them and they sure can be irritating and we sure think we can live without them. Then every once in a while you think, "It would sure be nice to have a good lawyer." I feel the same way about them as I do about actors (laughs). I don't know. The obvious answer is we all know that they're important and they're needed. They also abuse things at times, so it goes back and forth.
After the success of “Chicago,” do you have any plans to do more movie musicals or do Broadway?
ZETA-JONES: I'd love to do another musical. When they're good, they're great. I just fear that there will be an influx of remakes of every musical that's ever been on Broadway and I don't think that will be good. I'd certainly love to do another one on film, and I just want to do a Broadway show at some point. “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”... “Brigadoon” is a good one (laughs). I'd love to be on stage, to do anything.
I'd love to do a show in Vegas. I have a big ambition to do a really tacky Vegas show with drag queens. You may laugh, but you'll be invited to the press conference. I just love performing and I miss it especially when I go to see theatre. So hopefully something will come along - the right thing.
What's the best and worst thing about working with each other?
CLOONEY: Can we start with the worst?
ZETA-JONES: He's great to work with. I'd do it all again.
CLOONEY: The worst thing is that we had to stop (laughs) There's nothing bad about it. We had such a fun time doing this. She'll show up and have a blast. This is a group of people - it's not just Joel and Ethan, it's a family - and it’s all these same guys, the cinematographer and all the crew. The first time I was on the set I was there with John Goodman in a scene of “Oh Brother,” and it's a little intimidating. It's like [they are] a gang and it takes about four seconds to feel comfortable there. Catherine immediately walked in and was like, “Okay, I got it. I understand.” From the minute we started, we had fun.
ZETA-JONES: Yeah, the first scene we did was the scene in the restaurant. It was, “Hi, nice to meet you.” We met briefly before on the longest screening of “Traffic” in the history of screenings. The very first cut of “Traffic.”
CLOONEY: The first cut of “Traffic” was like four hours (laughing).
ZETA-JONES: And Steven [Soderbergh] didn't know what to lose. He was like, “It works." It was a very easy working experience and fun, fun, fun, and such an easy way of getting things done and having a blast while you're doing it.
You've done a lot of flawed characters. Are those roles more interesting?
ZETA-JONES: No, not at all. I want to play a whole array of characters. It just happened that way. You can only do what you get offered and what comes your way. There are only so many ball-breakers and murderesses I can play. There's a tough, strong side there. Even in “Zorro,” it was like she wasn't a damsel in distress in any way.
I think “Zorro” was so great for me because no one knew where I came from. Everyone spoke Spanish to me forever after that - I'm from Wales. When I did “Entrapment,” I really wanted to do an American accent because I just didn't want to come from Britain and constantly do period dramas in ripped corsets - like the wench. [Although] there may be a “Zorro 2.” I may be pouring myself into that corset sometime soon. It's just trying to mix it up and getting the chance. When Steven Soderbergh called me to be in “Traffic,” that was such an amazing [opportunity] because it wouldn't be what would be typically given to me. I just try to keep mixing it up.
What did you enjoy about playing these characters?
CLOONEY: The fun part about these characters is that they both don't really realize the trouble they're in emotionally until they run into each other. They're both sort of romantics in this horrible, horrible screwed up life that they live, and that's sort of the fun of it. That's the idea of a good, screwball, romantic comedy. We all know what the ending of a romantic comedy is. That's the toughest thing to do and that's why, the truth is, actors don't really do them that often anymore. It's hard to do a romantic comedy and go, “Hey surprise, they're going to get together!” There's a shock. These elements in this film seem more fun because we know what's going to happen but it seemed like the journey was more interesting and a little darker.
How do you make choices about the roles you take?
ZETA-JONES: For me, it's obviously the script but also all the other elements that come in. You get the piece of material and then you get Joel and Ethan in that equation, and then George and all that - just that whole equation is exciting to me. There are many things that make me choose what to do, but I think primarily it's what's on the page.
