After dangling from a wire on the set of his upcoming film Tomorrowland, George Clooney regaled Reddit with stories from his illustrious film career. The actor was promoting his upcoming movie The Monuments Men, which he directed and cowrote with frequent collaborator Grant Heslov, as well as his latest humanitarian effort, the Satellite Sentinel project, which uses satellite imagery as a means to document crimes against humanity.
Ever the charmer, Clooney was candid and hilarious on topics from his most infamous pranks to his most embarrassing moments. Plus, he finally revealed what makes his eyes so lonely: “I actually have only one lonely eye,” he said. “The other eye’s got nothin’ but friends.” We’ve cobbled together 11 delightful Clooney anecdotes from the man who likes to – who knew? – cobble shoes when he’s not saving the world or brightening the big screen.
Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn saved Clooney from the emergency room.
“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 [Hayek] 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?”
George Clooney only has one regret about his turn in Batman and Robin.
“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.”
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Why playing Stan’s dog on South Park was his greatest achievement.
“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.”
The lessons George Clooney learnedon O Brother, Where Art Thou.
“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.”
How a prop from Solaris caused a TSA standstill:
“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.”
Clooney reveals Richard Kind’s reaction to the actor’s outrageous kitty litter prank.
“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.”
His suggestions for 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.”
How Brad Pitt pulled an epic prank on him.
“It was Brad, we were shooting Oceans 12 in my hometown in Lake Cuomo and he had a flier 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.
On his friendship and working relationship with Gravity co-star Sandra Bullock.
“It’s tricky cause Sandy drinks so much that oftentimes it’s just hard to keep her upright. No, you know, Sandy and I have known each other for over 20 years and we both were struggling actors when we first met. She was dating a friend of mine at the time who’s still a good friend of ours. Every time we’re together it’s funny. She’s somebody I adore, really, she’s just fun to be in a room with. I’m sure people will assume people aren’t quite who they appear to be on screen–they’re shorter or taller or meaner or dumber–but Sandy is exactly what she appears on screen, an incredibly charming woman who’s really just fun to hang out with. Very smart and centered, even though she does drink a lot.”
On why he’s a better cobbler than 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.”
Clooney on playing Leonardo DiCaprio in basketball – and winning.
“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.”