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George Clooney Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (107) | Personal Quotes (67) | Salary (14)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 6 May 1961Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Birth NameGeorge Timothy Clooney
Nickname Gorgeous George
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and game show host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). He is of largely Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney spent most of this youth in Ohio and Kentucky, and graduated from Augusta High School. He was very active in sports such as basketball and baseball, and tried out for the Cincinatti Reds, but was not offered a contract.

After his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, got him a small part in a feature film, Clooney began to pursue acting. His first major role was on the sitcom E/R (1984) as "Ace", an orderly. More roles soon followed, including "George Burnett", the handsome handyman on The Facts of Life (1979); "Booker Brooks", a supervisor on Roseanne (1988); and "Detective James Falconer" on Sisters (1991). Clooney had his breakthrough when he was cast as "Dr. Doug Ross" on the award-winning drama series, ER (1994), opposite Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, and Julianna Margulies.

While filming "ER", Clooney starred in a number of high profile film roles, such as Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), and One Fine Day (1996), opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1997, Clooney took on the role of "Batman" in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin (1997). The film was a moderate success in the box office, but was slammed by critics, notably for the nipple-laden Bat suit. Clooney went on to star in Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight (1998), Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998), and David O. Russell's Three Kings (1999).

In 1999, Clooney left "ER" (though he would return for the season finale) and appeared in a number of films, including O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Perfect Storm (2000), and Ocean's Eleven (2001). Collaborating once again with Steven Soderbergh, "Ocean's Eleven" received critical acclaim, earned more than $450 million at the box office, and spawned two sequels: Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).

In 2002, Clooney made his directorial debut with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), an adaptation of TV producer Chuck Barris's autobiography. This was the first film under the banner of "Section Eight Productions", a production company he founded with Steven Soderbergh. The company also produced many acclaimed films, including Far from Heaven (2002), Syriana (2005), A Scanner Darkly (2006), and Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005). Clooney won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in "Syriana", and was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for "Good Night, and Good Luck".

In 2006, "Section Eight" was shut down so that Soderbergh could concentrate on directing, and Clooney founded a new production company, "Smokehouse Productions", with his friend and long-time business partner, Grant Heslov.

Clooney went on to produce and star in Michael Clayton (2007) (which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor), directed and starred in Leatherheads (2008), and took leading roles in Burn After Reading (2008), The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), and Jason Reitman's Up in the Air (2009). Clooney received critical acclaim for his performance in "Up in the Air" and was nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe and Academy Award. He didn't win that year, but took home both Best Actor awards (as well as countless nominations) for his role as a father who finds out his wife was unfaithful as she lay in a coma in Alexander Payne's The Descendants (2011). Throughout his career, Clooney has been heralded for his political activism and humanitarian work. He has served as one of the "United Nations Messengers of Peace" since 2008, has been an advocate for the Darfur conflict, and organized the "Hope for Haiti" telethon, to raise money for the victims of the 2010 earthquake. In March of 2012, Clooney was arrested for civil disobedience while protesting at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C.

Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam, from 1989 until 1993. After their divorce, he swore he would never marry again. Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman bet him $10,000 that he would have children by the age of 40, and sent him a check shortly after his birthday. Clooney returned the funds and bet double or nothing he wouldn't have children by the age of 50. Although he has remained a consummate bachelor, Clooney has had many highly publicized relationships, most recently with former WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous and Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Spouse (2)

Amal Alamuddin (27 September 2014 - present)
Talia Balsam (15 December 1989 - 17 September 1993) (divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Often plays scoundrels that are likable and have redeeming qualities
His movies often reflect his liberal political beliefs
Silver/grey hair

Trivia (107)

