George Clooney & Single: Why? by D. H. Barkley - Read Online
George Clooney & Single
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George Clooney is often considered one of, or is possibly the most eligible bachelor in the world, so why has his longest live-in companion been a pot bellied pig?Why has this attractive, charming, funny, rich, successful man, with a good social conscience, never found long-term happiness with a romantic soul-mate? Despite a string of liaisons with several beautiful women, he has never managed to sustain a romantic relationship beyond a few years.Is it because he is so wedded to his work? Is it because he has never found someone important enough to make a real commitment, involving sacrifice and compromise? Is it because he is not prepared to let down his guard enough to be part of a couple? Or is it due to something else?As a self-confessed workaholic with an apparent need for control, a strong self-protection mechanism and old-style male values, and a key support system involving a band of like-minded ‘boys’, finding the right soul-mate and staying with them, particularly given the public spotlight, will never be easy – but is it impossible?This book explores possible answers to the curious question ‘George Clooney & Single: Why?’. It looks at what we know about ‘The Man’ himself, what we know about ‘The Women’ he has dated, and why they don’t last, in the context of current thinking on how we choose a suitable mate and sustain long-standing romantic relationships.** 50% of net author proceeds will be donated to George Clooney’s charity ‘Not On Our Watch’ **
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ISBN: 9781483517568
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What do we know about The Man?

Only those close to him know the real George Clooney.

The rest of us have to make do with assumptions based on his media persona and information from the public domain. It’s not easy to find out the truth about the real George Clooney – with plenty of inconsistent information around, for example something as simple as his sleep pattern is reported totally differently across sources – there are claims he goes to bed in the early hours of the morning and gets up at noon, others say he is in bed by 10 pm but wakes up many times, with some claiming that he only needs two to three hours sleep per night. As it is unlikely all are true, we have to try hard to piece together available information and get the best picture we can. Sadly a request to interview George Clooney to validate the information in this book went unanswered.

What is certain is that he is handsome, charming, funny, rich, and successful, but it is also clear that he is a man of many sides – some fun loving and some more serious.

Let’s take a look at what we know about the different sides that make up Mr George Clooney.

The Achiever

That George Clooney has achieved a lot in his life to date is unquestionable.

With a string of successful movies under his belt, this talented actor, screenwriter, director and producer has collected no less than two Oscars (Best Supporting Actor for Syriana in 2005, Best Picture for Argo in 2012 [Co-Producer alongside Ben Affleck and Grant Heslov]) and four Golden Globes (Best Actor for O Brother, Where Art Thou? in 2000, Best Supporting Actor for Syriana in 2005, Best Actor for The Descendants in 2011, and Best Picture for Argo in 2012), not to mention an additional six Oscar and nine Golden Globe nominations, and other prestigious awards in the film industry. Clooney is clearly much more than just an actor, currently being the only person in the long history of the Academy Awards, other than Walt Disney, to have ever been nominated for Oscars in six different categories [1,2,3].

Over 10 years ago he was already acclaimed as one of Entertainment Weekly’s Most Powerful Voices in Hollywood [4]. He has also been ranked as one of Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Smartest People in Hollywood; amongst Premiere’s Annual Power 100 List; and Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World [5]. On top of his professional achievements, he has been named # 1 on TV Guide’s 50 Sexiest Stars of All Time and has twice (impressively almost 10 years apart) been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive [1].

His achievements don’t stop there – his tireless humanitarian work has won him not only respect but a number of honors including The Bob Hope Humanitarian Emmy award and an appointment as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. And if he didn’t already have enough to keep him occupied, he also fundraised for the Obama campaign in 2008 and again for the re-election campaign in 2012.

This kind of career and achievement doesn’t come easily, requiring endless hard work and tireless determination (determination is a word often used about Clooney). ‘He wasn’t handed those opportunities – he put himself there’, confirms friend Brad Pitt [6]. However, it didn’t always come easy, and after dropping out of college and leaving for Los Angeles with $300 in his pocket and no secure work [6], he was a struggling actor for many years in TV pilots that never made it. Finally in 1994, a decade or so after arriving in Hollywood and now aged 33, Clooney got the big break he had been striving for – when cast as the handsome, roguish Dr Ross in the long-running medical drama ER [1]. ‘I didn’t become really successful until I was in my thirties. I can still remember sitting on the closet floor of my buddy’s house, completely broke. My friends would want to go out to dinner, to get a hamburger, and I couldn’t afford to go. They had the money to pay, but I didn’t want them to pay. That happened a lot. At one point, I remember my buddy Brad loaning me a hundred dollars. He’s now running our production company. I’m still paying that debt off, you know?’ [7]. His fame widened in 2001 when he played Danny Ocean in the hugely successful movie Ocean’s Eleven [8].

As a self-proclaimed workaholic – ‘I’m driven by work’ [9], he is clearly serious about what he does ‘It’s not about an opening weekend. It’s about a career, building a set of films you’re proud of. Period’ [7]. Clooney is renowned for his amazing work ethic [4] and boundless energy – according to a fellow ER actor ‘George has more stamina than anyone I’ve ever met’ [4,10]. It has been said of Clooney that part of his drive is based on a need to leave a lasting impression on the world. ‘After a certain amount of money you don’t need more. So then it comes down to what is your legacy going to be? What are you going to stand for when you get hit by a bus? You want to be able to say that you made a couple of good movies’ [10,11]

Now over 50, an age at which he once claimed one can reap the benefits of one’s work ‘In your 20’s, you figure out what it is you’re going to be. You do a lot of different jobs. By your late 20’s, you sort of have some idea of what it is. Then you spend your 30’s and a lot of your 40’s making your mark. You spend your 50’s being able to reap the benefits of the work that you’ve done’ [7], he clearly doesn’t have any intentions of slowing down in the near future.

