How did The Conjuring conjure the masses?

This weekend, The Conjuring, a small budget horror movie about a family who endure frightening experiences after moving into a possessed house , beat Hollywood’s big blockbusters like R.I.P.D and Turbo in the US box office, debuting to $41 million.  Why do filmgoers have such an insatiable appetite for such superstitions?

Since the dawn of history people have believed that demons and other spiritual entities could possess creatures and places. Possessed humans often exhibited hideous symptoms, such as a personality transformation, unseemly behaviour, aggression, unnatural voices, physical deformities and epithets spewing. Those hapless individuals were treated by an exorcist, usually a man of deity, who performed an elaborate ritual or simply commanded the ungodly entities to depart in the name of a higher power.

Following the advances in medical science, which ascribed possession symptoms to mental illnesses such as epilepsy, psychosis, Tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder, the practice of Exorcism began to fade in the 19th century. But not anymore.

Following the release of the classic horror movie, The Exorcist (1973), which claimed to be based on the true story of a girl who was possessed by demons, exorcism reportedly experienced a staggering resurgence, prompting the Catholic Church to train priests in the forgotten ancient practice in order the satisfy the overwhelming demand.

Other than giving millions of people around the world a fright, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, spawned a multitude of other films about the subject, and although none has matched its originality, creativity and critical acclaim, they have still commanded commercial success and instilled fear in the hearts of millions. Like The Exorcist, the ensuing movies often claimed to be based on true events, perhaps because they were too incredulous to be accepted by a rational mind. After all, how do you expect someone to believe that Linda Blair could spin her neck 360 degrees without breaking it or float in the air unsuspended in The Exorcist!

The Conjuring also claims to be inspired by a true story based on the accounts of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who come to assist the Perron family in evicting the demons that tenanted their house and tormented them.

Demonic possessions are mainly experienced by religious people, but the Perron family is secular. Ironically though, they seek out the help of the people of God instead of science. We all see visions and imagine things around us, but unless we are firmly religious, we either ignore them or  resort to medical help. After all, visual science taught us that seeing is believing.

Apparently, the cast of the movie were also conjured.  When I met them  in San Francisco prior to the release of the movie, they told me that they had all kind of spooky experiences on set, while making the film, like fire alarms going off, or three slashes appearing on the computer screen. Actress Vera Farmiga, who plays Lorraine Warren, pulled a photo from her cellphone to show me a blue claw mark on her thigh, which apparently appeared the day after they started shooting. “Unless I had a mosquito bite and I scratched it with these three fingers, I don’t know what happened.”

Unlike Lorraine Warren, who had an unshakable conviction in the metaphysical world of demons and spirits, Farmiga insists that she neither has such convictions nor is a religious person. “It doesn’t matter what I believe about the spirit realm or the diabolical, Satan, God, none of that matters. What matters is that I buy into the story because I am portraying her.”

Interestingly, the Oscar-nominated actress, who has recently delved into the horror genre in the TV show Bates Motel and directed Higher Ground, a movie that deals with spiritually, perceives these projects as merely love stories, and that is what truly draws her to inhabit their characters. “I love the love,” she exclaims. “I feel like I am a monk, looking for all types of enlightenment, and I love overtly projects that challenge you, to define conceptually what God means to you, projects that challenge your belief or lack thereof, but even in those projects, I hard boil it down to love stories. If you YouTube any video of Lorraine and Ed together, they have such a mystical, beautiful, rare kind of love.”

Indeed, there is a tender love story at the core of this movie, but romance is a genre you wouldn’t ascribe to it. This is a scary movie, and that was exactly what drove the masses to see it; they were looking for sensational fear, and they got it. But how much truth is there behind the sensation?

While I was watching the movie, the image of Jim Carrey, playing the a cop with dissociative identity disorder, in Me, Myself and Irene leapt into my mind. Every time, he forgot to take his medicine, he turned into a hideous character, with many of the symptoms of a possessed person. But instead of fear, that film elicited laughter in our hearts.