Best man at the wedding of Richard Kind.
Tried out for a position on the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.
He says he will never get married again, not have any children, but Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman both bet $10,000 each that he would be a father before he turned 40. They were both wrong, and each sent him a check. He returned the money, betting double or nothing that he won't have kids by age 50.
Waged war against the paparazzi by boycotting Entertainment Tonight (1981), the sister show of Hard Copy (1989), which had filmed Clooney without his permission.
Was voted "Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine.
Was voted "Best Dressed Male Television Star."
Chosen by People (USA) magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World."
Cousin of Miguel Ferrer, Rafael Ferrer, Gabriel Ferrer, Monsita Ferrer, Maria Providencia Ferrer Murdock, Carlos Campo, Cathi Campo, Cari Leary, and Cristina Stretz. Half-cousin of Mica Darley. Cousin-in-law of Debby Boone and Terry Botwick.
Uncle is the late actor José Ferrer.
Nephew of singer/actress Rosemary Clooney and Betty Clooney. Half-nephew of Gail Stone.
Educated at Northern Kentucky University.
Owned a pet pig named Max, given to him by Kelly Preston, for eighteen years. Max died on December 1, 2006.
Studied acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Coincidentally, his first steady TV role was in the medical sitcom E/R (1984) that was based in Chicago and co-starred Elliott Gould, Mary McDonnell and Jason Alexander. Ten years later it would take another TV series ER (1994) (also based in Chicago) to finally launch him into the galaxy of superstardom.
He was talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell's very first guest when her TV show debuted (The Rosie O'Donnell Show: Episode dated 10 June 1996 (1996)).
Committed to O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) before even reading a script, because of his wish to work with the Coen brothers. He even accepted a significantly lower salary than usual.
Reportedly got into a fistfight with Three Kings (1999) director David O. Russell on the set. Russell had yelled and derided a few extras out of frustration and Clooney didn't appreciate it. Russell has since said, "I wouldn't make another George Clooney movie if they paid me $20 million."
Good friends with actor Mark Wahlberg and Ben Weiss.
Has stated in several interviews that he has suffered from bleeding stomach ulcers and is still on medication for stomach pain.
Ranked #27 on Premiere's 2002 Power 100 List.
Frequently stars in so-called "heist movies" that revolve around some type of robbery: Out of Sight (1998), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Three Kings (1999), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Ocean's Eleven (2001), Welcome to Collinwood (2002), Ocean's Twelve (2004), Ocean's Thirteen (2007), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).
Ex-son-in-law of Martin Balsam and Joyce Van Patten while he was married to Talia Balsam.
First cousin once removed of Gabi Ferrer.
One of People Magazine's "Top 50 Bachelors" (2002).
Was a pallbearer at the funeral of his late aunt, Rosemary Clooney.
He got his start in a movie starring his cousin, Miguel Ferrer. Later, after Clooney had established himself on ER (1994), Ferrer made a guest appearance on the very first show. George's aunt, Rosemary Clooney, made guest appearances on two shows the first month ER (1994) aired.
Ranked #29 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List.
Is the sixth actor to play Batman.
No. 3 of 10 Top Sexiest Men in People magazine. (2003)
His voice was dubbed for the singing moments in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000).
Heads his own film and television production company, Maysville Pictures.
Shared an apartment with actor Thom Mathews during the early 1980s.
Was the second man, after Richard Gere, to make an appearance on the cover of Vogue magazine.
Ranked #16 on VH1's "100 Hottest Hotties."
Rode a bicycle to get to auditions as a struggling actor.
Son of actor and AMC host Nick Clooney and Nina Warren Clooney.
He loves the show South Park (1997). He got a hold of Trey Parker, the creator of the series, and asked for a part in an episode. He was given the role of "Sparky," the gay dog, which involved little more than panting and yelping. However, when it was time for South Park to go to the big screen, Clooney got a full speaking part, as an ER surgeon.
He has Irish, English, German, and smaller amounts (to varying degrees) of Scots-Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, and French Huguenot, roots.
At 43, he was voted sexiest male celebrity in a 'Naughty Forties' poll conducted for UK television station FX.
Shared an L.A. home with Kelly Preston when both were struggling actors.
Auditioned five times for Ridley Scott for the role of J.D. in Thelma & Louise (1991), a role that ultimately went to future friend Brad Pitt and catapulted Pitt to super-stardom.
Born 2:48 AM, EST.
He loves beer. He does voiceovers for Budweiser TV commercials and allegedly had a beer keg installed in his dressing room during filming of Ocean's Eleven (2001).
Lived in a friend's closet while struggling as an actor in L.A., early in his career.
Is a Dallas Mavericks fan.
Received the first "Spirit of Independence Award" of the Los Angeles Film Festival and Find Independent (FIND). [June, 2005]
