George Clooney talks about his profound loneliness, all for his Oscar campaign

George Clooney covers the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, and dear God, this man can TALK. He wants the Oscar so badly – does his blatant desire make you like him more or less? This bitch of an article is NINE PAGES. You can read the whole thing here – I’m going to try to do some highlights below:

George watches TV: He watches ESPN and Modern Family as well as everything from The Soup to Jersey Shore. He is in bed by 10 p.m. almost every evening, wakes multiple times a night and loathes going to bed without the TV on. “Turning off the television causes me to think, and once I start that vision roaring, I have a very tough time getting to sleep,” he admits. With the flickering screen, “I’m able to numb out.” Even then, “Without question, I wake every night five times.”

He drinks too much sometimes: “I drink at times too much. I do enjoy drinking, and there have been times in my life when it’s crossed the line from being fun to having to drink late at night for absolutely no reason. So what I do is, I stop. I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve.”

Clooney’s not about the money: The combined budgets of his two current movies are a fraction of Batman’s and about the equivalent of most superstars’ fees — $12 million for Ides and $20 million for Descendants. Clooney took a humble $300,000 upfront for the latter. It’s one of his more intriguing aspects that he has remained so powerful and prominent in our imagination without bigger hits or taking more than scale — at most a few hundred thousand dollars, backend excluded — since the $10 million he received for 2000’s The Perfect Storm. He is singularly unmotivated by money, though time and again he returns to the theme, expressing an awareness that, if necessary, he will sell one of his homes. (He puts nothing in the stock market, which he describes as “Vegas, without the fun.”)

Clooney the writer: “I woke and sat down and wrote the whole scene in the kitchen between Ryan [Gosling] and myself: ‘You want to be president. … You can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country, but you can’t f– the interns.’ ” He personally attended the 2010 American Film Market — that annual November gathering in Santa Monica where buyers and sellers haggle over rights — just to raise money for the film, then gave away his share of profits to get it made. “[Co-writer] Grant Heslov and I sat there for a day and a half, and they’d bring in 12 people from Japan, from the Netherlands, and I would pitch them the whole movie, and then the next group would come in,” he says with a laugh. “I was an encyclopedia salesman!”

How he lives, and THR brings up the Clooney Dilemma: Clooney’s house, bought for $980,000 back in 1995 with ER paychecks (hardly chump change, but not the kind of price that proclaims movie-star excess), looks as if it could belong to any normal man who happened to make some money, apart from its subtle and discreet taste. There are no Oscars, Emmys or other awards visible in public places, no servants bustling in hushed tones — just his personal assistant of many years, Angel, and a black cocker spaniel named Einstein that Clooney adopted from a local shelter. A few days earlier, Einstein ate all the loose cash left out by Clooney’s present girlfriend, Stacy Keibler of Dancing With the Stars (a former professional wrestler). The women who pass in and out of his life, few lasting longer than two or three years, have been the source of endless Internet speculation, likely because they rarely appear to be his professional or intellectual equals, and range from waitresses to models to an Italian starlet.

His relationship with Keibler, and marriage: He won’t go into his relationship with Keibler because “there is so little in my life that is private,” but he does admit that this man who once won a bet with Michelle Pfeiffer that he wouldn’t be married again by 40 hasn’t ruled it out. Divorced from actress Talia Balsam, he has in the past rejected the idea; now he argues, “I don’t even think about it, really.”

On Brad Pitt: “Brad is one of the great guys,” he says. “We’re good friends, but it’s different from what people think, meaning we don’t spend a lot of time together. He has been to my home in Como; we motorcycle together. But until recently, I hadn’t seen Brad in a year.”

Lonely Boy: “Anyone would be lying if they said they didn’t get lonely at times,” he says. “The loneliest you will get is in the most public of arenas: You will go to a place and end up in the smallest compartment possible, because it’s a distraction to everybody, and you end up not getting to enjoy it like everyone else.” He adds, “I have been infinitely more alone in a bad relationship; there’s nothing more isolating. I have been in places in my life where that has existed.” He also has been cheated on and even ditched “and left for someone; all those things. And it was sometimes a surprise, and sometimes you saw it coming. The most painful was when I kept trying to get [one woman] back. But we all make dumb mistakes.”