I confess that expulsion of demons is far more dramatic and entertaining than taking a pill, but I very much doubt that such an ancient practice is a valid form of treatment for people afflicted with mental illnesses. In fact, there were incidents in which the procedure was fatal, as it was dramatised in The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), which tells the story of a priest who was persecuted for causing the death of a mentally-disturbed girl while performing exorcisms on her. So why do we still embrace these superstitious beliefs of demonic possession?

“There’s an aspect to all this which is like you may be scared, but if you keep scaring yourself, then there’s still something in you that want to be that and experience it,” say Formiga, who had a scary spiritual experience in her youth.

Indeed, fear is a weapon that has often been exploited by religion and authorities, to spread their dominance over the multitude. Filmmakers, on the other hand, are using it for the sake of entertainment and selling tickets at the cinema theatres.

Clooney scores again with two PGA nominations

Clooney scores again with two PGA nominations

Clooney scores again with two PGA nominations

George Clooneys two films, The descendants, in which he stars, and The Ides of March, which he directed and stars in have been nominated for the outstanding producer of theatrical motion pictures award by the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Clooneys films will be competing with other 8 contenders, including silent movie The Artist, Finchers The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the 60s drama The Help, Scorseses Hugo, Allens Midnight in Paris, Brad Pitts Moneyball , Spielbergs War Horse and the comedy Bridemaids.

Each one of the above, with the exception of the Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, received a Best Picture nomination for A Golden Globe last month.

Spielberg received another nomination for his animation movie The Adventure of Tintin, along with his co producer, Peter Jackson.

Other animated pictures vying for the top awards are Cars 2, King Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and Rango.

ITVs Downton Abbey will be in the ring with Mildred Pierce, Too Big to Fail and the Kennedys competing in the TV film and series category.

The PGAs wards, which be handed on Feb, 21, are a strong indicator for the Academy awards, because many of the PGA voters are members of the Academy.

 

George Clooney rules at The Golden Globe nominations

George Clooney rules at The Golden Globe nominations

George Clooney rules at The Golden Globe nominations

Writer-director-actor, George Clooney, who has been nominated 8 times and won twice in previous years, scores 4 Golden Globe nominations today in Best Dramatic Actor for playing a beleaguered father in the Descendants,  Best director, Best screenwriting and Best picture for his political drama The Ides of March.

But the biggest winner in this years Globes nomination is the silent movie, The Artist, gaining 6 nominations in the categories of Best Drama, Best Director  and Best Screenplay for Michel Hazanavicius, Best Lead Actor for  Jean Dujardin and Best Supporting Actress for Berenice Bejo.

Hot on the heels of The Artist comes The Help and The Descendants each with 5 nominations including Best Drama for both, alongside Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball and War Horse.

Moneyball, The Ides of March, Midnight in Paris, My Week With Marilyn and Bridemaids are up for 3 prizes apiece.

Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar), Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March) join George Clooney in the Best Lead actor in drama, while Brendan Gleeson (The Guard), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50), Ryan Gosling (Crazy, Stupid, Love) and Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris) are up against Jean Dujardin in the Best Lead actor in a comedy.

Golden Globe awards also recognize TV shows.  This year two British TV shows receive nods: The Hour with 3 nominations and Downton Abbey, which scores 4 nominations in the Best mini-series, Best actress for Elizabeth McGovern, Best Actor for Hugh Bonneville and Best Supporting actress for Maggie Smith.

 Other Brits featured in this years golden Globe nominations are Kate Winslet with two nods, one for Carnage and another for Mildred Peirce, Kenneth Branagh for My Week With Marilyn, Tilda Swindon for We Need To Talk about Kevin, Elton John for Gnomeo & Juliet, Jeremy Irons for The Borgias, Damian Lewis for Homeland, Romola Garai  and Dominic West for the Hour, Emily Watson for Appropriate Adult, Idris Elba for Luther, Bill Nighy for Page Eight and Kelly McDonald for Boardwalk Empire.