He and his Ocean's Eleven (2001) and Ocean's Twelve (2004) co-stars, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Elliott Gould, and Bruce Willis who did a cameo in Ocean's Twelve as himself, all have guest-starred on the TV show Friends (1994), though not in the same episodes.
Appears on the cover of the first Men's Vogue. (2005)
In October 2005, after an accident on the set of his movie Syriana (2005), he suffered from back pain, bad headaches, and memory loss. After several spine surgeries, he fully recovered.
Sought the role of Jack in Sideways (2004). However, the film's director, Alexander Payne, felt that he was too big a star, and turned him down in favor of Thomas Haden Church.
Owns a villa in Laglio at Lake Como, Italy, where he lives several months of the year.
In winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Syriana (2005), he becomes the second generation of his family to win an Oscar. His uncle, José Ferrer, won a Best Actor Oscar for playing in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950). Also appearing in Syriana (2005) was Christopher Plummer, who once played Christian to Ferrer's Cyrano in a subsequent production, and later succeeded Ferrer as Cyrano as well.
Is the first actor who played Batman (in Batman & Robin (1997) to win an Oscar (for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana (2005)). Five years later, Christian Bale won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter (2010).
Frequently involves himself in projects involving the "Golden Age" of television. For example, he produced and starred in Fail Safe (2000), a throwback to the live television plays of the 1950s and 1960s; he directed and appeared in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), a movie about Chuck Barris' career in early game shows; and he directed, wrote, and appeared in Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), a movie about Edward R. Murrow's battle with Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Ranked #21 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. Had ranked #43 in 2005.
Turned down the role of Sgt. John McLoughlin in World Trade Center (2006).
As of 2006, he is the only regular cast member from ER (1994) to win an Oscar (for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana (2005)).
Was originally to star in Jack Frost (1998) but chose to do Batman & Robin (1997) instead. His part went to Michael Keaton, who had previously starred as Batman in Batman (1989) and in Batman Returns (1992).
Played a gangster in seven movies: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Out of Sight (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Ocean's Eleven (2001), Welcome to Collinwood (2002), Ocean's Twelve (2004), and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).
In August 2006, he and his producing partner Steven Soderbergh decided to close down their Section Eight production company after a 6-year working partnership.
He and Grant Heslov founded production company Smoke House after his production company Section Eight closed down.
He auditioned for the role of Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs (1992), but was turned down.
In 2006, voted People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive".
From 1996 through 2003, stuntman Brad Martin served as Clooney's personal stunt double.
His famed "Roman haircut" was actually an accident. While filming From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), he wanted to make his character Seth Gecko look really crazy with a chopped off hairstyle. But the haircut became popular and turned into a positive.
Suffered from Bell's palsy for a time while he was in high school.
In December 2006, he traveled to China and Egypt to make a personal plea to Chinese and Egyptian officials to use their ties with the Sudanese government to help stop the violence in the Darfur region.
Was considered for the part of Reed Richards in Fantastic Four (2005).
His The Peacemaker (1997) co-star Nicole Kidman presented him his Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2006.
In 2001 was voted Most Eligible Bachelor by People Magazine.
Clooney grew up working in tobacco fields. In his late teens, he took up smoking and continued to do so through his late 20's. A decision he regrets and has discussed in numerous interviews. He finally decided to quit when his favorite Uncle died after a long battle with lung cancer. Clooney's parents were non-smokers, although many of his Aunts and Uncles smoked.
In September 2006 he addressed the United Nations Security Council, urging it to act over Darfur.
Helped celebrate a plan to rebuild a hospital in hurricane-devastated Louisiana alongside former President George Bush. The pair appeared outside the courthouse in Cameron Parish, the only surviving building in the town following Hurricane Rita. Bush presented local officials with a check for $2 million from the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund. The money will help run South Cameron Memorial Hospital once it has been rebuilt. Former ER (1994) star Clooney quipped, "There is good news in all of this, which is that when the hospital gets up and running, I will not be doing any of the medical procedures" (20 December 2006).
In 2007, he was ranked #13 on Entertainment Weekly's 'The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood'.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year at $25 million.