A Brad Pitt story: “A couple of years ago, [Brad Pitt] really nailed me. He did one of those shows and they asked him when he was going to marry Angie, and he said, ‘I’ll marry when George can legally marry [a man].’ ” He laughs. “He really got me badly, something I have had to deal with the past few years. But I could give a shit. I have to live in the world that I care about and that’s all that matters.”

Criticizing the Iraq War: “They did a half-hour show on Fox saying my career was over, and there was a cover of one of those magazines with the word ‘traitor’ written on it, and the White House was passing out a deck of weasels and I was on one of the cards,” he recalls. After initial anger, there was a brief moment when he felt afraid. “I called my dad and said, ‘Am I in trouble?’ And he said, ‘Grow up. You’ve got money. You’ve got a job. You can’t demand freedom of speech and then say, “But don’t say bad things about me.” ‘ And he was right.”

Bell’s palsy: At 14, a pivotal age for anyone, disaster struck in the form of Bell’s palsy, a kind of paralysis whose cause is unknown that leads to dysfunction in the facial nerves. Clooney has made light of the matter, but it lasted far longer than most of his friends realize. “As I started high school, half my face was paralyzed for six months,” he says. “That’s a long, long time. You wake up one morning and your tongue is numb, and you can’t drink. Milk starts pouring out of the side of your face. You don’t know when it’s going to end; you don’t know if it is going to end. And there’s no treatment.”

He’s tried coke: He drank, partied and even sampled cocaine, though he says, “I didn’t have an issue with it. I’m not a big druggie, not at all. Blow is absolutely a nonstarter.”

On his Three Kings director David O. Russell: “I saw David [O. Russell, the director with whom Clooney had a famous falling-out] a few weeks ago at a party. There was a bunch of filmmakers there. And I felt compelled to go over and go, ‘So are we done?’ And he goes, ‘Please.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ Because we made a really, really great film, and we had a really rough time together, but it’s a case of both of us getting older. I really do appreciate the work he continues to do, and I think he appreciates what I’m trying to do.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

You won’t even believe how much I had to cut out. Seriously. This man can TALK. He talks a lot about his childhood, about his back injury and dealing with years of pain (which he’s still dealing with). He talks about his friends and the lean years of Hollywood and all of that. Most of it you’ve heard before, because Clooney says the same stuff over and over. But it’s a decent read. He seemed really vulnerable in this piece, honestly. I do kind of feel bad for him. Poor Lonely Boy.

Photos courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

71 Responses to “George Clooney talks about his profound loneliness, all for his Oscar campaign”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Zelda says:

    Remember that time he was on the Golden Girls?

    The Golden Girls. And Clooney.

    Yeah. Awesome.

    • Lee says:

      He was on Facts of Life. Don Cheadle was on the Golden Girls.

      • LadyJane says:

        With an almighty mullet.

      • Zelda says:

        Don Cheadle was on Golden Girls? I love him.

        But Clooney WAS on Golden Girls, as an undercover cop who has to do a stakeout at the house, and bonds with Blanche, and gets shot.

        I’d be embarassed to know all that, if the Golden Girls wasn’t up there with kittens as one of the most awesome things of all time.

      • po says:

        He was on Golden Girls too. He played a cop.

      • izzyvalentine says:

        Nope, he was on the Golden Girls- he played a young cop on the episode where the girls had to catch a jewelery thief. (I watch a lot of that show, lol)

    • Marjalane says:

      I just saw him the other night on an episode of Friends! I had no idea he’s been on that. He played a Dr., duh.

    • Lee says:

      I stand corrected!! LOL Embarassed to say I was a FOL fan GG not so much!!

    • Jessica says:

      He was also one of Jackie’s boyfriends on Roseanne

      • sally says:

        OMG Remember???He was Jackie and Roseanne’s boss on Roseanne. He was a supervisor at the factory they worked at. And he dated Jackie a few times. I think his name was Booker?

    • Jo says:

      He was also Sela Ward’s boyfriend, Falconer, on Sisters. He left to start his run with ER.
      I saw The Descendants over the weekend. The actresses who played his daughters and the actor who played Sid, in my opinion, did a much better job than Clooney. I didn’t really see an Oscar-worthy performance.

