A lengthy profile of George Clooney has arrived in Esquire Magazine, wherein the actor-writer-director-producer discusses his early understanding of his ability to entertain people, why he would never be on Twitter, and his pal Brad Pitt, who took "World War Z" away "from all the people who were screwing it up [and] carried it to the finish line." Interview quotes and highlights are below.
Multi-hyphenate Clooney's Nazi art heist adventure "The Monuments Men" was recently moved from its original Oscar season release date to February 7, 2014, reportedly to take more time to work on the film's visual effects so they wouldn't look "cheesy" (trailer here).
Clooney was also a guest of honor at November 9's BAFTA Britannia Awards, where he received the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film; he appeared as part of the Hollywood Reporter's Writers Round Table, too, where he talked "Monuments Men."
On being a young ham:
“The first thing that I learned—and I understood it at a really young age—was that I could get a laugh. Really early. Because my mother and father are funny. My father’s a really funny man, and at the time we were growing up, in the mid-sixties, and I was like seven years old, they always had dinner parties. This was back in the old days, when you would have cocktail parties and drink grasshoppers. And my dad would tell, you know, a story, something a little risqué—nothing dirty at all, just a little risqué. And I knew that I could take the next step, right? The little-bit-dirtier version. You know—‘and deep, too!’ And the place would explode! And Dad would kick me under the table—but I always knew that I had that in my arsenal.”
On why he'd never join Twitter:
“If you’re famous, I don’t—for the life of me—I don’t understand why any famous person would ever be on Twitter. Why on God’s green earth would you be on Twitter? Because first of all, the worst thing you can do is make yourself more available, right?... So one drunken night, you come home and you’ve had two too many drinks and you’re watching TV and somebody pisses you off, and you go ‘Ehhhhh’ and fight back.
And you go to sleep, and you wake up in the morning and your career is over. Or you’re an asshole. Or all the things you might think in the quiet of your drunken evening are suddenly blasted around the entire world before you wake up. ”
On Brad Pitt:
“For a long time now, Brad has been the biggest movie star in the world. He’s bigger than me, bigger than DiCaprio. And I really admire how he deals with that. It’s not easy for him. But he tries to be the most honest version of Brad Pitt that he can be. And he also remains unavailable. He’s still a giant movie star because you can’t get to him. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think of him as incredibly talented and smart and all those things. But you also can’t get to him.
I saw him in London when he was doing the World War Z reshoot...He just said, ‘This one’s going to kill me, man.’ It was a huge reshoot and Brad was putting it on his shoulders. He picked it up and put it on his shoulders and took it away from all the people who were screwing it up. Carried it over the finish line. Got it made into a film that was well reviewed and made a lot of money... You don’t want your zombie movie to be the killer, but it was.”