Supported Senator Barack Obama's bid to win the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election.
He and his girlfriend, Sarah Larson, had an accident in 2007 while riding a motorcycle. She broke some toes, and Clooney broke a rib.
Turned down two roles which went to Kevin Kline: "Artemus Gordon" in Wild Wild West (1999) and "Guy Noir" in A Prairie Home Companion (2006).
Merited a place in Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" (Artists & Entertainers section) with a tribute written by Roseanne Barr (Issue May 12, 2008).
His palatial villa overlooking Italy's Lake Como comprises 15 rooms, a wine cellar, and a master bedroom suite atop three floors. In his garage, Clooney keeps his collection of Piaggio motorbikes. Docked at his pier is a Colombo classic powerboat.
Quit the WGA in April 2008 after the union turned down his wish to be credited as a co-writer for Leatherheads (2008). He felt that he was let down by the union.
His favorite song is "Destination Moon" by Dinah Washington.
Friend of Rande Gerber.
On the DVD commentary for Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), George Clooney says that shortly after he met Grant Heslov in 1982, Heslov loaned Clooney $200.00 to buy his first set of headshots, and they have been friends ever since (and later writing and producing partners).
Close friends with actress Julia Roberts and actor Brad Pitt.
His production company, Section 8 Productions, is named after Jamie Farr's M*A*S*H (1972) character "Maxwell Q Klinger" (Klinger tried to get out of the army via a section 8).
Lives in Los Angeles, California.
He is known for his self-mocking sense of humor. The creators of South Park (1997) spoofed his Oscar acceptance speech in a South Park episode, and his political views in Team America: World Police (2004). Clooney commented that he would have been really disappointed, had he not been spoofed in the latter.
Has an older sister named Adelia "Ada" Clooney Zeidler. She married the late Norman Monroe Zeidler, an artist and U.S. Army captain, who died of a heart attack in 2004. They have two children, Allison and Nick, who are the only grandchildren of Nina and Nick Clooney.
Appeared on the cover of GQ magazine four times: March '95, October '97, November '98 (with Harrison Ford and Chris Rock) and January '03.
His role as Danny Ocean in the Ocean's Eleven (2001) trilogy was parodied on Robot Chicken (2005), and the character was voiced by his cousin Miguel Ferrer.
Three of the films he has directed are concerned with jobs held by himself or his father. Nick Clooney was a news anchor, and Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) is about television reporters. Nick later ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress. George plays a man running for President in The Ides of March (2011). Leatherheads (2008) was about college football. Before becoming an actor, George pursued a career as a professional athlete.
Was in a 2-year relationship with Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis (2009-2011).
Relationship with Stacy Keibler [2011-2013].
During the 2012 Newsweek Magazine Oscar roundtable, Clooney told a story about working for the women's shoe department of a Cincinnati, Ohio, department store in 1979. He said that it was fashionable at that time for some women to have their fourth toe surgically removed so that they could more easily fit into tight pumps and heels. He came to know which women had had this procedure done, and he always tried to pass those customers of onto his coworkers, since he found the sight of the deliberately missing toe so disturbing.
He and his father, Nick Clooney, were arrested, on March 16, 2012, for participating in a staged protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C.
Is supporting President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, and hosted a fundraiser for the President at his home on May 10, 2012. A record $15 million in contributions was raised.
Has been friends with Sandra Bullock for around 25 years. They appear in a movie together for the first time in Gravity (2013).
Suffers from a form of malaria that surfaces from time to time; he has to live with it for the rest of his life.
Directed one Oscar nominated performance: David Strathairn in Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005).
In Amsterdam (Netherlands) filming for Ocean's Twelve (2004). [May 2004]
Appointed a U.N. "Messenger of Peace". [January 2008]
As of 2014, has appeared in 6 films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Thin Red Line (1998), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Michael Clayton (2007), Up in the Air (2009), The Descendants (2011) and Gravity (2013), and produced the Oscar- winning Argo (2012).
In 2002, he made a controversial joke about Charlton Heston getting Alzheimer's disease; for which he refused to apologize.
He and his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, have both shared a role with their respective fathers. Nick Clooney plays the aged version of George's character in The Monuments Men (2014). Miguel Ferrer played the younger version of Jose Ferrer's character on the Magnum, P.I. (1980) episode, Magnum, P.I.: Lest We Forget (1981).
Engaged to British attorney Amal Alamuddin [April 2014].
Among the guests at his wedding to Amal Alamuddin were Bono, Matt Damon, Cindy Crawford, Richard Kern and Anna Wintour.