CLOONEY: As we know, there are so many things that can go wrong in a film, so it always has to start with the screenplay and then the director. Those are the two things. You can make a really bad film out of a good script, but you're not likely to make a good film out of a bad script. Then the director, since it's their voice, it's their idea, so those are the first two elements. You hope to get to work with really good actors and you hope that all of these elements kind of come together as you go, but mostly you can't start without having a script that you think is fun or interesting in some way. Which is harder than you think to find.
Can you talk about what's happening with “Ocean's Twelve?”
CLOONEY: We start March 1st. We're shooting a little bit in Paris, a little bit in Amsterdam, and then in Rome for a while. Yeah, it's a tough shoot - really awful (laughing). It's going to be fun; we're going to have a good time. Everybody came back. The first thing that happens is that everybody starts talking. They go, “Okay, we've had a big hit,” so immediately it became these big negotiations, which was really interesting. Then we all sat in a room and said, "Look. Let's do it for 5 percent less and then we can say we're there because we want to be there because that's truly why we're there." So, we all just said, “Okay let's do it that way.” We had a good time doing the last one and we make good money on the back-end so if it works, it works.
If it doesn't, we get to make a movie together.
Julia Roberts is on board?
CLOONEY: Yeah, Julia's on board. The whole gang’s back.
Will it be another heist?
CLOONEY: Oh, it's another heist.
Involving the Vatican?
CLOONEY: I can't tell you that (laughing).
Who is number 12?
CLOONEY: Vincent Cassell.
You gave Julia twenty bucks last time?
CLOONEY: Yeah, she got $19 [this time]. I was good with my math.
Did you pick up any directorial tips from working with Joel and Ethan Coen?
CLOONEY: Did I steal from them? Yes, of course [they] had a big effect. They have things they do that other people don't do in general. They storyboard every single shot and every single scene and then they put them with your sides in the morning when you get them. What you find is because there's not much time for rehearsal, as an actor, you get them and you look in the back and you see these drawings of what they were thinking in their minds. For a first-time director, that's a big advantage because you don't have a whole lot of time and you want to instill this feeling of security with people.
Most of the people I've worked with lately are really good at keeping sets moving and fun. They don't do a lot of takes. They keep it alive, which I found to have a lot higher energy. I stole a lot of shots from them. I stole a shot from them and showed it to them and they told me where they stole the shot from (laughs). I can't tell you [which one].
Speaking of directing, what inspired you to make the DVD bonus features as good as they are on “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind?”
CLOONEY: Oh, I haven't seen it yet. It was fun. I wanted Tom Siegel involved because he's such a bright guy. It was such a flop in the theaters (laughing) that we thought we'd spend a little more time on the DVD and try to put some other things on it. We're all really proud of that film.
Are you going to direct again?
CLOONEY: Yeah, I think I am. I'm still going to do “Leatherheads” as soon as I get the script where we want to put it. I was going to do this live show about Edward R. Murrow taking on McCarthy but our time has gotten pushed because Steven [Soderbergh] and I are working on “K Street” right now up in D.C. We've been doing that for seven days a week, 18 hour days, and we're a little worn down from that.
What does it mean to you to have a retreat like you do in Italy?
CLOONEY: [It was] the best thing I've ever done in my life. Catherine came by this summer.
ZETA-JONES: It's fabulous there.
CLOONEY: It really is life-altering just by virtue of the fact that I come out of television and everything came later for me. I come from the world that if you stop working, you're unemployed forever, so the only real vacations I've taken have been work-related. This summer I was like, “You know what? I've got a house in Lake Como.” I spent three months there and did nothing. It was the best thing I've ever done in my life. I recommend it. Everybody get a villa in Italy. It was a great thing and I had the time of my life. Everybody in the world came and visited me.
Clooney not interested in Pitt's love life
Hollywood actor George Clooney has refuted rumours of him having introduced fellow actor Brad Pitt to Maxim model April Florio after the latter's split from Jennifer Aniston last month.
