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Friday, Aug. 10, 2007

FILM INTERVIEW

Wise-guy George woos Tokyo


It's not clear whether George Clooney was in character for his Tokyo press conference (along with "Ocean's Thirteen" producer Jerry Weintraub), or whether he'd just been knocking back the hooch with lunch, but either way, he rarely answered a question straight.

News photo
GEORGE CLOONEY in Tokyo AP PHOTO

He started off by saying "Hello, I'm Brad Pitt." When a so-called journalist asked Clooney — who he described as the world's most famous "dandy" — what he thought of his oh-so-fashionable tiger-print sweater, Clooney dead-panned, "Very Siegfried and Roy." Badda-boom.

On the film's most memorable scene for him:

The fun part is watching Matt Damon try to woo a woman. Also the love scene between Brad and I — very "Brokeback Mountain." That was cut out, though.

On shooting "Ocean's Thirteen" after coming back from Darfur (on an International Rescue Committee trip to aid refugees):

I think in many ways it was a relief to go to work on a much lighter film. It was in May when we came back from Darfur, and it was in September that we started the movie, so I'd had some time to decompress a little bit. But because Brad and Matt and Don (Cheadle) had also been, individually, to that area, it gave us something to focus on and talk about when we were together. Believe me, it's much nicer to be doing "Ocean's Thirteen" than sitting with a 12-year-old holding a Kalashnikov to your head.

On being the oyabun (gang boss) of the "Ocean's" rat-pack:

In terms of being the leader of Brad and Matt, I have some compromising photos of them that I use as leverage. But I can't show you the pictures. Farm animals were involved.

On whether he ever acts like Danny Ocean in his private life:

Well, Danny Ocean and I are about the same height. But he's a thief. It's a difficult part to play, but I've been doing it forever now. I studied drinking and gambling for, what, 20 to 25 years.

On what type of women he likes:

What do I look for in a great woman? She should wear a tiger sweat shirt. I have no idea, clearly. Danny has a great woman — Danny's wife is Julia Roberts. He did OK. With me, I'm still working on that part.

On whether the series will continue:

No, there won't be an "Ocean's Fourteen." It got to be too expensive to make, the construction costs and all. I just don't think we'll pull off an "Ocean's Fourteen."

On whether he's ever sought revenge in real life:

We've gone out and gotten revenge before, but I can't really tell you what it is because they'd arrest me. But I'm a big believer in sticking up for your friends.

On his wide-ranging roles:

Well, I'm a fan of films of a specific generation, a specific time. The film I've just finished directing takes place in 1925, so I seem to be moving backwards in time. But I like period pieces in general. With the "Ocean's" series, we thought we could do it better than it was done originally. But in general, Steven (Soderbergh) and I have had a great partnership because we have sort of the same opinion on the kind of films we want to make.

On the changing "Ocean's" cast:

Well, we tried to fire Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, but they keep coming back. As in all films, the director picks the cast based on who he thought would be the right people for the job. He couldn't find them, so he took us.



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