This Week's Cover: George Clooney opens up about Oscar campaigning -- and his cuticles

George Clooney is handsome and savvy, but he’s also self-aware when it comes to his ladies-man reputation. When he signed to play an eternal bachelor in his latest film, Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman (Juno), he immediately saw parallels between the character and himself. “Jason came to my house and brought the script and I read it,” Clooney says. “There were some things that sounded like they were taken from a Barbara Walters special that I had done. I’m not completely unaware of people’s perceptions of me. I sort of felt like, if you were ever going to deal with it, this is probably the best way to do it and the best person to do it with. If you can’t point at what people think are your shortcomings, then you’re boxing yourself in.”

He’s also particular about not allowing a body double in his films, even for the split-second shot of his thumb on a suitcase handle in Up in the Air. “I bite my cuticles so I’m always ashamed,” he admits. “But when you see somebody else’s hand come in and it’s got, like, different fingers or hairy knuckles, it doesn’t look right.”

For more on Clooney and Up in the Air, plus Dave Karger’s fearless Oscar predictions, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands January 1.

Comments (88 total) Add your comment
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  • Sara

    I haven’t seen any topless shots of Clooney lately, so maybe he’s in very good shape for his age. I did notice they shot him rather… how to say… conscientiously? in this movie whenever he wasn’t wearing a shirt.

  • Munz

    This is a horrible picture. Both of those women are much more attractive than depicted.

    • carol

      I agree only partially. Kendrick looks cute but Farmiga just looks… old in this shot.

      • queensgirl

        Really? I think it’s the best picture I’ve ever seen of her.

      • Frank Anderson

        And once again the cover is just a glamor shot of stars in front of a white screen… Who is designing these covers, and why do they still have a job?

      • davey

        I think Vera looks HOT!

      • jen

        yes. waaaaay too much makeup.

      • will

        Yikes Vera does look a little old in that shot…and Anna’s hair looks like shes getting ready for the prom.

    • phillip

      I think they both are BEAUTIFUL in the photo! That’s so bizarre you type that…

    • Ashley

      I think they aged Vera about 15 years with that hair and makeup combo.

  • Ambient Lite

    Avatar, Avatar, Avatar! Ugh! This is the third Avatar cover this year! EW must be deep in James Cameron’s pockets to be pimping it so hard. I’m canceling my subscription!
    ha ha ha ha ha

    • Anna

      Unless George Clooney played a tall blue guy in Avatar, I don’t see how this is an AVATAR cover. Maybe because it has one little picture on the top right?

    • orville

      And if you’re going to complain about *that* you could complain that Meryle Streep, George Clooney, and Sandra Bullock have been on the cover multiple times recently as well.

      • Frank Anderson

        I am pretty sure she is being sarcastic with this post… LOL.

      • Ambient Lite

        Yes, just having some fun with those who are tired of the Twilight covers – many of whom are also rallying for an Avatar cover. I’m sure the bitty thumbnails each week are torture for them.

      • crispy

        LOL. You crazy! I think it’s obvious at this point that EW despises Avatar… so don’t hold your breath. But in all seriousness, what is up with EW doing covers for movies that have been out for 2 weeks or more?

      • nick

        Its the Oscar issue. Every year a film that has already opened graces the cover. whats so strange about it?

      • Ambient Lite

        If this were they only issue they did that with, it wouldn’t be strange.

    • James

      I realize you’re trying to be sarcastic, but seeing as this is the second cover with Avatar relegated to the corner, I’m not sure how you can compare it, even through half-assed sarcasm, to the six or so full covers Twilight’s gotten.
      But whatever. Avatar’s going to push past New Moon’s box-office gross this weekend easily (if not sooner). So I guess you kids can keep your EW glamour shots. ;-)

      • Ambient Lite

        They won’t do an Avatar cover but if they did, it would be awesome if they did a blue person, face in hands a la Susan Boyle/Adam Lambert…seems to be the trend.
        As for box office, time will tell. The geeks may well be out in force spending all that Christmas money their grandmas sent them and force the Avatar returns into unreasonable levels.

      • James

        Now, now, be nice.
        I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate it if I suggested that all Twilight fans are moronic teenage girls or sex-starved housewives. So don’t automatically assume that everyone who sees Avatar is a “geek.” The four ladies in their 50s I sat next to would probably be very surprised to know that they’re “geeks” who were “spending all that Christmas money their grandmas sent them.” ;-)
        And the box office isn’t a matter of it, but when. I do so hope you have the grace to concede that you were wrong…

      • Ambient Lite

        What?!? I thought you DID say that about Twilight fans…maybe it was some other rogue James…
        As for the geek comment, it’s not something I consider to be a derogatory term. I’m a Twilight geek, you and your 50 year old girlfriends are Avatar geeks, etc. I like geekery. I’m not a mean-spirited person, I’m just having fun.
        And yes, I will graciously accept defeat on behalf of myself, Summit Entertainment, Chris Weitz, Edward’s lovely sparkles, and the entire Twilight franchise and fanbase *IF* Avatar should prevail at the box office.

