Bruce Willis turned down Clooney’s role in Oceans 11

Time Magazine has a new interview with some of the cast of Oceans 13. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Ellen Barkin talk about their film and discuss some of the pitfalls of fame. The transcript reveals the easy camaraderie between the stars that make the Oceans films so watchable despite complicated plotlines.

One thing revealed in the interview that was news to me is the fact that Bruce Willis was offered George Clooney’s part in the first Oceans movie and turned it down:

You’ve got Al Pacino in this movie, and previously you had Albert Finney and Julia Roberts. Are there any people you’ve approached who have actually said no?
CLOONEY: There is one. Bruce Willis turned down the first one.
BARKIN: Whose part?
CLOONEY: Actually, it was mine. He was supposed to be Danny Ocean, and he did end up doing the second one. I think he regretted not being in the first. But otherwise, pretty much anytime you go to someone with this, they sign on. We couldn’t believe Al wanted to do it.

The Oceans hotties also joke about how the paparazzi hound them, and say that Brad Pitt gets it the worst. They get nostalgic for the Hollywood days of yore when the celebrities’ lives were mysterious and there were no gossip rags:

On the subject of charisma, you’ve each been called the last great movie star at one point or another. Are we really running out of movie stars, and is that, like, a problem?

CLOONEY: The last real movie stars were probably Redford and Newman. And things were different then. There wasn’t this amazing amount of magazines and information about them.
DAMON: We didn’t know anything about them.
CLOONEY: There was mystique. They’re 60 feet high, and you paid your buck and a half to go see them. But that’s gone. People know everything about everybody now.
PITT: Jaws came along and proved you could make huge money with blockbusters, and it set this thing in motion that has lowered the subject matter. People like George have been getting good stuff out there, but it’s an industry that pushes people out on the big stage too fast, before they’re ready, and it eats them up as well. It’s a different kind of arena now.
BARKIN: Think about it. Do we know anything about Robert Redford’s children? Does he even have any?
DAMON: I worked with him, and I don’t know.
PITT: I have four, if you haven’t heard.

As we’re talking, there are paparazzi in boats out in the harbor taking pictures. Having just been through the celebrity muck of Cannes, who gets it the worst?
CLOONEY: There’s no question, it’s Brad.
PITT: Well, exponentially, with us together …
CLOONEY: But even before he was with [Angelina Jolie], we used to chum the water with him.
PITT: This is not a joke. They used to send me out to take the hits.
CLOONEY: We were at the airport in Italy. So I walk off the plane, and it’s “Hey, Giorgio!” And I go, “Look! Brad Pitt!” and they’re gone.
DAMON: You described it once as “People were stepping on our faces trying to get to Brad.”
PITT: Ah, well, I don’t take it as a compliment.

When asked about under appreciated leading men, George Clooney says he likes Clive Owen, especially in Children of Men, which Matt Damon calls his favorite movie of last year. Damon says that Christian Bale is one to watch while Ellen Barkin praises Ryan Gosling. Clooney mentions that Gosling goes out with Rachel McAdams, to which Barkin answers “Splitsville. Don’t you read Us?

You can read the entire interview at, which is where the header picture is from.

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