  2. Jackie says:

    well, he is actually opening up. is it because he knows the public is getting tired of his jokey schtick? probably. but, this clooney is much better.

  3. ShanKat says:

    Just remember, Georgie Boy…ya take the good, ya take the bad, ya take ’em both, and there you have the facts of life.

  4. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Ugh. Go away you douchey man whore. The Oscar is not yours.

    • Veruca says:

      Hollywood has such a hard-on for this guy (although I really don’t get why anymore), so he’ll probably win.

      GARY OLDMAN IS THE MOST DESERVING!! (If not for this role, then as karmic payback for the genius he is.)

      George is gross, smug, fake, boring… I can’t believe I once liked him.

      • LadyJane says:

        Ditto on everything you just said Vera!

      • Tapioca says:

        Gary Oldman is the best actor, but sadly not this year in TTSS. 🙁

        Jean DuJardin will win though! 🙂

        Hollywood likes GC because he often writes and directs his own material on a relatively low budget to generally good critical AND commercial response and they want that magical formula. Plus there aren’t too many actors who can flit between Oceans X (Big Hollywood tentpole movie), Up in the Air (Mid-budget indie) and Spy Kids: 3D (Throwaway kiddie garbage).

        And he was super-hot in From Dusk ‘Til Dawn

      • GoodCapon says:

        But is Gary campaigning as hard for the Oscar though? Maybe he does, but not as blatantly as good ol’ George here.

      • skipper says:

        I’ve got one on for him too for some reason. And I rarely see any of his movies. I don’t know why but he makes me tingly down there.

  5. Cody says:

    I read the article, I am not feeling bad for him. A cure for his loneliness is to find someone he can share his life with, I am not sure that is Stacy Keibler.

    • Tapioca says:

      He had Max – the Vietnamese pot bellied pig – but he died, and I don’t think he’s ever found anything to truly replace him!

    • jinni says:

      I think on some level he may want to find someone that is more emotionally and mentally fulfilling to be with; his equal. But than he also knows that to have that, he’d need to make some adjustments to his life. He would have to work with the that persons schedule, make compromises, give and not just take. Basically he wouldn’t be in control all of the time. I don’t think he wants to give up control and so he sticks with women that he has power over and will drop everything to follow his life.

      • Jayna says:

        I agree. He travels the world doing movies, his humanitarism. He knows his limits. He’s a womanizer. But he picks women that do fit in his life. He’s not looking for permanency.

        However, I bet he has had secret flings with quite a few actresses that we never hear about. He did with Teri Hatcher when she boo-hooed in Vanity Fair, sobbing about him sweeping her off her feet and then dumping her swiftly. Everyone knew it was Clooney. He gave her a stuffed pig. Then she backtracked later and said the unnamed guy wasn’t Clooney.

        He dated Renee Zellweiger.

  6. brin says:

    Wonder what Stacy thinks about his “profound lonliness”…ouch.

    • Jayna says:

      He said he has had it at times in his life, not necessarily now. We all have, in a relationship and while out of one.

  7. AudreyS says:

    He comes across more likable in the article than in some of the photos I’ve seen of him. Seems like a cool guy that has control of his surroundings and life.

  8. carrie says:

    poor George Clooney! so alone! no one likes him!

  9. Jayna says:

    Wow, a really insightful interview, actually sharing real parts of his life over the years. One of the most interesting interviews I’ve read in a long time from anyone, instead of the usual canned questions and answers. This makes me love George again.

  10. Lindy says:

    OK, so this does make me feel a little bit sorry for him (until I recall that he’s a gazillionaire with a vacation home in Italy who gets to do anything he wants).

    But really, dude, please stop with the Oscar campaign stuff. I am so sick of it! And that goes for you, too, Brad Pitt. Put it away!

  11. kiko says:

    seriously stop already.i don’t care how much he wants the damn thing!this year the obvious choice is gary oldman or the hot french guy from the artist(i don’t remember his name but i have seen his work and he is a really nice guy).no brad,no george enough is enough.they are not that talented or good looking anymore.give somebody else a chance!

  12. Marjalane says:

    Talk about a thinly veiled reveal that Stacy Keibler isn’t much more than arm candy for award season. I think it would be sad to not have someone wonderful to grow old with and to enjoy all the “stuff” he has available to him, with him.