    • datruth82

      Oh wow! You’re right about the Avatar shout-out. I didn’t even notice the mini-photos across the top.

  • Charlie

    @Ambient Lite,

    1.Techincally, it’s the first Avatar cover of next year.
    2. Like the last issue with it on the cover, it’s in the upper right corner.

  • MoMc

    Wow – I think Farmiga looks great in this shot. Sexy, confident and her age. Not like she is trying to pass for someone years younger.

  • Laura

    I always look forward to the “25 movies to see before Oscar night!” I think I might even be able to cross off more this year than ever…

  • Ed

    All you Avatar haters need to deal. It’s an Oscar preview issue, so of course Avatar will be represented (and it’s seen very small in the corner).

    I’m just glad that there’s no sign of Twilight on this cover

    • Brett

      Because it’s likely to pick up a lot of technical awards??

      • Dave

        Yes Brett, it probably will pick up a lot of technical awards. And it will also be nominated for Best Picture. Some people think it should win. Personally, I don’t think it should win. But I do think it should be nominated, and it will be. So there is reason for it to be included in an Oscar preview issue.

  • Shane

    I saw Vera in an interview recently, she was on a junket and promoting another project, and this picture and the way she looks in the movie is much different than what she looks like without a team behind her. She looks like an average 40+ woman in actuality. And at her age, and the way she really does look, honestly, this photo is quite gorgeous.

    • nellie

      She’s 36.

    • scmaize

      You must be very young if 36 is old and unattractive. I think she looks great. When you’re older, you’ll be glad a lot of people still think you’re attractive, and it’s okay to find love and have sex, even if you’re over 40, or 60, or whatever.

  • liz

    this is everything i hate about hollywood. during awards season everyone starts to whore themselves to the press so that they can get awards instead of letting the work do the talking.

  • Anna

    Why in the world is Brad Pitt on the cover? What Oscar level work did he do this year? If EW wants to honor Inglorious, then put Waltz’s pic on there–the guy who really did awards worthy work. Ahh, but his face doesn’t sell magazines . . .

    • joe

      ur very right.

      • bootsycolumbia

        No, she’s not right. Brad Pitt is the star of the movie, so of course his picture represents the movie. When Chris Waltz gets more recognition, his face will go on covers.

  • sandra

    george clooney is the ultimate awards season whore. pulling strings behind the scenes, charming the pants off of everyone. distracting them from the fact that he’s simply playing himself once again in UITA. he plays himself in all of his movies. hardly an acting stretch by any means. the ass kissing and charm will lead to another (undeserved) oscar.

    • jake

      agreed.

    • Cynthia

      What have you been watching? The part he played in Syriana is nothing like the part he played in Michael Clayton and nothing like himself personally. You’ve been reading gossip rags and not going to enough good movies.

    • Brett

      I hardly think so. “O Brother Where Art Thou,” “Burn After Reading,” and “Michael Clayton” are all examples of Clooney’s diversity.

    • Ryan

      Yes, because Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart had an incredible amount of range…

      Seriously, there’s a difference between being a poor actor and not having any range. Clooney, like the ones mentioned above, is a good actor, he just doesn’t have a whole lot of range.

    • lac

      Agree with Sandra. Also Clooney is a good actor with little range. The problem is that entertainment industry (including EW) like to portray him as this great actor. I think there would be less backlash about Clooney if media wrote a real article about him rather than the over hype mess we normally get.

    • anna

      George Clooney is the last of the old hollywood movie stars like Bogart, Cary Grant, etc. None of them were noted for their extensive range either, were they?

    • liz

      that’s what I just said. and it pisses me off that people compare him to Cary Grant. He’s trying too hard to be like him.

  • Brad Hamerly

    i thought the first issue of the new year would be a cover tribute to Brittany Murphy, an Oscar issue could have waited til next week

    • nick

      I didn’t think she was that famous. I’m sure there will be an article inside though.

  • catlin

    I dont understand how people want the cover to be designed. What do they want to be on it?

    • @catlin

      If you look at older EW covers, you’d see that they loved to experiment with costumes, set pieces, colors, different backgrounds, etc.
      Nowadays, it’s Star A (sometimes with Star B, C and D) in front of a white backdrop. Consistently. The creative juices have kind of dried up.

      • RubyBaby

        I’d say it’s economics at the heart of the issue (pun not intended) – it’s simply cheaper to shoot. Lord knows there’s not that much in funds to go around in magazine world these days. Plus white stands out more on news-stands.

  • Mia

    Sighhhhh…..

  • futuredirect

    Best film I’ve seen all year

    • LOL

      Amen to that!

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