Glaringly absent in this year’s Globe nominations is Tailor, Tinker, Soldier, Spy and its star Gary Oldman, and Cannes’ Winner, The Tree of Life. Other pics such as the comedy Win Win, which was released back in February, and the Lebannes movie Where We go Now, which has won Toront Film Festival, were also missing in the Best Comedy category and Best Foreign movie category respectively.

 The Golden Globe awards are voted for by the 83 members of the LA-based Hollywood Foreign Press association. The final winners will be announced at the Annual Golden Globe ceremony on 15 January.

 The Golden Globe award show is the second most important event in Hollywoods Calendar. It will be hosted by British comedian Ricki Gervais, who hosted it previously in 2010 and 2011.

 

Full list of nominees:

  1. BEST MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
    1. THE DESCENDANTS
    2. THE HELP
    3. HUGO
    4. MONEYBALL
    5. WAR HORSE
  2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
    1. GLENN CLOSE ALBERT NOBBS
    2. VIOLA DAVIS THE HELP
    3. ROONEY MARA THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
    4. MERYL STREEP THE IRON LADY
    5. TILDA SWINTON WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
  3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
    1. GEORGE CLOONEY THE DESCENDANTS
    2. LEONARDO DICAPRIO J. EDGAR
    3. MICHAEL FASSBENDER SHAME
    4. RYAN GOSLING THE IDES OF MARCH
    5. BRAD PITT MONEYBALL
  4. BEST MOTION PICTURE COMEDY OR MUSICAL
    1. 50/50
    2. THE ARTIST
    3. BRIDESMAIDS
    4. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    5. MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
  5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE COMEDY OR MUSICAL
    1. JODIE FOSTER CARNAGE
    2. CHARLIZE THERON YOUNG ADULT
    3. KRISTEN WIIG BRIDESMAIDS
    4. MICHELLE WILLIAMS MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
    5. KATE WINSLET CARNAGE
  6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE COMEDY OR MUSICAL
    1. JEAN DUJARDIN THE ARTIST
    2. BRENDAN GLEESON THE GUARD
    3. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT 50/50
    4. RYAN GOSLING CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
    5. OWEN WILSON MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
  7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
    1. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
    2. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
    3. CARS 2
    4. PUSS IN BOOTS
    5. RANGO
  8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    1. THE FLOWERS OF WAR (CHINA)

       

    2. IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (USA)

       

    3. THE KID WITH A BIKE (BELGIUM)

       

    4. A SEPARATION (IRAN)

       