  13. Peck says:

    He’s not about money? Seriously?
    So what about all the silly commercials he’s in all around the world? Are we supposed to believe they are art? He gets millions for any of them. In Italy they are now airing massive campaigns for a couple of brands. Believe me, they are doing no favor to his image. He looks stupid.
    The same for his loneliness crap. It’s clear he doesn’t want to share his life with somebody meaningful, so why is he complaining?
    I’m not against commercials or serial daters, but this guy needs to start walking his own talk.

  14. Nessa says:

    I don’t know why, but I have strong feelings about him (hopefully) losing the Oscar race. He annoys me now more than ever. Ugh.

  15. JulieM says:

    Please, please, please do not give this man another Oscar. He did nothing special for the first one. All the other nominees deserve it before George. I would even prefer Brad Pitt getting it over George, and I’m not a real Pitt fan. Dream Oscar: Gary Oldman.

  16. Sarah says:

    Oh, give me a break! I would feel sorry for poor ol’ Georgie boy if he did not obviously feel threatened by strong, powerful, intelligent women. Try dating one Georgie porgie – you might be surprised.

    Just the fact that he goes out with bimbos from Hades is enough to turn me off.

    • LunaT says:

      Yah, his dating cycle(what is it? each young woman for a couple of years to help him satisfy/cover up his kinks? not sure quite what he’s got going on but would guess it includes more than just straight up sex from his GFs) is what’s made me change my mind about him. Interesting that all of his GFs are younger, have less successful careers, and seem to mostly follow “don’t speak unless spoken to”. Makes all of his “I’m a regular guy who wants love and acceptance” crap seem to mere PR.

  17. LoL says:

    This is a lot better than brad Pitt Hollywood reporter interview. Brad Pitt doesn’t really have much to talk about…. We’ve heard all he has to say.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      LOL! Brad Pitt is my bete noir. I’d rather Clooney win it than Brad Pitt. I don’t like “Hollywood George” but I love George Clooney humanitarian when I see him on CNN or one of the network news shows talking about Darfur.

      The difference is there is nothing underneath Brad Pitt.

  18. considerit says:

    it’s annoying that although the reporter recognizes it, s/he doesn’t ask clooney about the fact that he doesn’t date women who are his intellectual, political, professional, activist etc… equals.

  19. Ravensdaughter says:

    I always thought he had kind of a grimace or twitch. Nothing was ever written about it, so I thought it was just my imagination. Bells Palsy resolves in most cases, but I wonder if he had some irreversible nerve damage as an adolescent.
    The back injury on “Syriana”-OMG, whenever I think of it, I shiver. I have a chronic back pain from an acute horseback riding injury at 12 then years of lifting at work as an adult-I didn’t get smacked around so much in a torture scene (!) that I leaked spinal fluid. He must have some pretty hefty baseline pain, with awful flares.
    But, he’s still out there acting and doing good things. I hope it’s George or Brad, since they will both be so happy for each other (and they both did some excellent acting).

  20. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    Transparent bitch.

    He almost pulled me in until I remembered who we’re dealing with. A charming douche.

  21. LucyOriginal says:

    He has said all of this before, but he seems more honest in this interview.

  22. Madison says:

    He really wants that Oscar and seems so desperate to win it. Winning an oscar is not only about the acting it’s mainly about spending a lot of money and having a great PR campaign. None of the other nominees have been campaigning as hard as George, sadly he’ll probably win it thanks to a great give me that fucking oscar campaign even though his wasn’t the best actor performance.

  23. Alexis says:

    George should just get a girl (or guy) he really likes, not just one that will fit in and allow him to live as much like a single person as possible. He or she doesn’t have to be close his age and status in Hollywood. He doesn’t even seem to be picking people who are making him happy. Say what you want about Leo (and I’ll say a lot) but he’s enjoying his situation. George doesn’t seem to be. Dude, you’re rich and nobody buys this ish anyway! Just do what you want to do. I don’t get why he doesn’t…unless he’s gay. Because it really would make a difference if “the last Hollywood star” as they say, melodramatically, turned out to be a gay man. It would change his legacy and the roles he’d get. Maybe he’ll come out when he’s too old to be a lead, but that age limit is going higher every year…

  24. aprayerforthewildatheart says:

    “‘Am I in trouble?’ And he said, ‘Grow up. You’ve got money. You’ve got a job. You can’t demand freedom of speech and then say, “But don’t say bad things about me.” ‘ And he was right.'”