"The only woman I ever introduced to Brad is my mother... and watch what you write about my mother, Liz," Femalefirst quoted Clooney as telling the New York Port columnist, Liz Smith, recently.
Earlier this month, Pitt was photographed with April, who claims she has spent time with the Ocean's 12 star in Greece and California.
George Clooney hits back at Crowe
George Clooney has hit back at Hollywood rival Russell Crowe after the "Gladiator" actor publicly slammed stars who appear in commercials.
"I don't use my celebrity (status) to make a living. To me it's kind of sacrilegious - it's a complete contradiction of the (bleep) social contract you have with your audience," the Internet Media Database quoted Crowe as saying.
Speaking to an Australian magazine, the Oscar winner was particularly scathing of Clooney, Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro, who have all plugged products on television outside the US.
Clooney has now hit back, suggesting that Crowe used his standing to promote his rock band "30 Odd Foot Of Grunts".
The "Ocean's Twelve" star took a dig at Crowe: "I'm glad he set us straight. Because Harrison, Bob and I were putting a band together called 'Grunting For 30 Feet' and that would also fall under the heading of 'bad use of celebrity'."
Clooney stones Crowe
A BIG name Hollywood stoush has erupted between actors George Clooney and Russell Crowe.
Heart-throb Clooney has hit back at Crowe's criticism of actors doing advertisements, by mocking Crowe and his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
Academy Award winner Crowe accused Clooney, Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro of being "sacrilegious" for making ads.
Clooney responded by claiming Crowe had used his celebrity name to promote his part-time band.
In a bitter, sarcastic spray, Clooney said: "I'm glad he set us straight. Because Harrison, Bob and I were putting a band together called Grunting For 30 Feet, and that would also fall under the heading of 'bad use of celebrity'. Thanks for the heads-up."
Yesterday, agents for Crowe and the other actors would not comment on the Clooney jab.
However, it is understood many big names in Hollywood are annoyed with Crowe's comments in GQ magazine, where he declared that he did not use his celebrity status to make a living.
"I don't do ads for suits in Spain like George Clooney or cigarettes in Japan like Harrison Ford," Crowe said.
"And on one level, people go, 'Well, more fault to you, mate, because there's free money to be handed out'. But to me it's kind of sacrilegious – it's a complete contradiction of the f------ social contract you have with your audience.
"I mean, Robert De Niro's advertising American Express. Gee whiz, it's not the first time he's disappointed me. It's been happening for a while now."
Clooney is one of the most active spruikers in Hollywood, pocketing millions of dollars for advertisements selling everything from cars to sunglasses and alcohol.
He met his girlfriend, Lisa Snowden, after making an ad with her for Martini.
But he is not alone – many of Hollywood's A-listers make advertisements and earn up to $A15 million a year for worldwide campaigns.
Clooney's Oceans 12 co-star Brad Pitt was recently paid $3.8 million to flog Heineken beer, Catherine Zeta-Jones earned $24 million for a four-year deal selling mobile phones and Aussie Nicole Kidman collected $3.8 million for an advertisement selling the perfume Chanel No.5.
Other stars have received advertising booty for decades, including ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, who has pocketed $7.2 million a year for the past 40 years for selling a Japanese apple drink.
Goodnight George Clooney
Well, just for a little while. After the enjoyable fluff of eye-candy caper Ocean’s Twelve, George Clooney is turning his attention back to directing. Known for choosing low-key, unusual subject matter, this time the anti-war actor pays homage to American journalist Edward R Murrow who helped bring down Senator Joe McCarthy
THERE’S something of the classic American hero in George Clooney, but it’s not just to do with his good looks – it’s his spirit. That voice is no handicap for a leading man either: an inimitable baritone, clearly audible as he talks to a colleague, even from the entrance of the building Clooney has commandeered for production work on his second feature film as director, Goodnight, And Good Luck. It’s a movie about the television journalist Edward R Murrow,a hero of Clooney’s since childhood, and the man who helped to take down Senator Joseph McCarthy in the Fifties.
