I like to imagine that this conversation took place between Bill Murray and George Clooney. “So, there’s this website, George, it’s called Reddit. They have this thing called an Ask Me Anything, where people with names like BrassBallsToTheWalls will ask you about, well anything, but mostly duck-sized horses.” Apparently Clooney was sold, because he dropped by to promote The Monuments Men/answer questions about duck-sized horses.
What is a hobby of yours that most people don’t know about?
I’m a cobbler, I like to make shoes.
Who’s a better cobbler, you or Daniel Day-Lewis?
Let me just tell you this. When Daniel Day-Lewis was spending all his time playing Lincoln, I was just fixing shoes. He’s spending all the time focused on the hat, and the pipe, and getting into character, and I remained focused – with the overalls and the hammer.
O’ Brother Where Art Thou is one of my favorite movies of all time. Do you have any interesting behind-the-scenes stories that would make me enjoy the film that much more?
I mean, there were tons of embarrassing things about that. I remember the Coen brothers assumed I could sing, I kind of assumed I could too. I went into the studio with T Bone Burnett and the Coen brothers and sang my version of Man of Constant Sorrow and they were all looking down at the ground and kind of shaking their heads and they play it back and it’s just terrible, and I think great, they’re going to have to tell me they’re going to have to bring in another guy to sing. We were in Mississippi in the summer, even though it was all golden brown. It was the first time they really tried to digitally change the color of a film like that. It was really fun. The first day, I’m shooting a scene with John Goodman where he hits me in the head with a stick, and I was playing it like an idiot because these are the stupidest guys in America and Joel and Ethan walked over and said ‘Listen, you’re the smartest guy in the room in every single scene,’ and I said ‘Oh, okay’ and once I knew he was the smartest guy in the room the character really made sense.
So how did your roommate react when he found out it was you that shit in the litter box?
It took him a long time to figure it out. At first he figured out that I’d done it and then he found I spent the whole week planning it out. And if you know Richard Kind’s work from Spin City or other things he’s a big, loud guy. Once he fully realized what was going on, he just yelled, “I understand humor, defecation doesn’t make me laugh.” Which I suppose should go on someone’s tombstone.
Have you hung out with Leonardo DiCaprio? I heard a story about how you kicked his ass at basketball.
It’s true. That was a fun day. It’s always fun when you play people younger than you and win. We’re playing a bunch of six year olds tomorrow.
Mr. Clooney – What is the best prank that a costar/crew has played on you on set?
It was Brad, we were shooting Oceans 12 in my hometown in Lake Cuomo and he had a flyer sent around saying George only wants to be called by his character’s name Danny Ocean, don’t look him in the eyes, and it got into the local paper. As you know, jokes don’t translate at all, and they called me il divo, and said that I was treating the crew like shit. When it got into the paper I came downstairs and Brad had the paper in his hand, and I said “You’re mine from here on out.”
Brad just said, “Please don’t harm my children.” Yeah, he’s done some pretty rotten things.
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I’m feeling hungry Mr. Clooney. What, in your eyes, is the perfect sandwich?
Oh the perfect sandwich. Well, good question. The perfect sandwich would be… I want to come up with two gorgeous actresses but I won’t do that. Name your two. I don’t know you know I’d have to think about it. I do like ham and avocado and a little tomato and a little mustard. Just a simple deli sandwich is great. You know, put some coleslaw in there.
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What’s one film you’ve done which you think more people should see?
Well, I’ve done a bunch a films that people think of now as hits or classics but were actually bombs. Out of Sight bombed. It didn’t make money at all and Out of Sight was a really really good film. And it still holds up. There were films that we always thought would be more successful than they were. I thought Three Kings was probably going to be more successful than it was. It’s a really good film too. We had a run of a few of those that we thought were going to be big hits but they actually weren’t.
What’s the one movie role you’re most embarrassed/ashamed about, that you don’t mind sharing? Surely the coolest man on earth has something to share?
Well I wasn’t thrilled with the nipples on the batsuit. You know that’s not something you really think about when you’re putting it on. You figure all batsuits have nipples and then you realize yours was really the first. Batman was just constantly cold I guess. But I have plenty of other things that I’m really obviously embarrassed about too. Oftentimes it’ll be stumbling out of a bar drunk or something dumb like that but as you get older a major goal in life is try to do less and less embarrassing things. You know, try not to face plant publicly as often as possible.
My question is: do you keep any props from your movies and if yes, which is your favorite?
Yeah every once in a while I get some fun ones. I remember I got this insane looking prop from this movie Solaris. It was the size of a lunchbox and it had all these intricate lights and tubes and I snuck it into Richard Kind’s carry-on bag. They ran it through the machine and pulled it off and asked, “What is this? Did you pack your own bag?” He had no idea what to say. Of course this was pre-911. If you did that now it would be a very horrible thing, but it was very funny at the time. Anyway, don’t do that at home.
Who’d win in a fight? Danny Ocean or your Batman?
I don’t think my Batman could have even walked across the stage. If Batman actually had to wear the suit that I wore, which was like 40 pounds of rubber, he literally physically wouldn’t be able to lift his arms. They put you on a flat board, lie you on the ground and bolt you into this thing, and then they just pull the board out and leave you standing. Joel Schumacher goes action, I say ‘I’m Batman’ and then, cut, they drop me back down on the board and leave me on my back. Everitt McGill could kick Batman’s ass.
