God how refreshing. A movie star who isn’t embarrassed about being a Movie Star. Who knows he’s a Movie Star and doesn’t pretend like he doesn’t want to be, or shouldn’t be, or hates to be. No protests here from George Clooney, just like he didn’t protest last week during the Writers Roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter. Click here for a refresher. Rather, Clooney approaches it like a privilege that comes with responsibilities. He understands that part of those responsibilities is that he has to be interested, interesting, and engaged. That when he’s giving an interview, for the purpose of PROMOTING a movie, it can’t just be a boring ass discussion about character development. We want anecdotes, we want stories, we want gossip, we want to be entertained.
Clooney doesn’t grant a lot of interviews and he’s very selective about who he grants them to. In limiting his access though, he makes sure that those who have it are rewarded. So here’s his new profile in ESQUIRE – one of the most BOSS celebrity pieces in a long time, not necessarily because the writer was intrepid but because Clooney is the Chairman. At this point, he can say whatever the f-ck he wants to. And he does. He picked his targets – Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher – and he went for it.
The article is fawning. This is no hit-piece, obviously. Like all celebrity features, it’s written from the knees no doubt. The difference here is that the reader understands why. If George Clooney invited you into his house, and made you feel welcome by turning off his phone, instead of treating you with disdain the way so many of his peers behave, like they’re doing the press a favour, and then on top of that, gives you GOLD by dropping gossip about some other really famous people – come on, wouldn’t you suck his dick with words too?
By now, you’ve probably read the excerpts. If you have 10 minutes today, please read the full piece. Otherwise, you don’t get the flavour. And that’s a shame because it’s not a flavour you can taste too often. The thesis of the article is that Clooney is a Movie Star at a time when people don’t know how to be a Movie Star. And it’s a perfectly calibrated combination of confidence, even arrogance, mixed in with – as crazy as this sounds – humility, and that may or may not be false, but he sells it so convincingly, you’re willing to eat the sh-t he’s feeding you…that’s how good he is.
Then, of course, he goes on to call Russell Crowe a petty prick and Leonardo DiCaprio a spoiled, entitled pussy. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You’ll note too that the writer starts off the profile with a comparison between Leo and George. Leo’s the one who had to position his interview in a random boardroom, with no personality. George offered up his home. You see what he did there?
Also? George thinks Ashton Kutcher is a f-cking idiot because he doesn’t think before he tweets. YES.
All this candour builds up to Brad Pitt. When he compliments Brad – describing his “Herculean” efforts in making World War Z happen – it lands with even more emphasis, see? Because he was so willing to tear down the others, you think that when he has good things to say about people, they carry even more weight.
This is how you leverage your celebrity, your voice, to maximum effect.
It’s not like Crowe, DiCaprio, and Kutcher can step to Clooney, right? No but seriously, what can they do? What could they say? And what’s smart about it too is that he’s not taking down the small guys. He can’t be accused here of picking on the powerless.
Crowe, DiCaprio, Kutcher?
Definitely NOT powerless.
He basically wants you to know (or think) that he’ll call them out on their sh-t no matter who they are. And, at the same time, he’s open to us calling him out on his sh-t, if you believe what he says his dad told him about freedom of speech: you can’t believe in it unless you acknowledge that that means people are going to disagree with you – be it about your work or your personal life. Like why can’t you just grow better taste in women and get it together with Sandra Bullock, goddamn it!
Click here to read the full ESQUIRE piece.