November 2010



Vintage Playboy Interview: George Clooney

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I grew up in a house with Playboy magazines on the coffee table.  I never thought anything of it, until one day I knew someone who ended up in the magazine.  When I excitedly showed the picture to my friend’s boyfriend (boasting about knowing someone famous), my friend snatched the magazine out of my hand and screamed at me for showing naked pictures to her boyfriend.  Needless to say, I never invited her over again.  Lighten up!  Anyways, I now have a personal subscription, and I read it for the articles.  Before you scoff at that, keep in mind that aside from Howard Stern, Playboy has the best interviews in history.  As a tribute to the revolutionary magazine, I’ve decided to share an anecdote from a George Clooney interview, because it confirms what a great guy he is.  Clooney revealed his on set war with director David O. Russell while shooting the 1999 film, Three Kings.  Clooney said Russell yelled at everyone on the set, including a camera car driver.  Clooney confronted Russell, saying, “You can yell and scream and even fire him, but what you can’t do is humiliate him in front of people. Not on my set, if I have any say about it.”  Russell then screamed at a second assistant director, who quit on the spot.  Clooney addressed him again, saying, “you can’t shove, push or humiliate people who aren’t allowed to defend themselves.”  Russell responded to Clooney’s criticism by challenging him to a fist fight, and the two men came to blows.  Clooney “had him by the throat,” confessing that he was “going to kill him.”  Though they finally finished the movie, Clooney said it was “without exception, the worst experience of [his] life.”  My favorite part of this story is the idea that George Clooney stuck up for the little guy at the very beginning of his career before he really became the star he is today.  It’s no secret that directors can be demeaning assholes, but it’s up to the power players to put a stop to it.  To add to this story, Lily Tomlin later worked with David O. Russell on I Heart Huckabees, and a tape was released of a fight between Russell and Tomlin.  Many accused Clooney of circulating the tape, which he later denied.  Watch below to see Russell lose it half-way in.

  • Mongoose

    Wow. Wow. That guy seems like a real d-bag. Lily Tomlin, on the other hand, is awesome.