Personal Quotes (67)

[discussing possible casting choices Mel Gibson and Nicolas Cage for Three Kings (1999) before he had signed to the movie] Luckily, both those guys were tie and gagged in my apartment, and that was a problem for the casting department.
I don't like to share my personal life... it wouldn't be personal if I shared it.
[on the fact he had nothing to do with the breakup of Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt] I was too busy breaking up Tom and Nicole's marriage.
[speaking about the 2003 start to the Iraq war] You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking. These days it only matters who's in charge. Right now that's us -for a while, at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win. . . . I believe [Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld] thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can't beat anyone anymore.
It's not about an opening weekend. It's about a career, building a set of films you're proud of. Period.
Ninety percent of films are pretty mediocre, but they have a built-in audience and open on 3,000 screens.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) bombed. But I can take it. Most of the films I've done haven't done particularly well. I'm surprised I'm continuing to work.
Directing is really exciting. In the end, it's more fun to be the painter than the paint.
I don't believe in happy endings, but I do believe in happy travels, because ultimately...you die at a very young age, or you live long enough to watch your friends die. It's a mean thing, life.
We've been trying to push our involvement within the studio system, sort of push the things that we've learned from foreign and independent films through the '80s and push those things back into the studio system. Like Out of Sight (1998) isn't your standard studio film by any means; Three Kings (1999) wasn't the standard Warner Bros. kind of film.
Directors are the captains of the ship, and it's your job as the lead actor to make sure that the rest of the cast understand that by doing whatever he says.
See, the first thing about actors is, you're just trying to get a job; and you audition and audition and you finally get them. And you still consider yourself an auditioning actor. I auditioned for One Fine Day (1996), I wasn't offered that. So you're still in that 'Hey, I'm just trying to get a job' thing. Then, you get to the point where, if you decide to do it, then they'll make the film. That's a different kind of responsibility, and it usually takes a couple of films to catch up. And then you have to actually pay attention to the kind of films that you're making.
You got to think of things at their worst, not at their best. And Out of Sight (1998) was the first time where I had a say, and it was the first good screenplay that I'd read where I just went, 'That's it.'And even though it didn't do really well box office-wise-we sort of tanked again-it was a really good film. And I realized from that point on that it was strictly screenplay first. And then it becomes easier, because once you eliminate the idea of doing a vehicle. . . believe me, there's nobody who's encouraging us to make these films, not agents, not . . . we're not getting paid for these things, and it's not like we're going to make a mint.
[on making Ocean's Eleven (2001)] It was the easiest shoot ever for any actor, and we all knew it when we were doing it. We were like, it's never going to be better than this. He [director Steven Soderbergh] was in hell because it was a really complicated film to put together. We were like, we're in Las Vegas, we go to work at one in the afternoon, and we gotta be done by six at night. Six hours of work. Steven was editing all night.
I'm a hybrid. I succeed in both worlds. I hope that selling out on Ocean's Eleven (2001) is not such a bad deal. The trade-off is, I get to go make something uncommercial that will probably lose money.
Steven [Steven Soderbergh] and I have a great relationship inside the studio system. We make the kinds of films we want and commercial films at the same time. Steven and I have lost a lot of money. We are way in the hole. But this is not a day job. I've got some cash. I have a nice house in Italy. I do OK.
It's true information is harder to get these days. When I was growing up there were three networks - three news shows, delivering the same information. You took that information into your home and you formed your own opinions. Now we have 130 channels. You go to the channel that plays to your belief pattern. We start with different sets of facts, it's more polarizing.
[on Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)] I'm not a snob, I like entertaining films as well. But when you do a film like this, or like Three Kings (1999) - films that get you in a bit of trouble - it's fun to open up a debate.
[Responding to media reports that he had contemplated suicide following surgery] I think, if you listen to the piece, I certainly did not talk about wanting to kill myself. I was talking about the idea of living for years in that kind of pain. Please don't use my words out of context.
An acting career usually has about a shelf life of ten years before people get sick of seeing you. It's a good thing to have a job to fall back on and I really do enjoy directing.
I doubt anybody gets taken seriously for very long. I'll be on some reality show in about six years going, Hey, I had a great year in 2006.
People thought I was Tom and Nicole's bodyguard. They'd come up and go, "Is it okay if I go up and ask for an autograph?' It was good. I'd charge 'em three bucks a person. Yeah, you gotta make some money off of that.
I'm the flavor of the month.
Run for office? No. I've slept with too many women, I've done too many drugs, and I've been to too many parties.
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.
Here is my theory in debunking photographs in magazines. You know, the paparazzi photographs. I want to spend every single night for three months going out with a different famous actress. You know, Halle Berry one night, Salma Hayek the next, and then walk on the beach holding hands with Leonardo DiCaprio. People would still buy the magazines, they'd still buy the pictures, but they would always go, 'I don't know if these guys are putting us on or not.'
You never really learn much from hearing yourself talk.
I don't live at full tilt the way I used to. You begin to hate waking up with the kind of hangover you get from going on huge benders with your buddies. Also, since my neck surgeries, I've been forced to take things easier and not beat up my body the way I used to. I'm more cautious.
The idea that every time you do a film you're supposed to be tortured confuses me. I mean, guys who say 'Oh, it's really tough, my character is really suffering" - come on. For us, even in the rotten ones, we've had a good time. I don't think you have to suffer.