    Love this quote. I always enjoy his dad stories. His father seems so grounded, and intelligent, like a straight arrow that just cuts through all the BS.

    I like GC, I’ve seen so many of his films that I’ve really enjoyed, O Brother Where Art Thou? is one of my all-time favs…

    I think DuJardin will win Oscar.

    • aprayerforthewildatheart says:

      Hmmm…This article really got me thinking. This is why I feel bad for George, people call him a whiner, and say he has money and he has no right to be anything other than happy, as if money has ever made anyone happy…

      It’s like he created a label that said “Real Me”, and put it on a locked door in his mind, and every time he opened that door more and more things were gone. Now the room sits empty, and everything outside the room is full of people who “love” or “hate” him, and tell him who he is or should be, based upon their perspective.

      Maybe he thinks no one wants to know who he really is, and he’s right. A lot of people don’t even like his persona. No one has any use for him except to entertain them, just like any other artist who sold out for fame. I think he has a huge inferiority complex, that he hides behind humor, he pulls tricks, and seems to perpetually be “on”. No wonder he looks so old for his age, hiding who you are takes a lot of energy.

    • Aqua says:

      I think he has great parents and he speaks about his dad with love and respect and I hope he knows how lucky he is to still have them both around.I think his fathers quote just goes to show that a parent is never to old to teach a lesson even to a grown man and one is never to old to learn a lesson.

  25. Guest1 says:

    We have been so bombarded in the last few weeks with George Clooney interviews in all sorts of magazines and on the TV, it is hard to tell what is sincere and what is a campaign for the Oscar. On being lonely ,he can only blame himself for that journey. After reading so much about him in the last few weeks, when he says he does not want to get married, no children and now he doesn’t think about marriage, a person like this should not get married or be in a long term relationship ,because the significant other would be in a relationship by themselves. There is no way he knows how to completely share his life with someone. This means from his daily schedules to his feelings to not focusing on himself all the time. These girls that he dates, do really fit into his world and he not into theirs.

  26. mandy says:

    i think that he don’t deserve an oscar. because he is not really a good actor … i hope that jean dujardin win the oscar ( sorry i’m french lol). i’m happy that people begins to anderstand he is bad . but he is not used that we avoid him…(sorry bad english)

  27. Aqua says:

    Don’t worry folks this will all be over with soon enough.

  28. Em says:

    Pulling out the pity card eh George. Well it worked for Liz Taylor (Butterfield 8- Oscar).

    • D. says:

      Please – Liz Taylor was hardcore! She earned that pity Oscar with a life-threatening case of pneumonia and an emergency tracheotomy. Being lonely in your palatial Italian villa doesn’t really cut it.

      If Clooney has even a tenth of Taylor’s dedication, he’ll come down with a convenient case of bird flu within the next few days.

      • Em says:

        LOL D……no one does it quite like Liz but Kaiser didn’t include the bit where he reminds everyone about the injury he got while filming Syriana which ended up with spinal fluid leaking out of his nose. The 15 related surgeries he has had to fix it over the years and the constant pain he still suffers from the accident.

        “The actor has spoken before about the pain he suffered from a leak in his spinal cord that was so intense he contemplated suicide. ‘I thought I was going to die,’ he says of the consequences of a fall when he was filming ‘Syriana’ in 2005.

        ‘I thought I’d had a stroke. It was like a train horn going off in your head and you can’t see and you can’t stand,’ he says.

        After a nine-hour surgery, he said he was put on a regimen of prescription drugs.

        ‘Then you start on a series of painkillers,’ he says. ‘They’ll hand you a giant tub of Vicodin, which is not a good drug for me; I had a lot of stomach pain and I really didn’t like the high it gave me.

        ‘Then there were a lot of other drugs. I was on morphine for a while, which created this horrible anxiety where I really thought I was in trouble.’
        He said he still suffers daily pain today.

