If you’re a Pace student who gets to attend the master-class-turned-TV-series Inside the Actors Studio, you want to have a guest like George Clooney. The man is an icon, but his interview with James Lipton was incredibly down-to-earth. Though Lipton teased him about his lack of modesty, George managed to be pretty self-deprecating when discussing his infamous nipple-tastic Batman suit and his silly flip-flop scene from Oscar nominee The Descendants.
We’ve pulled our ten favorite quotes from the episode, including George’s favorite curse word, his bit on South Park, and what prank he has in store for buddy Brad Pitt.
1. “If Batman had to wear the suit, everyone would die. Because you’re laying on the board like this and they just prop you up and you’re like, [gravelly voice] ’I'm Batman.’ And then… [imitates himself being laid back down] Joel Schumacher was directing; he’s very funny, because he’d be like, ‘OK George, remember, your parents are dead, you have nothing to live for, and–action!’”
And as a bonus, here’s the video:
2. On his time in the recording studio for the Coen brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou?: ”And I’m just singing as hard as I can. I finish and look up at the glass booth with T-Bone [Burnett] and everyone, but they’re not looking at me. They’re looking down… They have me listen to it, hoping I’ll hear that it’s terrible. And it’s terrible! But I’m not gonna let them off the hook that easily, so I say, ‘It’s great!’”
3. Pointing out that as an actor he takes four months out of his life to do a movie — and a year as a director — he says, “I’m going to work on sets that are fun… I’m not gonna work on a set where people are yelling and screaming and unhappy. I’m working in the luckiest profession.”
4. Talking about his The Descendants co-star Amara Miller: ”The little one can act, but she scares me. It was her first movie… It’s like she’s the spawn of Satan. She didn’t understand doing multiple takes. So they pull out this bowl of ice cream for the first scene and she’s just scarfing it… She does the scenes and Alexander [Payne] says, ‘OK, let’s do it again’ and they pull out another bowl. She goes through a few more [bowls] like a mad woman, and then it starts to hit her.”
5. When asked about taking on this less-manly role: ”I went to the wardrobe fitting and they put me in a pair of khakis up to my armpits and tucked in a Hawaiian shirt. I put away my masculinity and vanity right there.”
6. On his South Park debut: ”They asked me to play a part. I plaeyd Sparky the gay dog. They came over with a tape recorder, ‘What do you want me to do?’ They said, ‘Bark.’… I made him a smaller dog, like ‘whuf’. They turned off the tape recorder, and left.”
7. “There’s a lot really filthy words you can say, but I like ‘dipshit.’ When you say that about someone, you know who they really are.”
8. His least favorite profession? Proctology: “I don’t really honestly believe that anyone starts out med school going, ‘I want to be the ass doctor.’ You have failed… there’s a professor who pulls you aside and goes, ‘Listen. This whole pulmonary thing isn’t gonna work out, so we’re thinking you should go a little further south.’”
9. “If we’d sat there the whole time trying to make [a scene] dark and sad, it would’ve started that way from the beginning. Actors know how things are going to end, people don’t. Actors try to cry, people try not to cry. So you need a gentle, soft, fun place to work in.”
10. Thankfully, one kid asked him about his famous pranks, and he hinted at a big one he’s been developing for quite some time: ”I have done some horrible things to people. I’m working on one right now for Brad Pitt. It might end his career. I owe him, so I’m getting him. I”ve been working on it for two years. I’m not gonna tell you what it is, but just know, I got it.”