    5. THE SKIN I LIVE IN (SPAIN)
  9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
    1. BERENICE BEJ THE ARTIST
    2. JESSICA CHASTAIN THE HELP
    3. JANET MCTEER ALBERT NOBBS
    4. OCTAVIA SPENCER THE HELP
    5. SHAILENE WOODLEY THE DESCENDANTS
  10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
    1. KENNETH BRANAGH MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
    2. ALBERT BROOKS DRIVE
    3. JONAH HILL MONEYBALL
    4. VIGGO MORTENSEN A DANGEROUS METHOD
    5. CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER BEGINNERS
  11. BEST DIRECTOR MOTION PICTURE
    1. WOODY ALLEN MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    2. GEORGE CLOONEY THE IDES OF MARCH
    3. MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS THE ARTIST
    4. ALEXANDER PAYNE THE DESCENDANTS
    5. MARTIN SCORSESE HUGO
  12. BEST SCREENPLAY MOTION PICTURE
    1. WOODY ALLEN MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
    2. GEORGE CLOONEY, HESLOV, BEAU WILLIMON THE IDES OF MARCH
    3. MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS THE ARTIST
    4. ALEXANDER PAYNE, NAT FAXON, JIM RASH THE DESCENDANTS
    5. STEVEN ZAILLIAN, AARON SORKIN MONEYBALL
  13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE MOTION PICTURE
    1. LUDOVIC BOURCE THE ARTIST
    2. ABEL KORZENIOWSKI W.E.
    3. TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
    4. HOWARD SHORE HUGO
    5. JOHN WILLIAMS WAR HORSE
  14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG MOTION PICTURE
    1. HELLO HELLO GNOMEO & JULIET
      Music by: Elton John; Lyrics by: Bernie Taupin
    2. THE KEEPER MACHINE GUN PREACHER
      Music & Lyrics by: Chris Cornell
    3. LAY YOUR HEAD DOWN ALBERT NOBBS
      Music by: Brian Byrne; Lyrics by: Glenn Close
    4. THE LIVING PROOF THE HELP
      Music by: Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason, Jr.; Lyrics by: Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason, Jr., Damon Thomas
    5. MASTERPIECE W.E.
      Music & Lyrics by: Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry
  15. BEST TELEVISION SERIES DRAMA
    1. AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)
    2. BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
    3. BOSS (STARZ)
      GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
      HOMELAND (SHOWTIME)
  16. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES DRAMA
    1. CLAIRE DANES HOMELAND
    2. MIREILLE ENOS THE KILLING
    3. JULIANNA MARGULIES THE GOOD WIFE
    4. MADELEINE STOWE REVENGE
    5. CALLIE THORNE NECESSARY ROUGHNESS
  17. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES DRAMA
    1. STEVE BUSCEMI BOARDWALK EMPIRE
    2. BRYAN CRANSTON BREAKING BAD
    3. KELSEY GRAMMER BOSS
    4. JEREMY IRONS THE BORGIAS
    5. DAMIAN LEWIS HOMELAND
  18. BEST TELEVISION SERIES COMEDY OR MUSICAL
    1. ENLIGHTENED (HBO)
    2. EPISODES (SHOWTIME)
    3. GLEE (FOX)
    4. MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
    5. NEW GIRL FOX
  19. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES COMEDY OR MUSICAL
    1. LAURA DERN ENLIGHTENED
    2. ZOOEY DESCHANEL NEW GIRL
    3. TINA FEY 30 ROCK
    4. LAURA LINNEY THE BIG C
    5. AMY POEHLER PARKS AND RECREATION
  20. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES COMEDY OR MUSICAL
    1. ALEC BALDWIN 30 ROCK
    2. DAVID DUCHOVNY CALIFORNICATION
    3. JOHNNY GALECKI THE BIG BANG THEORY
    4. THOMAS JANE HUNG
    5. MATT LEBLANC EPISODES
  21. BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
    1. CINEMA VERITE (HBO)
    2. DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE) (PBS)
    3. THE HOUR (BBC AMERICA)
    4. MILDRED PIERCE (HBO)
    5. TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO)
  22. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
    1. ROMOLA GARAI THE HOUR
    2. DIANE LANE CINEMA VERITE
    3. ELIZABETH MCGOVERN DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE)
    4. EMILY WATSON APPROPRIATE ADULT
    5. KATE WINSLET MILDRED PIERCE
  23. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
    1. HUGH BONNEVILLE DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE)
    2. IDRIS ELBA LUTHER
    3. WILLIAM HURT TOO BIG TO FAIL
    4. BILL NIGHY PAGE EIGHT (MASTERPIECE)
    5. DOMINIC WEST THE HOUR
  24. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
    1. JESSICA LANGE AMERICAN HORROR STORY
    2. KELLY MACDONALD BOARDWALK EMPIRE
    3. MAGGIE SMITH DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE)
    4. SOFIA VERGARA MODERN FAMILY
    5. EVAN RACHEL WOOD MILDRED PIERCE
  25. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
    1. PETER DINKLAGE GAME OF THRONES
    2. PAUL GIAMATTI TOO BIG TO FAIL
    3. GUY PEARCE MILDRED PIERCE
    4. TIM ROBBINS CINEMA VERITE
    5. ERIC STONESTREET MODERN FAMILY

 

Hugo named Best Film by National Board of – Review

Hugo named Best Film by National Board of Review

Hugo named Best Film by National Board of Review

Comprised of scholars, filmmakers and students, the National Board of Review has named Martin Scorsese’s 3D homage to the early days of cinema, Hugo, as the best film of the year. Scorsese himself received the the best director prize.

