George Clooney has an incredibly wide range, and he's prolific as hell. The reason he can make you believe he's an overalls-wearing harmonizing hillbilly during the Depression (in O Brother, Where Art Thou?) or a suave, silk-suited robber (in Ocean's Eleven, et al.) is that he plays it all so "south of snob and north of slob" that you forget he's acting.
He breathes believability into his roles because he's real where it's hardest for actors to be: in life. Somehow he manages to be cool, handsome and a standout while keeping that regular-guy thing going. He never looks like a pretty boy or a playboy, even though that is what he is by all tested and accepted movie-star standards.
How can you not likeor at least not resentsomeone who uses his fame to harangue the world (and what passes for its leaders) about the responsibilities of a free press and the horrors of Darfur or even the closer-to-home and lesser agonies of the writers' strike?
I knew that George, 46, would be a big star years before you did. It was a great pleasure for the cast and crew of Roseanne to watch how he would craftily deliver lines, making them funny and sexy no matter how they read on the written page. He's a crack-up and a damn good sport. A favorite snack-table gossip-talk meet would start with "Did you hear what Clooney did/said?"
He can drink too much and still, while standing in a bar parking lot at 3 a.m., discuss the world with such passion and good sense that you actually stop imagining him nude and really listen. Simply as I can put it, George Clooney could run for President (and maybe should) and get my vote!
Comedienne Barr, now appearing in Las Vegas, blogs daily at roseanneworld.com
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