What was your reaction to being offered the role of Stan’s dog in South Park? Did you accept right away or did you take some time to think about it?
Sparky the gay dog? It was sort of a surprise for me, I mean, here’s something odd, I had never played a dog before. To finally play Sparky the dog was something that I think pretty much completed my career.
why do you have such lonely eyes?
I actually have only one lonely eye. The other eye’s got nothin’ but friends.
How do celebrities feel when they get poked fun of at certain award ceremonies?
Usually it’s pretty funny. You know I got really good by Tina and Amy the other day and I’m working on getting them back in a big way. But for the most part most of the time when it’s bad it’s actually funny. You actually feel bad for the comedians up on stage cause you know if you’ve ever gone to a comedy club and you see somebody bomb it makes you cringe. Shows like that are designed to have fun with you without being devastatingly unkind. I’ve been the target of a couple of stupid jokes that didn’t work, but in general I’ve only seen a couple that were really vicious toward people, and they didn’t work. When they don’t work you feel badly for the person doing it.
From Dusk Til Dawn is one of my favorite movies of yours. How did you end up involved with Tarantino and Rodriguez?
Quentin directed an episode of ER and Rob and he were working on this project at the time and Quentin came over and said ‘You wanna come in and meet on this project?’ Yeah, are you kidding? I’d get to work with Juliette Lewis and Harvey Keitel and Rob and Salma and Quentin. I was playing a pediatrician on a hospital show and all of a sudden I get to murder people? I thought that was pretty great. I got to spend 8 weeks or so in the Titty Twister, what was the downside?
Do you ever regret playing Batman?
Haha I get that question a lot. It’s a funny thing, you’ve got to remember that when you’re doing a movie, a lot of times you’re spending 4 or 5 months on set and sometimes you’re making really good friends and sometimes not. Some of the best films have been the least fun experiences and some of the worst, I’ve made lifelong friends out of it. It’s the kind of thing where the memory of the film is very different than how it was reviewed, because it’s months out of your life and you end up making close friends or having great experience on films that don’t necessarily work. And that’s a tricky thing to come to terms with.
Describe your basketball game in 1 sentence.
Sneaky. I’m sneaky fast. I’m faster than you think I am. And I have a good bank shot that people hate.
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I’m fascinated by what Satellite Sentinel could mean for large-scale conflicts and governments oppressing the innocent, such as in Sudan, where the project’s already made a highly publicized impact. Could you tell us a little more about the full objective of the organization, and what you’ve concretely achieved so far with them?
I was putting time in the Sudan, with all the conflict in Sudan, and now as they work through trying to make the newest country in the world work, I became very involved with John Pendergast. We were sitting in the desert on a satellite phone and someone was talking about what to wear to the Oscars, and I was sitting among people dying in the desert. It made me wonder how come you can google earth my home but not set up satellites to monitor what is happening here? And John said let’s make it happen. Basically we fund ourselves and we are able to track the true movements and see a lot of the atrocities in real time. We will have images up in a few days, in the hope to try to slow down or make it prohibitive. We’ll give them to the Hague and the images will be used against them. We’ve already given tons of actual atrocities, true movements, bombs being dropped on villages but they would claim it was tribal infighting when of course no tribe has these weapons.
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Hey George!!! Can I go on a date with you?
I think I might be the cheapest date ever, $10. I’m literally the cheapest date anyone has ever been on. Check out http://www.omaze.com/clooney. It’s gonna be fun though, we are gonna get out of the car together, walk the Monuments Men red carpet, the paparazzi will take a bunch of pictures, we’ll go backstage at Letterman. You’ll get to see the other side of it all, which is unusual and fun.
Who are some of the actors you have enjoyed working with the most?
Let me think about this in the best possible way that doesn’t get me murdered by all other actors I’ve worked with. I don’t know…I’ve done 6 films with Damon now, so I guess I do enjoy working with him, though you wouldn’t know it. I’ve been really lucky to work with people who enjoy what they do. I’ve worked with a couple of turkeys, but I’ve mostly been really lucky.
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What advice can you give a young FilmMaker for their Writing/Directing Process?
First of all, have a point of view and have a story to tell, and go shoot it. In the last 10 years things have changed. You can shoot your own film at a cost you can afford, get it up and get it seen. Don’t wait for the establishment to tell you you can do it, just go to work. It used to be that you couldn’t get a job until you were in the Screen Actors Guild, which you couldn’t do if you weren’t in the union, and its not like that anymore. That’s how we have artists like Justin Bieber. The world is better for it now.
Well, I hope you mean KY the state, and not KY jelly. Because, you know, I don’t know how proud you should be about that. But we do have a very good basketball team this year, we’re about 14th in the nation and I think the University of Kentucky will do very well in this year’s March Madness.
Quit downvoting everyone else people! Give everyone a fair chance at getting heard!
I just ask, why can’t we all get along? Tonight you’ve got the State of the Union and we know how harmonious Congress is. Can’t we be like Congress and just get along?
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?
Can’t I do both? No, I want the duck-sized horses, I could take them. The saddles on them are so cute.