We're the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered. And we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular. This academy - this group of people - gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this academy, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch.
You can only get so far without discernible talent - then you either work, or use cheap publicity tricks to keep the public's attention. Paris (Hilton) has no reason to complain if she is on the end of bad publicity.
[on what makes a man stylish] For me, a sense of humor is number one. It's certainly what's most attractive. It's not the first thing you notice at 21, but it's the first thing you notice now. If celebrity is a credit card, I'm using my credit. My job is to try and find ways of talking about issues that move us forward. I don't make policy, but I can shine a light on faulty or good policy. The Not On Our Watch launch reached more than 9 million people. We need to focus global attention on the plight of the 2.5 million civilians who have fled their homes. Rather than talk about who I'm dating, let's talk about saving lives.
[on celebrity activism] You don't want to be a spokesperson unless you are absolutely committed to a cause because you can hurt it. I've been asked to help represent environmental groups. I'm a big proponent of cleaning up the environment. I have two electric cars. But I also have a big weak spot because I've flown on private jets. However, I welcome any of these dumb pundits who make celebrities out to be bad guys to a discussion about Darfur. Because I've been there and I've met all the players, and I guarantee you the pundits haven't.
[on who will win the Best Actor Oscar in 2008] If you want my honest opinion, I think it's going to be Daniel Day-Lewis [for There Will Be Blood (2007)]. He sort of irritates all of us because he's so good. I'll tell you right now, I don't like him!
[on films made between 1964 and 1976] It's 12 years and you could find ten films a year that are masterpieces. They don't make those films anymore. You couldn't come near making those films.
Had I not got the Thursday night ten o'clock slot at ER (1994), if they'd put us on Friday night, then I wouldn't have a film career. That's luck, not my own genius, though I like to think it was.
I'm protected as an actor by a really good screenplay, number one; and then a really good director, number two; and then really good actors, number three - but first and foremost a good screenplay. You cannot make a good film out of a bad script. You can make a bad film out of a good script - easily. I've seen that happen before, but you can't do it the other way around; it always has to be the screenplay.
I didn't become really successful until I was in my thirties. I can still remember sitting on the closet floor of my buddy's house, completely broke. My friends would want to go out to dinner, to get a hamburger, and I couldn't afford to go. They had the money to pay, but I didn't want them to pay. That happened a lot. At one point, I remember my buddy Brad loaning me a hundred dollars. He's now running our production company. I'm still paying that debt off, you know?
Here's your options: Live long enough to watch your friends die, or die young. Now, I'm not pessimistic at all. I'm just saying I realize that's true. I don't want to see any of my buddies die, and I don't have any interest in dying young, either. But I had to come to terms with what I'm not going to do.
I never thought Batman & Robin (1997) was going to be a great film. I thought it was a great opportunity for me. And suddenly we're filming. The script isn't together. I'm just miserable in the suit, trying to make scenes work. That's not the way to make a movie. The thing is, it took Batman & Robin to get to the point where I am now. When I got in a position to greenlight a picture and get the picture made, I really had to adjust my thinking. Because when you're an actor, you're thinking about getting good roles. You go, "That's a great part!" And you sign on to make the movie. Only now, those movies are being greenlit because you're doing them, and when the reviews come out, you're being held responsible not just for what you did in the film, but for the entire film. From here on in, I realised, it's my responsibility. If I'm going to blow it, if I'm going to bomb, it's going to be on my taste. So I started out doing Out of Sight (1998) and Three Kings (1999) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and making only films I'd go see. Now, that doesn't always end well. Sometimes a movie doesn't work. But the lesson of Batman & Robin was a great one.
I'd rather have a rectal examination on live TV by a fellow with cold hands than have a Facebook page!
If the movie makes money, I make money. If I don't, I've still made the movie I wanted to make.
I never wear makeup for movies and now it's starting to show. It's funny, because most male actors work with actresses who are considerably younger. But earlier in my career I was working with a lot of actresses who were my age or older so people always thought I was older anyway; and now I'm going through this thing with people thinking I'm about 60. But I'm kind of comfortable with getting older because it's better than the other option, which is being dead. So I'll take getting older.
[on the paranormal] I'm not a big believer in much of that. Everybody goes through déjà vu and things like that, but I don't really go for that stuff. I find it mostly to be coincidence.
[2000 quote on his friends keeping him grounded] I've got eight buddies: The Boys. They've been my friends for 20 years. Every Sunday we ride motorcycles and play basketball together. For Christmas this year, the boys came out and there were new bikes sitting out there-new Indians for each of them. The best part of having money is sharing it with your buddies. I lived on their closet floors when I was broke and they had money and were working. They've been through this whole ride with me. So now, when someone comes up to me and says, "You're so brilliant," they look over at me and go, "Man, can you believe that shit?" I met them when I first moved out here, in acting classes. Richard Kind, who's on Spin City (1996), is one of them. When his father died of a heart attack, Richard called and said he was going to Trenton for the funeral. All the boys were immersed in work at that point and had no time, but I called them up and told them what happened. There were no commercial flights available, so I chartered a jet. We didn't tell him we were coming. We sat in the back of the synagogue and Richard was in front with his back to us. When he got up and started to talk about his dad, he saw us and started sobbing. He said, "I'm sorry, but I just saw my best friends back there." There was this amazing feeling that every one of these guys had dropped everything just to be there. That's what it's like. People like that keep you sane.