Clooney, dressed in trainers and a black T-shirt, is upbeat, despite recovering from recent spinal surgery. “I was down for a bit,” he says, as we walk along the corridor. “I had terrible headaches and nobody knew what it was, so I got quite worried. I was thinking, ‘What the hell is going on in my head?’ The doctors would tell me to rest. Finally, they realised what it was and I was operated on.” He points to a pink vertical scar at the nape of his neck. “It was funny in hospital,” he says, grinning. “I’d say to the nurses, ‘Is my pulse up? What are my numbers?’ All that jargon I picked up on the show.”
It’s a decade since George Clooney became a heart-throb overnight through that role as Dr Ross in ER, the medical drama watched by 40 million Americans. Growing up in Kentucky and Ohio, this son of an army helicopter pilot-turned-journalist and a former beauty queen didn’t plan on becoming an actor. His dad had become a respected TV anchorman on a Cincinatti-based station, and George tried following in his footsteps. “I realised very quickly that I wasn’t going to be any good.” A short stint in college followed (“I read a lot, enjoyed the information but wasn’t interested in the classes”), plus an attempt to turn baseball pro, as well as jobs harvesting tobacco, selling insurance and even ladies’ shoes.
Clooney’s interest in the film industry was sparked by his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, the son of singer Rosemary Clooney, when he got George, then aged 20, a bit part in a movie he was shooting in Lexington, Kentucky.
“Miguel was living the Hollywood life,” says Clooney, “and I was fascinated. He said, come to LA and be an actor. So I packed my car and left a month later.” He initially stayed with his aunt Rosemary, who had shot to fame in her mid-20s after appearing in White Christmas with Bing Crosby. George’s route to stardom would take a little longer – although it was a “misconception that I was struggling until ER. I had been a working actor for about ten years.”
Clooney studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas; he worked in theatre, including a stint at the prestigious Steppenwolf in Chicago, and did the occasional soap before his role in ER, then graduating to the big screen. But throughout his rise up the acting profession, Clooney was interested in writing and directing. In 2000, he formed a production company (called Section 8, a term used in the US military to describe the mentally unstable) with his friend, director Steven Soderbergh, and today the boy from Kentucky has become a new creative force in American film.
Clooney and Soderbergh first met when they made a film together in 1998. Based on an Elmore Leonard story, Out Of Sight was a superb comedy thriller in which Clooney and Jennifer Lopez positively smouldered together on screen – and made us laugh. This was the movie that established him in the front rank of leading men. “He doesn’t talk much, but we got on really well,” Clooney says of Soderbergh. They found they had a lot in common – not least a shared approach to Hollywood, which involves being at the heart of the action without becoming too beholden to the industry. “Steven actively tries hard not to belong to it,” says Clooney.
“We went to Warners and said, ‘So here’s what we’ll promise. You’ll have the lowest overheads of any company you’ve ever had. We don’t take any fees.’ And any money we made on movies (such as Insomnia, starring Al Pacino) we have put back in. So we’ve done nothing but lose money. But we’ve got day jobs and we make a good living. When we put aside the issue of money, we’re actually able to get what we want made.” This included Clooney’s striking directorial debut, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, in 2002.
Today, Clooney is one of the few actors in Hollywood who doesn’t just have a “vanity deal” – he can get films made even when he’s not starring in them. Actually, for a heart-throb, there’s a remarkable lack of vanity in the way Clooney enjoys subverting his matinee-idol status – with jokes in Ocean’s Twelve about his getting older, for example. But what’s fascinating about Clooney is that with all the facets to his busy life – writer, director, producer, actor and industry player – he seems remarkably straightforward. He clearly thinks a lot, and says what he thinks. “I don’t give press conferences and preach,” he explains. “But if a journalist asks me a question in an interview, I’ll answer it and I’ll get shit for it and think, ‘Should I not answer a question and say what I personally believe?’
“I prefer to take that risk rather than be on the wrong side of history in 20 years’ time and regret that I stood on the sidelines.”
