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.
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.
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 Como 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.
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.
What was it like filming Up In the Air? Amazing movie by the way. Also, in general, 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.
Hey Mr. Clooney, glad to see you here. 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.
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.
Hey George, Welcome to Reddit!
I loved the movie Gravity. You and Sandra have great chemistry together. Were there any funny moments that happened during shooting?
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.
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.
Were you always awesome and charismatic, or did you go through an awkward stage like the rest of us?
Also, what would you be doing if you weren't acting?
Um. I’d be unemployed probably. I have no idea, I’d probably have gone back to Kentucky if I hadn’t succeeded and found a job there like everyone else. The funny thing about my career is that, I’m the first one to be very well aware of how lucky I am to be where I am. I appreciate it all. But I would have made a living, fed myself, housed myself. And everyone goes through awkward phases a lot of the time and sometimes it's very public which is always bad. Somebody was talking to me on set and said remember Merv Grifin? I was on in 1985 which is pretty odd, and they youtubed it and I come out in this horrible yellow shirt and yellow socks and a mullet. And the whole set is howling. This stuff lives on forever. So everyone has awkward phases, just hope they're not recorded for everyone to see for the rest of time.
I'm a huge fan of both your and Brad Bird's work. Can you tell us anything about Tomorrowland?
I literally have a harness on and I’ve been hanging from 30 ft from 4 different blue screens and literally as we are talking they are all staring at me because I had to get down to do this. I have all these wire hanging off of me.
Brad is a really good guy with a wild imagination. If I don’t screw it up it will be a great film. You have to be careful what you say because everything is top secret, so I don't want to ruin it by telling you that everyone dies in the end.
I'm a huge fan of both your and Brad Bird's work. Can you tell us anything about Tomorrowland?
I'm on set and literally have a harness on right now. I was late, because right before I was hanging from about 30 feet over four different blue screens. So as we’re talking now there are all these wires and contraptions hanging off of me. It’s really, really, really good and Brad’s a wonderful director, and a wonderful guy with a wild imagination. And if I don’t screw it up it’ll be a terrific film. Everybody’s really good in it. Anyway, you always have to be careful what you say about these films so I don’t want to sort of ruin it by telling you that everyone dies in the end. Oops, I've said too much.
how do you begin your writing process is there immense planning or do you just dive straight in?
It depends. I've adapted books, I've adapted a play and I've written an original and its different every time. With the original I had something to write about so we kind of just dug right in. I write by hand and Grant, who I co-write with, has "skill on the computer." I'm probably the least computer literate writer there is, that's why I have my friend typing my answers here. Literally when I cut and paste, I cut pages and tape them together. But somehow we make it work!
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.
Hey George, What advice can you give a young FilmMaker for their Writing/Directing Process? Much Appreciated!
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.
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.
Quit downvoting everyone else people! Give everyone a fair chance at getting heard!
Edit: Last I checked my serious comment was sitting pretty at -4. Thanks a lot guys... -2 now. Making progress...
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?
why do you have such lonely eyes?
I actually have only one lonely eye. The other eye’s got nothin’ but friends.
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.
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.
Clooney...Clooney...nope. Doesn't ring a bell.
A couple questions:
You seem like a well-read man. Do you have a favorite book, or one you've always wanted to read, but haven't had a chance to?
What's your drink of choice?
I always greatly enjoy your work, whether acting, directing, or producing. Thanks so much!
I’ve been spending the last year trying to get through the Cat in the Hat series. But, I'm still not there - I'm a slow reader. You know I do read but I don’t read as much as I’d like to. And why read when there’s such good television? I have been going back to some classics lately. You know, for a period of time in your career you tend to read books just to see if you want to adapt them or make them into a film then all of a sudden you realize you’re just reading that. I’m reading some classics I haven’t read in 30 years, I’ve got an original copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, a signed original copy, and I pulled that out 2 months ago. You tend to forget how great the great writers are.
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.
Mr Clooney thank you for doing this AMA. 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.
What do you believe is the largest challenge facing the UN today?
There’s an awful lot of them right now. I think that the UN always has the same issue which is that the UN doesn’t have its own army. They’re of course people who are committed by each country, but it’s very hard to actually enforce anything and it’s very hard to make mandates strong enough to actually get anything done. For instance, when you’re in Sudan, there’s a mandate that’s been voted on that these guys will protect you but only to a certain extent. So what happens is that the people they’re protecting start to dislike them because they feel they’re not actually being protected. They have a Security Council designed to combat these issues, but the problem is there are interests in these other countries and each has veto power.
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.
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.
Can you give examples as to what kind of crimes against humanity were documented thanks to the Satellite Sentinel Project?
So we found 100,000 troops built-up on borders where they said there were no troops. We found burned villages that they said they hadn't burned, tons of refugees in displaced camps. And we've found evidence of mass graves that everyone was denying. Satellites are really expensive to get pictures with, and we’re doing it everyday, and it works best when we have people on the ground also pointing us in the right direction. We know that it’s been effective though because a lot of the violence is now happening only at night or under cloud cover. President al-Bashir has actually complained that I’m spying on him. And I’m fine with that, I feel good about that.
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.
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?
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.
What inspired you to make monuments men?
Grant and I finished shooting The Ides of March and looked back at the films we’d been doing, and it was nothing but cynical films. We’re really not cynical people, so we thought we should do one with a positive view of the world. Grant had read the book and said maybe this is a film. We took it to Sony and they loved the idea. It was less about art in what we were looking for and more about looking for a new interesting story. I didn’t know the story before.
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.
Mr. Clooney, Do you frequently ride motorcycles and if so, do you have any other celebrity friends you ride with often?
I love riding motorcycles. Every year my buddy Randy and I try to take a trip just try to see the world on a motorcycle. It’s a hobby and a head clearing thing. And I do that, believe it or not, while I’m actually cobbling.