[2000 quote] The truth is, most actors I know aren't assholes. They often get that reputation because people around them are assholes. The people around you can treat people like shit and pretend they are doing it to protect you. Once, my assistant was rude to someone. I said, "You know, you represent me when you talk to people." So you have to be careful. And that's not to say people don't treat people badly in this business. I once had lunch with a movie producer who was completely dismissive and rude to our waiter, which told me all I needed to know about him. I know that someone like that will be nice to me right now - I'm in a position where he wants to be nice to me, since he needs something from me. But what happens if I'm not in that position anymore? If he treats everyone else dismissively, he'll treat me dismissively. He isn't the type of person you want to work with.
[2000 - On the downside of fame] In Los Angeles, there are a million famous people around, so you are left alone. They see Mel Gibson at the grocery store, so they're not impressed with me. But if you go to any other town and walk into a bar, you can never have a normal experience. Once people have a few drinks, they get brave. All of a sudden, there is a crowd of guys going, "Dude!" and hanging on to me. They want to buy me a drink and sit down and talk. But I've got my friends, see. I don't want a bunch of guys coming over to buy me drinks. The funny part is what I end up doing: I'm polite and I sit and talk to them. I wind up doing the things a girl would do in the same sort of situation at a bar.
[2000 quote] I'm different from a lot of guys. I don't go up to girls I don't know in a bar and ask them to dance. I never have. Never. I've never gone up to somebody I don't know and asked them out. I just won't do it and never did, because I never wanted to take my ego, as fragile as any guy's, and hand it to some girl so that she could demolish it. To me it has always seemed like a stupid thing to do. So in terms of, like, "Hey, you want to go out?" I don't do it.
[2000 quote on the beginning of fame] Here's an example of how it works. I had never been to the Playboy Mansion and really wanted to go. When I finally did, it was for one of the Mansion's pajama parties, where I was hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jim Carrey. We were all sort of protecting one another; you don't want to seem like you're desperate. I grew up with the magazine, so naturally I wanted to see the Grotto. When I got there, I was cornered by about 15 people, most of them pretty girls. But it's not like you might imagine. Instead, they all wanted to have their picture taken with me. When that happens, it's like you're a cardboard cutout for people to stand next to. It's not like talking to a girl and getting to know her. At the height of it, when there were people pulling at me from every direction and it was at its most embarrassing, some guy comes over and says, "Look at this shit, man! You got it made! Chicks are all over you." " Meanwhile, I was thinking how much easier it was before this. Then it was just about being a guy talking to a girl and all the other stuff that's so interesting about dating-that dance you do. You see somebody at a party and lock eyes and eventually get closer and closer to each other. Somehow you find a way to talk and maybe-all that stuff. That's a turn-on. That has been taken away from me. If you were to ask what I miss about the anonymity that I used to have, it's that experience, that slow and natural getting to know someone-that kind of electricity.
[2000 quote] I'm a 39-year-old man. In the way I was raised, this is the time when you make your mark. In your 20s, you figure out what it is you're going to be. You do a lot of different jobs. By your late 20s, you sort of have some idea of what it is. Then you spend your 30s and a lot of your 40s making your mark. You spend your 50s being able to reap the benefits of the work that you've done.
In college, I basically partied a lot. You gotta understand. We're a very strict Catholic family. Curfew was at nine p.m. when I was a senior in high school. So I got out of the house and thought, Oh my God! People don't ever really like to talk about this anymore, but there was a period of time when blow was considered OK, like it won't hurt you at all. It was almost mainstream. All the designer drugs were OK-Quaaludes and blow. So that was the time in college for me: Drugs and chasing girls. I came from a town of 1500 people to Cincinnati. I would visit class every once in a while and stop by and go, "How's everybody doing?" I was still a responsible kid, but I didn't take school seriously. I had jobs. I sold men's suits and shoes and worked in stockrooms of department stores, and I cut tobacco when it was the season. I was paying for my thing along the way. But I quit school.
[2000 - on a part he wished he had gotten] The part that Brad Pitt played in Thelma & Louise (1991). It was down to three actors, including Brad and me, at one time. I read about five times with Geena Davis. I thought I was going to get it, but Brad did. The part catapulted him. I didn't watch the movie for a couple of years and then rented it on tape one night. I watched it and, of course, he's perfect in the role, better than I would have been.
[on working with David O. Russell on Three Kings (1999)] He'd throw off his headset and scream, "Today the sound department fucked me!" For me, it came to a head a couple of times. Once, he went after a camera-car driver who I knew from high school. I had nothing to do with his getting his job, but David began yelling and screaming at him and embarrassing him in front of everybody. I told him, "You can yell and scream and even fire him, but what you can't do is humiliate him in front of people. Not on my set, if I have any say about it". Another time, he screamed at the script supervisor and made her cry. I wrote him a letter and said, "Look, I don't know why you do this. You've written a brilliant script, and I think you're a good director. Let's not have a set like this. I don't like it and I don't work well like this". I'm not one of those actors who likes things in disarray. He read the letter and we started all over again. But later, we were three weeks behind schedule, which puts some pressure on you, and he was in a bad mood. These army kids, who were working as extras, were supposed to tackle us. There were three helicopters in the air and 300 extras on the set. It was a tense time, and a little