Clooney certainly didn’t sit on the fence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq and, like almost half of America and much of the world, was dismayed that Kerry lost and Bush won. “I’m friends with James Carville (the Democrat electoral guru who helped to put Bill Clinton in the White House), who said, ‘All you have to do is get up and say: Are you better off than you were four years ago? Do you feel safer? Is your economy in better shape? Is your debt better? Are your civil liberties better? Are we at peace? Are we liked more around the world?’ That’s what surprised me,” says Clooney. “If all the answers are no, you should lose your job for it.”
Clooney’s liberal views are more or less mainstream in Hollywood. They play less well elsewhere – such as Kentucky, for example, where last year there was another close-run electoral race close to Clooney’s heart. George’s father, Nick Clooney, stood for Congress. A member of that ever-rarer breed, the Southern Democrat, Clooney Sr avoided criticising Bush, and stressed his connection with Rosemary more than George, who wanted to help, but knew his presence might be a hindrance: “I could only do a little fundraising, but no campaigning.” Even so, Clooney Sr’s Republican opponents ran a “Hollywood versus the Heartland” campaign against him, and won.
It’s not hard to recognise some of George’s immense respect for his father in Goodnight, And Good Luck, a tribute to what can be achieved by journalism in its noblest guises. “I’m passionate about the responsibility of broadcast journalists and the failure of what television promised.
“Somewhere along the way, people figured out that they could make money on the news.” Which changed things. “I watched my dad fight until he couldn’t win any more and quit.
“All my life,” says Clooney, leaning forward, “I have been fascinated with what are probably the great three moments in American journalism: Murrow taking on McCarthy; Walter Cronkite stepping from behind his desk (something he had never done before), pointing to the map of Vietnam and saying, ‘This is a mistake’; Woodward and Bernstein exposing Watergate.
“Murrow,” he continues, speaking passionately, “is what we don’t have now.
“That one voice that everyone listens to. We knew that he wasn’t a communist, as McCarthy accused him of being. He’d been reporting from the Blitz, telling us the explosions looked like puffs of white rice on black velvet; we trusted him. He was one of the great speakers of our time, like Martin Luther King and Kennedy.” He leafs through the screenplay on his desk, and starts to read aloud from the scene based on Murrow’s devastating indictment, televised on March 9, 1954. “The line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one. The senator from Wisconsin has crossed the line repeatedly. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.” And then Murrow’s signature sign-off, “Goodnight, and good luck.”
The movie is set at the height of the anti-communist witch-hunt in the early Fifties. “My aunt Rosemary was never blacklisted, but she was scared,” Clooney says. Contemporary resonances are obvious: the hard line instigated by fear (this time of terrorism, rather than communism), which risks bending justice out of shape. Meanwhile, American journalism experiences a crisis of confidence following its perceived failure to ask difficult questions in the run-up to war. Clooney doesn’t spell these out: “If journalists want to see parallels with today, it’s for them to draw their own conclusions.”
Shot in LA in black and white, Goodnight, And Good Luck will use television footage from the period, which means the late Senator McCarthy plays himself. (“We couldn’t get another actor to play him – no one would believe it,” says Clooney.) There will be some improvisation, something Soderbergh and Clooney have been experimenting with in two TV series they directed and produced for HBO: K Street, the drama about lobbyists in Washington DC in which politicians, including Carville, Howard Dean and Tom Daschle, take cameo roles; and Unscripted, a drama about struggling actors.
Clooney paid for the pilot of the latter himself. “I wanted to point out the nobility of the profession. Not what I do. But before people get to where I am.”
He took two cameras to the Warner studios, shot it, then took his pilot to HBO, who gave the show the go-ahead. “We set parameters for people and set them loose. We were dirt cheap, it was creative and fun, and it’s in your own hands.”
Clooney won’t rule out a return to theatre. “I’d love that,” he says. “I’ve had discussions with directors, but I don’t want to do something that has already been done. I want to find a new playwright who kicks ass!” But he is aware of how powerful a medium film is, and has a keen sense of the responsibility that he feels should come with that power.