Alexander Payne’s The Descendant received three nods: Best Actor for George Clooney for playing a father of two unruly daughters, Best supporting actress for Shailene Woodley for playing Clooney’s daughter, and Best Screenply for Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Tilda Swindon took the best actress award for potraying the mother of a young psychopath in the dark drama, We Need to talk about Kevin.

Christopher Plummer was hailed as the best supporting actor for his performance as a father who comes out at the age of 70, after the death of his wife, in Beginners.

 

Sleepless George Clooney reveals his fears – Interview

Sleepless George Clooney reveals his fears

Sleepless George Clooney reveals his fears

Other than being one of the most famous stars in the world, George Clooney is one of the busiest, turning out several movies every year. He is also one of the most successful ones, gaining an Oscar nomination in the directing category and winning one for acting. Remarkably, he also finds time to save the world, championing political and social causes such as Darfur and South Sudan. In fact, he has just arrived from a one-day trip to China, where he was raising funds for a satellite to monitor the Sudanese troops’ activities in Darfur.

“I have an alter ego that lets me do that,” he laughs. “I look at the world like I have a lot of things to try and get done, and I really don’t have a lot of time to do it. While I was in Hawaii, I flew to South Sudan in the middle of shooting The Descendants for a couple of days. It’s a drag to do but I just do it. I think that’s what most of us have to do.”

But what truly distinguishes George Clooney from other stars is his infinite charm, razor wit and seductive affability. Meeting him, you forget that you are in the company of one of the hottest superstars in Hollywood as he wraps you with his indelible smile and genuine attention. Indeed, while other stars struggle to deal with their fame, Clooney has deftly managed it with ease and conviviality, and utilised it to serve the voiceless sufferers of the world.

“I’m always very proud of being able to deflect some of this too much attention that I get to on other people who could use it. Darfur and South Sudan were important parts to me because they couldn’t get their voices heard.”

Raised by socially aware parents during the upsurge of the civil right movement, the anti-war movement and women’s rights movement, the Kentucky-born actor has been always socially involved, so it was natural for him to seize upon the power of his fame to make a difference on a grand scale. But Clooney insists that his initial goal, when he drove to LA in in his rusty car in 1982 with money saved up from cutting tobacco, was merely to try acting.

“I just thought it seemed like something that was fun and challenging. I didn’t know whether I would succeed at it, and I didn’t for quite some time, “ he reflects, smiling.

“I got to do a lot of terrible TV shows and be really terrible in them. Luckily nobody really saw it so I got to learn how to screw up and deal with that in some sense,” he laughs.

But in 1994, millions saw the acclaimed medical series, ER, which jolted Clooney to stardom with his portrayal of paediatrician Doug Ross.  While still on ER, the ambitious actor seized on his newfound celebrity and made the leap to the big screen, quickly establishing himself as a major Hollywood star, with leading roles in “From Dusk Till Dawn”, “Batman & Robin” and “Out of Sight.”

Instead of limiting himself to playing in big Hollywood movies that would ensure the inflation of his fortune, the socially-conscious activist gradually veered his attention to working in risky movies that “dealt with social issues but were good entertainment,” such as Syriana, and Michael Clayton, and later embarked on a directing career, making political movies such as Good Night, and Good Luck in 2005 and the Ides of March this year.

“I look for storyline and then I look to make it entertaining. I believe you can do both,” he enthuses.