dangerous, too. David wanted one of the extras to grab me and throw me down. This kid was a little nervous about it, and David walked up to him and grabbed him. He pushed him onto the ground. He kicked him and screamed, "Do you want to be in this fucking movie? Then throw him to the fucking ground!" The second assistant director came up and said, "You don't do that, David. You want them to do something, you tell me". David grabbed his walkie-talkie and threw it on the ground. He screamed, "Shut the fuck up! Fuck you", and the AD goes, "Fuck you! I quit". He walked off. It was a dangerous time. I'd sent him this letter. I was trying to make things work, so I went over and put my arm around him. I said, "David, it's a big day. But you can't shove, push or humiliate people who aren't allowed to defend themselves". He turned on me and said, "Why don't you just worry about your fucked-up act? You're being a dick. You want to hit me? You want to hit me? Come on, pussy, hit me". I'm looking at him like he's out of his mind. Then, he started banging me on the head with his head. He goes, "Hit me, you pussy. Hit me". Then, he got me by the throat and I went nuts. Waldo, my buddy, one of the boys, grabbed me by the waist to get me to let go of him. I had him by the throat. I was going to kill him. Kill him. Finally, he apologized, but I walked away. By then, the Warner Bros. guys were freaking out. David sort of pouted through the rest of the shoot and we finished the movie, but it was truly, without exception, the worst experience of my life.
[2000 quote] When I first started out in television, I took any job that came along. It was, 'Let's just get a job, any job'. I fought to get ER (1994) and I got it and it changed my life. Then, when I started doing movies, the same thing happened. At first, I did anything that I could get. But I learned. In TV, I learned to focus on the script, but I didn't apply that lesson to movies. But the cliché is true: You can take a good script and make a bad movie. But you can't take a bad script and make a good movie.
[2000 quote, Playboy Magazine] I love Spencer Tracy. Love him. He's a hero of mine. I heard he never wore makeup, so I've never worn makeup, ever. I won't put it on in any movie. I'm dark complexioned, so I can get away with it. I cut my own hair. It's sort of still being scrappy. It makes you feel like a guy still. I still can take my motorcycle apart and put it back together again. It keeps you feeling like you're still a guy. You have to fight for that. What happens when you're famous is that you get a flat tire and come back and your assistants have fixed it for you. You'll come into a bar and it's really fun and exciting and a guy comes over and says, "Mr. Clooney, come with us", and they take you to a private room in the back. You're thinking, I don't want to be in here. I want to be out there. What the fuck am I doing in here? So you have to fight it as much as you can. It's possible to be a guy with your friends. You get on your motorcycles, you head out on the road. It's as good as it gets.
[on The Ides of March (2011)] It's not a bad thing to hold a mirror up and look at some of the things we're doing [politically]. Everybody makes moral choices that better themselves and hurt someone else. And then we look at whether the means justify the ends. So The Ides of March could've been literally set in Wall Street.
[during the 2012 Newsweek Magazine Oscars Roundtable] "That ego issue, which is always an interesting thing. What happens is, you get a modicum of success, and then it becomes about the strangest shit you've ever seen. I am from Kentucky, okay? We try not to live in trailers. That is not something that...we don't brag about being in a double wide, or the largest trailer. And all of a sudden, somebody will come up on the set--and I've had this happen, where it's like, they're upset because their trailer isn't the same size. And you go, 'take my trailer,' because, honestly, that's not what I would consider something to brag about. And it becomes about certain things, and oftentimes it is people who haven't experienced it for a period of time, or people who are trying to hold on to something...being in a trailer is not fun."
[on Paul Newman's performance in The Verdict (1982)] That was the first time I was very aware of good acting.
[on his support for President Obama's reelection] I fund raised for him [in 2008] I didn't do any campaigning. I really don't think it helps to have well-known, famous people campaigning for you, but you can do fund raisers. I'm a Democrat, I'm a believer in him, I feel like he's done a wonderful job and I think he's having a tough time in a very difficult environment. So I root for him, I root for the President of the United States.
[on working with the Coen Brothers] There's rarely a re-write on a Coen brother movie. The script they write is what we shoot. And it's great.
I'm trying to make movies in my life... that last longer than opening weekend. That's it, that's my whole goal. I don't have to make money; I do films for scale and then, you know, I go do coffee commercials overseas, and I make a lot of money so I get to live in a nice house. ... And I don't give a shit. And people will go, 'Oh that's a sellout.' And you know what? Fuck you.
[on funding a spy satellite to monitor the activities of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir] I want the war criminal to have the same amount of attention that I get.
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.
I did not attend a private boys' school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms, and construction sites. I've been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet.
When you're young you believe it when people tell you how good you are. And that's the danger, you inhale. Everyone will tell you you're a genius, which you are not, and if you understand that, you win.
I watch Batman & Robin (1997) from time to time. It's the worst movie I ever made, so it's a good lesson in humility.
[on Britain's Daily Mail] The worst kind of tabloid. One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers and to all the publications that blindly reprint them.

Salary (14)

Sisters (1991) $40,000 per episode
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) $250,000
One Fine Day (1996) $3,000,000
Batman & Robin (1997) $10,000,000
The Peacemaker (1997) $3,000,000
Out of Sight (1998) $10,000,000
Three Kings (1999) $5,000,000
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) $1,000,000
The Perfect Storm (2000) $8,000,000
Ocean's Eleven (2001) $20,000,000
Intolerable Cruelty (2003) $15,000,000
Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) $1
Syriana (2005) $350,000
Ocean's Thirteen (2007) $15,000,000

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