“When money isn’t an issue, you have the obligation to make something interesting. If you’re in the position I’m in – and who knows how long that will last – it doesn’t have to be important, it can be just entertainment. But something that I would go and see.” Making entertainment such as the Ocean’s movies enables Clooney to make more challenging projects. “We used the film as our trump card,” Clooney says, “to get other films made, like Syriana”, a thriller adapted and directed by Stephen Gaghan, for which Clooney had to gain 30lbs.
As for the loss of anonymity that comes with movie-making, “You can’t complain about it,” Clooney says. “Because everyone will say, ‘Hey, I’ll trade with you in a minute,’ and they’re right. But it’s shocking how much you miss it once it’s gone. I’m not whining, I have a great life – much better than it was when I was on ER. Being in people’s living rooms every week breeds a familiarity that could be uncomfortable, because I don’t live a life of velvet ropes. I stand in line like everyone else – I’m terrified of losing those things.”
Justice is important to Clooney, and he won’t let things drop easily, although he’ll try to handle an argument with humour. “It’s funny how you see people in the small things. A producer wants to make a movie with you, so you go to lunch. They’re going to show you how great they are, but then they’ll blow it with an arrogant click of the fingers to the waiter.” He explodes into laughter.
Vocal about politics, Clooney is as tight-lipped as the next star about issues of romance. He says he looks for the same qualities in a woman that he likes in friends. “Beyond the physical attraction, you have to like each other.” Although, even with those looks, “it’s hard when you are famous, because every first date is photographed and it raises the stakes”. His quintessential bachelor status more or less intact, Clooney’s current girlfriend is the British model and TV presenter Lisa Snowden, whom Clooney met in 2001 when they made a Martini commercial together. The two now conduct a long-distance relationship, meeting in LA and Lake Como, where Clooney has a house and spends four months of the year.
The house is “a big part of my life”, says Clooney, who is learning Italian. “Don Cheadle brought his kids. Elliott Gould came.” A shared liking for Italy seems to have been a major factor in the decision by Soderbergh and Clooney to make the sequel, Ocean’s Twelve. “Steven had never been to Italy before and we were in Rome for a press junket, having lunch. On the plane home, Steven said to me, ‘I’ve got an idea.’ Thus, pretty well the entire original cast, including Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, got together with Catherine Zeta-Jones to make another fast-paced crime heist.
“We had a wonderful time,” Clooney says. “But we didn’t really hang out on location like everyone thinks. It’s impossible, especially with Brad.
“Brad’s like Elvis. There were 200 people outside the hotel. Most of the fun was had at my house. I get along with all of them, but we don’t see each other that often. I see a bit of Matt Damon, and did some fundraising with Brad recently. He’s going through a tough time but he handles it better than anyone I know.”
In fact, Clooney’s biggest pals are eight guys he’s known for more than 20 years. When he is in Los Angeles, “we congregate at my house every Sunday for a grill-out and a movie with their wives and kids”. There, George is one of the boys, which must be a welcome respite from the exhausting business of being a screen idol.
But talking to Clooney, you get the sense of an integrity, a desire to pursue the truth, that is more suited to another profession, in another era. “When my mother was working,” he recalls, “often the newsroom would be our babysitter. My sister and I would hang out with my dad and all these smart journalists. I remember watching them in discussion. They were so inspiring that I never forgot it.”u
Ocean’s Twelve is on general release .
George Clooney And Brad Pitt Set To Make Rat Pack Robin Hood
CLOONEY & PITT TO RETEAM FOR RAT PACK ROBIN HOOD
GEORGE CLOONEY and BRAD PITT are reportedly teaming up again for another RAT PACK-inspired movie.
The two pals, who starred in the remake of FRANK SINATRA, DEAN MARTIN and SAMMY DAVIS JR's OCEAN'S ELEVEN and it's sequel OCEAN'S TWELVE, are now in talks to revisit 1964 mob movie ROBIN & THE 7 HOODS.