In Ides of March, Clooney plays a Democratic presidential candidate, who has to make moral compromises in order to win the primaries. Clooney says that as a film maker, he doesn’t have to make such compromises and hence the idea of becoming a politician has never appealed to him.

“In politics, I have to answer to people. In film, particularly, when you’re directing, you’re the dictator,” he laughs satisfactorily. “You can decide what kind of story you want to tell and can take sides. You can do all the things that you couldn’t do in politics. I very much enjoy to talk about corporate corruption in Michael Clayton or to talk about oil problems and how we create problems for ourselves in the middles east in Syriana. I like to be able to do that and I don’t have to answer to anybody except the ticket-buying public. And when they stop buying tickets, then I’ll stop making those movies.”

But making substance movies, which Hollywood studios often deem a risky investment, is an arduous task. Clooney had to go to Foreign Film Markets to pre sell his movies to international buyers in order to finance them. He made Good Night and Good Luck for $7 million and the Ides of March for $12 million – a meagre amount compared with studio productions.

Due to the limited budget of his projects, Clooney arrives on set meticulously prepared, shoots during the day and edits during the night. In fact, the shoot of the Ides of the March came in a million dollars under budget and three days early.  

Upon completing a film, Clooney tours festivals around the world promoting it. He attends every screening and party in order to spread the word and charm studios into buying his movies and audiences into watching them.

“I’m not doing these blockbuster films anymore, so when I am not doing those, you actually need film festivals to sell your movie. It’s a big part of it. Festivals have been very helpful in selling them along the way and kicking them off because if they don’t get a certain amount of play, the studios aren’t going to back them.”

In spite of the travails of making his movies, the 50-year-old is not tempted to retreat into the comfort of the acting vocation.

“I’ve really been doing the acting part of my career for a long time,” he says. “I’m really interested in writing and directing. I’ve had some success at it and I like it. I have things that I want to say and things that I want to do, and it’s infinitely more creative than just acting.

“You’re getting greyer and older, and you think there’s also a point when people aren’t going to really want to see you there. You don’t want to be the last guy at the party with all the toys going ‘Where did everybody go?’ so you want to be ahead of the curve.”

Nonetheless, Clooney wouldn’t miss an opportunity to play parts when they’re right. So when director Alexander Payne offered him the lead role, Matt King, in his new movie The Descendants last year, Clooney instantly obliged.

“I really wanted to do a film with Alexander Payne. I love him and he’s a great guy and one of my favourite film makers of all time,” Clooney enthuses.

Set in Hawaii, The Descendants follows real estate lawyer Matt King as he tries to reconnect with his mischievous daughters, whom he has neglected for years, after his cheating wife suffers a boat accident and falls into a coma.

The famously devout bachelor, who’s eschewed marriage since failing previously as husband, was not deterred by the challenge of playing a family man and delivers a convincing performance.

“As a professional actor, your job is to relate,” he stresses.” I can certainly relate to the difficulties this guy is going through. Part of my job is actually to do what is asked of me in the script and not have to worry about whether it directly pertains to me in some way or not. You don’t have to actually shoot heroin to play a drug addict and I find that in many ways our job is to portray what other people have experienced in their life as well as the ones we have.”

In spite of being one of the busiest stars in Hollywood, Clooney is also the most visible.  Exuding cheerfulness and happiness, he is invariably accompanied by a gorgeous lady.  But behind this veneer of perfection, there is a restless soul anguished by doubts and fears, like the rest of us.

“Being in the world that I live in and working in an art form, you have to constantly be changing and asking different questions and questioning yourself and questioning everybody around you and wondering if you’re doing what you should be doing in life.

“I don’t sleep much; I wish I slept more. I have this drive not to be sitting still and so my biggest fear in the world would be to be doing the same thing 10 years from now.”

Suddenly, this solemn statement impregnates the room with a intense silence. Clooney senses it and promptly punctures it with his sword of blithesome charm.

“Now I got you depressed,” he laughs, triumphantly.