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George Clooney Ides of March Interview
George Clooney Ides of March Interview
Notwithstanding your father's campaign, is this the very nearest you'll get to running for office in anything at all?

George Clooney

I think you just saw what would happen if I took office. [Laughs] No, I have a very good life and I have a very comfortable existence. If I want to dip my toe into issues involved in politics, like in Sudan or Darfur, those kinds of issues where I can actually have some involvement then I'm happy to do it, and I don't have to compromise as a politician would. So, it's much nicer where I am. And they're a lot smarter than I am. I tip my hat to them.
What compels you to keep having a crack at directing and acting?

George Clooney

I did hundreds of hours of television as an actor before I even started getting into film work, so in some ways it feels like I've done a hundred films. I've been doing it a long time and you start to realise that creatively you need to continue trying new things. That doesn't mean there aren't ways of doing that as an actor but you want to be able to be creative in this industry and if directing and writing is something that you're interested in, it is an incredibly creative process.

Acting is one element in a film. Directing is sort of the painter using all of those elements - sound and music and camera and putting it all together. And that can be fun and exciting. If you fail, it's incredibly upsetting, much more upsetting than when you're an actor. But when you succeed it's incredibly, incredibly exciting, so I like the risk of it all.
All your films treat the audience as adults. So, how frustrating for you is it when you're putting something political across such as this that people in our industry are obsessed with who is on the red carpet on your arm?

George Clooney

Well, I understand both worlds. I grew up around it all. I'm interested in making films that ask questions and don't particularly provide answers. I grew up in that era of filmmaking which took place when there was a tremendous amount of things going on in the country in the '60s and '70s. You had the Civil Rights movement, you had the anti-war movement, the women's rights movement, drug counter culture and those were reflected in film.

I think there are a lot of things going on in my country and in the world right now that are starting to again be reflected in film and I like those kinds of films. On the other side of it, I know what those questions are and I know why they're asking them, but I'm a big boy now and I can handle it. But I do prefer to talk about the films.
It's going to be very hard to find people who haven't smoked a joint or drunk some pond water...
Do you think you have too many skeletons in your closet to run for office? And when the film talks about the importance of loyalty, is loyalty something you hold dear in your personal relationships?

George Clooney

Loyalty, yes. I find it to be my favourite quality in people. I find it to be a tremendous quality. As far as skeletons in the closet, I think at some point we're going to have to start getting to the point where you just have to start every candidate with the phrase: "Yeah, I did it!" And then go on from there and talk about the issues because it's going to be very hard to find people who haven't smoked a joint or drunk some pond water along the way!

We're in a strange state in our world where we sort of have that belief - and I have it too - that if it's written down there's got to be some truth in it. We haven't quite got to the spot where you go: "Well, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true." It could actually be completely made up and made to look very nice. So, we have to get to the point where scandal and those kinds of things are less and less important because otherwise we won't have anyone willing to run as politicians.
What interests you about politics? Is it something you discussed with your parents from childhood?

George Clooney

Well, my great-grandfather was a Mayor, my father was an anchorman for 40 years and if you were an anchorman in Cincinnati, Ohio, you were also very politically involved. I grew up at a time where I think most people had a social and political conscience. Some of the biggest changes in our country's political history happened at the time I was growing up, so I was raised to be a part of those things and to participate and I will continue to do that as much as I can.
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