According to film gossip website MOVIEHOLE.NET, Clooney has bought the rights to the film.
In the original, Sinatra and PETER FALK played feuding Chicago, Illinois, gangsters. The film also featured Martin, Davis Jr and BING CROSBY.
The 1964 version also contained musical moments with Sinatra singing MY KIND OF TOWN and Crosby, Martin and Sinatra teamed up for a rendition of STYLE. It is not known whether Clooney will include tunes in his remake.
George Clooney Has Spinal Surgery For Syriana Injury
CLOONEY GIVEN 'SPINAL CAP' SURGERY
Superstar GEORGE CLOONEY is in the last stages of recovery after suffering severe headaches brought on by fluid leaking out of his spinal column.
Clooney injured his back while filming upcoming movie SYRIANA, and started getting agonising headaches after doctors operated on his neck.
It then took a while for Clooney's condition to be successfully diagnosed, at which point doctors performed 'spinal cap' surgery. The star, who had to wear a neck brace for a while, has now nearly fully recovered.
Clooney's publicist STAN ROSENFIELD tells website PAGESIX.COM, "He was getting tests and the doctors were saying, 'There's nothing wrong with you,' but he was having horrible headaches. He was in excruciating pain."
And, so bad was Clooney's discomfort, he was forced to pull out of promotional duties for sequel OCEAN'S TWELVE.
Rosenfield adds, "He was supposed to leave for New York on 28 November (04), but he couldn't. And he was supposed to leave for Europe on 8 December (04).
He actually drove to the airport, and said, 'Guys, I can't do it.'"
George Clooney Hits Back At Fox News Reporter
CLOONEY ATTACKS O'REILLY OVER TELETHON CRITICISM
GEORGE CLOONEY has gone on the offensive with American news man BILL O'REILLY again, for attacking celebrity charity efforts.
Outspoken FOX news anchor O'Reilly lashed out at Clooney, among others, when the movie star helped organised a telethon in the days after the 9/11 tragedy - and now he's on the attack again.
Stating he's merely "holding the powerful accountable," O'Reilly has questioned the celebrities behind this weekend's (15JAN05) tsunami relief telethon in America - and their reasons for taking part.
Clooney, who will be among those giving up their time for the hour-long TV special, has again taken offence to O'Reilly, and has fired off an angry letter to the broadcaster.
In the missive, the OCEAN'S TWELVE star pokes fun at O'Reilly for getting his charities mixed up in his televised protest last week (06JAN05).
Clooney also alleges that O'Reilly has reverted to attacking charitable stars to boost ratings for his daily show THE O'REILLY FACTOR.
The actor writes, "Your report last Thursday was a pre-emptive strike... not to protect the families affected by the tsunami, but to create more controversy."
Clooney ends the letter by urging O'Reilly to join the relief effort, and stop criticising it, adding,
"This is your chance to put your considerable money where your considerable mouth is... Show up... Help raise money.
Lisa Snowdon Denies Getting Engaged
CLOONEY NOT ENGAGED TO ME, SAYS SNOWDON
Actor GEORGE CLOONEY's reported engagement to LISA SNOWDON has been rubbished by the British TV presenter - because she refuses to live in America.
Actor GEORGE CLOONEY's reported engagement to LISA SNOWDON has been rubbished by the British TV presenter - because she refuses to live in America.
Earlier this week (begs20DEC04) sexy Snowdon was photographed sporting a glittering ring on her wedding finger, but Clooney's on/off girlfriend of three years admits she's too tied down to her Essex, England, roots to set up home in Hollywood.
Snowdon also insists she doesn't want a single aspect of her life to change at present.
She says, "I love my house. I have owned it for a few years now and I have spent a fortune doing it up.
I love my life at the moment and I don't want to change it.
"I do a bit of everything and have a varied lifestyle. I enjoy everything I do and I don't think I could give that up."
George Clooney's Heroics Save Pals Life
CLOONEY SAVES BIKER PAL'S LEG
GEORGE CLOONEY turned hero in Italy this summer (04) after lessons he learned from his mother about how to handle himself in emergencies became useful when a pal was crushed in a road accident.
