George Clooney

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

George Clooney Pencil Portrait
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There’s something about outspoken individuals with little regard for political correctness that make me laugh. With barely a thought for the potential impact on their career, they just speak their minds, no matter what the potential consequences. The Duke of Edinburgh springs readily to mind as an obvious example – with his passing, we shall be sadly bereft of the ‘mock horror factor’ he brings to the world.

The urge to join Twitter is tempting when everyone from the Prime Minister to the Pope is posting messages about their daily lives. But actor George Clooney says anyone who is rich and famous and on the social media site is a ‘moron.’

Speaking in an interview with Esquire magazine, the Hollywood star also says the pressures of the 21st Century would have been too much for the stars from the ‘golden age’ of cinema.

George – I’m laughing already…

Still, away from the occasional absurdist comment, the actor remains a truly worldwide superstar not just for his work in front of the camera, but also as a filmaker and activist.

The silver fox, who owns properties around the globe, bought a £10 million nine-bedroom estate in Berkshire 14 months ago with his wife Amal, and sees himself “growing old and grey” – well old anyway!! – with the glamorous human rights lawyer when his creative fires dim.

Recommended viewing

The American (2010)

For a visually stylish yet strangely uninvolving movie, “The American” still inexorably draws its viewer in, with a subconscious need – nay even compulsion – to absorb every minor detail.

Clooney plays a character named Jack, or perhaps Edward, a man on the run after surviving an assassination attempt in Sweden, during which he was compelled to kill his girlfriend, the only other person who knew his whereabouts. A seasoned pro, he is one of those people who can assemble mechanical parts by feel and instinct, so inborn is his skill. His job is creating specialised weapons for specialised murders; assignments he carries out unquestioningly, at the behest of Pavel (Johan Leysen).

There’s an almost hypnotic quality to the film, as if watching events unfold in ‘real time,’ the sparse use of accompanying music suggesting a lull before the inevitable shoot out.

Meeting a woman named Mathilde (Thekla Reuten) in Italy, their conversation focuses solely on the specifications of the desired weapon, leaving the viewer in the dark as to the purpose or cost of this exercise. Uncomfortable with the room he takes in a small Italian hilltop village, his professional instincts kick in, and he leaves to find another location. In the second village, he meets the local priest, Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli), and is introduced to the local mechanic, whose shop contains all the necessary parts to build a custom silencer.

Along the way, he receives pleasure from a prostitute, Clara (Violante Placido), who works in the local bordello, whilst remaining unmoved by her professional technique. Informing her that she can quit faking it; – “I come here to get pleasure,” he tells her, “Not to give it.” – she still inexplicably remains prepared to see him romantically.

During periods of solitude, Jack maintains his fitness regime, drinks americanos in bars, whilst continuing to assemble his weapon of choice. Matilde reappears to test the weapon, but we remain unsure as to where her loyalties truly lie.

As Jack’s telephone conversations with Pavel become increasingly terse, the film edges towards a tense shoot-out at a local festival.