        ‘As the day goes on, it gets worse. My ears will literally pop and my head goes ape-shit. But I’m scrappy,’ he says.

        Just so we (or more importantly the academy voters) don’t forget his humanitarian work and his courage in going to Darfur and Sudan, the article mentions the recurring malaria he suffers due to his trips as well as the life threatening moment when some kids in Africa stuck a rifle in his face.

        Nothing new, we have heard it all before but he is really laying it on thick at the moment. Making sure the AA voters know how much he sufferd and is still suffering for his ‘art’

    • nope says:

      I don’t get the comparison. Liz was a talented actor, she had been in excellent movies, and her beauty was legendary. She had personality. She was a diva and she behaved that way her entire life.
      This guy is more a commercial product that a huge pr team is selling and promoting h24. His humanitarian commitment looks fake and his interviews are carefully planned and written by his publicist/ghost writers. No wonder he sounds wise and smart: that’s the result of a perfectly planned campaign.
      But I really don’t see any talent, he’s basically repeating the same character, over and over, same face, same voice, no real emotion.

  29. Jane says:

    If he is lonely, it is his own fault. I like the guy, I think he is a very nice man and easy on the eyes. But, there is something different about him and I don’t mean he is gay or bisexual.

    It is a basic problem with relationships. What exactly I don’t know other than having women throw themselves at him and being spoiled. But he can’t seem do the work involved to actually connect and commit to a woman for more than a couple of years. He seems very emotionally mature in many ways that are important, but not in that area.

  30. xploxite says:

    I Believe Him for the Problem Sleeping at Night, I Know afew People who have the same exact problem & on Being alone I think he’s affraid the type of women he attracts are only trying to use him for time being so he has problem with trust/motivations these women have, I would’ve been the same, wouln’t anyone?
    that’s Hollywood.

  31. thingummy says:

    I hope he wins because it was a nuanced and moving performance. If he had to campaign too, so what, that’s the business and they’re all campaigning. Big deal.
    Good Luck George!

  32. TheWayItGoes says:

    Damn…George is sooo thirsty for another Oscar. It’s so transparent and full of pander

    When did he get so annoying???

  33. phlyfiremama says:

    Oh, boo hoo hoo. Cry me a river…

  34. BoBo says:

    It is all too much. He has done to many interviews in the last few months and too much with the red carpet events with Cray Cray. We get it George, you really want the Oscar.

  35. truthshot says:

    suck it up clooney. you’re a great actor. you are, however, an asshole significant other.

    let the oracle rest now.


  36. Go easy on The Clooney people. When you get to the stage in your career that he is at, with so many “handlers” and “managers” and “stylists” and whatever the f else is floating around out there, It must feel pretty good to be heard in your own words once in a while.

  37. Min Doo says:

    I used to like Clooney a lot better some years ago, still admire him for his humanitarian work though. Never liked him as an actor, he is just horrible and if he undeservedly gets the Oscar this year he probably kissed a lot of asses – but like I said I used to like him a lot more.

  38. sauvage says:

    I cannot care for George Clooney anymore. I just can’t. I liked him as an actor in “From Dusk ’til Dawn”, I liked “Good Night and Good Luck” and that’s about it.
    I just can’t overlook his personal life.

    (If he is a closeted gay, then I kind of feel for him. It can’t be fun to have to hide who you are.)

    But if he is heterosexual, then I think he is an idiot and an emotional coward. And, I’m sorry – I can’t respect that. You are just as good as a person as your ability to love. If you are not able to truly love, and commit, it just ruins the purpose of everything else. Yeah, he may be a humanitarian and he may be doing good, but – DAMNIT!- if it’s just to fill the void inside his heart, then he can go to hell in my book.

  39. Jin says:

    Brad Pitt and George Clooney both don’t really need to do all this campaigning. What bugs me is they try to act like they are above it, when they are all about it. Your films came out awhile ago. There is no need to be on the cover of the Hollywood Reporter.

  40. Dominic Carr says:

    Hi George clooney fans do any of you lovely ppl know the answer to this famous line “I survived long periods of very bad performances and very bad…….”???anyone ??xx

  41. Ronald says:

    @Dominic Carr stop cheating. Find it yourself. For those who don’t know it’s a Clyde 1 competition.