by Paul Fischer
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by Chuck Schwartz
Continuing his career path of not doing the same thing twice actor George Clooney portrays a fugitive from a chain gang who, with two compatriots chained to this ankles, seeks to retrieve a buried fortune before a hydroelectric project covers the burial site with a lake. Welcome to depression era Mississippi and the decidedly bluegrass comedy O Brother Where Art thou?, brought to you courtesy the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan. With half a dozen of us crowded around a conference table in a posh New York hotel, Clooney strolled in with an attitude implying long years of friendship with everyone in the room. Incredibly funny and a straight shooter, Clooney made us feel like we should be popping open a beer and watching "the game". That may be part of the difference between a "movie star" and a "television star," as Clooney explains below. It may just be his down home on the farm Kentucky upbringing. His dad was a broadcast journalist. His aunt Rosemary is a superstar singer to jazz aficianadoes and popsters of a certain generation. George's O Brother character, Ulysses Everett McGill (the film is sort of based on Homer's "The Odyssey") himself cuts a bluegrass record for a quick ten bucks pay. McGill is a fast talker with a fixation on his hair and looks taken from a can of hair goop. We thought he looked like George Raft and start this StarTalk in the 1930s . . .
CrankyCritic: Which 30s movie star did you Ulysses after?
Was there any trepidation about bluegrass singing you had to do ?
After five years on e.r. Clooney began his move into movies with Steven Soderbergh's adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Out of Sight. Soderbergh and Clooney have since gone into a working partnership, next pairing for the A-list remake of Oceans 11, with Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, all of whom "were worried about their next job. So we thought we'd help them out..." Also coming from their company is Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg and Welcome to Collingwood by the Russo Brothers of Cleveland. We know nothing more about the latter save that Clooney is very excited about it. . .
George Clooney: We're doing it for seven million bucks. It's a little film but it's just terrific. Steven and I are producing it. They're directing it. They're great, interesting young writers. We're just trying to help get some stuff made because it's really a little stale out there right now. It was kind of a bad year. I guess you guys think so, too. [laughter]
CrankyCritic: I ask everyone I meet if there was a point in their
career where you experienced that moment of clarity where you knew this
is what you wanted to do for your lifetime...
CrankyCritic: Now that you're a staple on People Magazine covers
and you were Sexiest Man Alive...
CrankyCritic: Let's talk South Park . . .
CrankyCritic: You're happy with your career now?
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