The hunky movie star recalled his days as DR ROSS on TV medical drama ER when he managed to save his friend GIOVANNI's leg after he was knocked off his motorbike in the countryside.
He says, "Over the summer we're out riding motorcycles in the middle of nowhere. I do through this intersection, there's nobody around.
"Giovanni comes through, and out of nowhere this lady in a car comes racing across and crushes Giovanni's leg.
"I get back to him, and it's a mess. Blood and bone everywhere. No ambulance around for a hundred miles. People start coming over. I don't speak the language, but somehow I'm making them understand: 'From you, I need this. From you, I need that.'
"We get towels, we get bamboo, we use bungee cords to make a splint, we get a car".
George Clooney Now A Fatty For Syriana
FAT' CLOONEY UNRECOGNISABLE
Hollywood hunk GEORGE CLOONEY appreciates what his former love RENEE ZELLWEGER had to go through for BRIDGET JONES - he hated gaining 13 kilograms (30 pounds) for his role in the film SYRIANA.
The OCEANS TWELVE star plays an overweight former CIA officer in his latest movie and was shocked when he caught glimpses of his "unrecognisable" body in the mirror during filming.
He says, "(It was) a good thing for that film and I'm glad I did it, but I would never do it again.
"I'm still in the process of losing the last few pounds. It's hard to do and it's hard on your system."
Oceans Twelve Star George Clooney Looks 50 Say Fans
CLOONEY HORRIFIED BY 'AGED 50' CLAIMS
A scene in forthcoming sequel OCEAN'S TWELVE was inspired by an embarrassing encounter between the film's star GEORGE CLOONEY and a female fan.
The Hollywood heart-throb, 43, was horrified when a devotee approached the actor in between filming the heist caper in Italy over the summer (04), claiming he looked 50 years old.
Clooney says, "That actually happened to me which is why it's in the film.
"I was in Italy with STEVEN SODERBERGH and some of the cast members, when this younger woman asked how old I was.
"I stupidly asked the question you should never ask, which is: 'Well, how old do you think I am?' She said 50.
"I guess my face betrayed me when I replied: 'You think I'm 50,' so she tried to correct herself and asked '51?'
"Steven thought both our reactions were so funny, he had to put it in the film.''
George Clooney Dislikes Award Ceremonies
CLOONEY IS NO OSCARS FAN
Hollywood heart-throb GEORGE CLOONEY has never attended an OSCARS ceremony because he find awards shows embarrassing if he hasn't been nominated.
The OCEAN'S ELEVEN star would be much happier if awards ceremonies focused more on making quality movies rather than celebrity back slapping.
He says, "I've never been to the Oscars - I don't know anything about them. I think that the only reason there should be an awards show is because there's a possibility it will get people to make better films.
"For example, some films get a great boost from ACADEMY AWARD campaigns and because of that they get to be made. I don't particularly think it's a good thing to try and compare pieces of art.
"The only time I've gone to any awards show is the time that I'm nominated.
Otherwise it seems kind of silly and embarrassing."
Clooney Mafia claims denied
Reports that members of the Mafia were trying to extort money from production staff on the film set of Ocean's Twelve have been dismissed.
Filming for the sequel to Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven, starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt, took place in Sicily earlier this month, reports the BBC.
Police feared that Mafia suspects seen loitering near the set may have been looking to blackmail film-makers
But producer Jerry Weintraub said the reports were "nonsense".
We were never approached by any Mafia for extortion money," said Weintraub.
"It's ridiculous. It's total fabrication. They said I was worried about my stars. That was nonsense.
"No one ever threatened any of us. If anybody was going to get extorted it was me.
"All of Italy was great. We had nothing but a wonderful time. I hate for them to get a bum rap like this."
A number of scenes in the movie were shot in the seaside town of Scopello, western Sicily.
Police official Giuseppe Linares said the film's crew and cast were unaware of an undercover investigation into local Mafia activity.