The Playboy

George Clooney clearly enjoys the good-life, and whether he likes it or not, has a playboy ‘good-time’ image. Despite his huge work ethic and commitment to good causes, many reports suggest The Man is pretty partial to a good ‘night on the town’, often seen hanging out with his gang of male friends in the nightspots of The Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas (where he recently launched his own tequila brand, Casamigos Tequila, with friend Rande Gerber) [12]. Along with his Playboy image he has a long-standing reputation of being quite the womanizer.

It seems he may always have had a highly developed party animal side – according to his mother, about his time at Northern Kentucky University studying journalism, ‘To George, school was a very large restaurant and night club’ [4], something Clooney confirms ‘In college, I basically partied a lot. You gotta understand. We’re a very strict Catholic family. Curfew was at 9 pm when I was a senior in high school. So I got out of the house and thought, Oh my God’ [4]. And it didn’t stop there – shortly after dropping out of University he camped out with his cousin Miguel Ferrer and according to Ferrer the pair ‘Played practical jokes, drank too much and slept with about a million women’ [4].

Apparently as a teenager, he was already attractive to women, but is said to have been a ‘late bloomer with regards to chasing girls’ [4]. He seemed happy to be a lad and hang out with friends (as he clearly still does now). According to a school friend ‘George always liked to go to parties and be with his friends’ [4]. However he obviously wasn’t that late a starter with serial monogamy, which appears to have become the way with his romantic relationships – according to his older sister describing his time in high school ‘He would go out with someone for a few months and then go out with someone else for a few months’ [13].

He seems in part happy to cultivate the playboy image, which may be good for his ratings and popularity among women of all ages ‘Run for office? No. I’ve slept with too many women, I’ve done too many drugs, and I’ve been to too many parties’ [14], ‘I’m a Method actor. I spent years training for the drinking and carousing I had to do in this film’ [14]. On the other hand, he definitely wants to be taken seriously and the playboy image doesn’t fit him entirely comfortably ‘I’m not a playboy. If I had been with all the women that I was said to have been with, I wouldn’t have had the time to shoot one single movie’ [15].

The Humanitarian

According to George Clooney ‘You have a responsibility to other people in the world’ [10].

Clooney is known for his outspoken views and lifelong devotion to liberal causes (apparently instilled into him by his father). He is clearly deeply committed to using his fame to raise awareness of important humanitarian causes ‘I don’t need to be more famous. I’ve got all the attention I need and I’m just trying to use that attention on other people’ [16], and ‘All you can do as a celebrity is throw a spotlight on things’ [17].

He has actively raised funds for a number of important causes including the victims of 9/11, the 2004 Tsunami, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, to mention just a few. He is co-founder of Not On Our Watch (along with Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub), a non-profit organization that aims to focus global attention and resources to prevent mass atrocities. The charity is ‘Committed to robust international advocacy and humanitarian assistance’ [18]. It encourages ‘Governing bodies to take meaningful, immediate action to protect the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced’ and to ‘Mobilize significant funds towards emergency, lifesaving projects to protect those in harm’s way’. According to their website [18], the current regions of focus for their activities are Darfur, Burma, and Zimbabwe.

Clooney has been very vocal on the need for a resolution for the Darfur conflict, and in 2012 was actually arrested, along with his father, for civil disobedience during a staged protest outside the Sudanese Embassy [19]. However, he does much more than just talk about Darfur – for this cause he is a hands-on humanitarian, travelling a number of times to the war-torn region, making a documentary with his father A Journey to Darfur, with DVD sale proceeds donated to the International Rescue Committee [1], and he co-conceived and co-founded the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) [20]. SSP is a highly innovative project, with its slogan ‘The world is watching because you are watching’. It has ‘Eyes in the sky and research on the ground: Fusing imagery, analysis, and advocacy to end genocide and crimes against humanity’. Essentially this involves using state-of-the-art satellite technology to monitor the troubled border region between South and North Sudan, looking for any evidence of armed activity suggestive of renewed war and human rights crimes. In detecting and documenting any atrocities in real-time, SSP aims to provide an early warning system and deterrent, to capture hard evidence to assist the United Nations’ mandate and seek accountability for perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Although Clooney says ‘It’s been incredibly successful. Now attacks only occur at night or under cloud cover’, as ever he strives to do better ‘We’ll need to change to infra-red. We watch, it helps’ [21].

His efforts for Darfur were recognized alongside Don Cheadle with a Peace Summit Award at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in 2007, for ‘Their strong engagement in favor of pacification in the tortured Darfur region, for having contributed to saving human lives and to alleviating the suffering of the civil populations victims of the war’ [22]. In his acceptance speech, in the modest style for which he is renowned, Clooney said that ‘Don and I … stand here before you as failures. The simple truth is that when it comes to the atrocities in Darfur … those people are not better off now than they were years ago’ [1].

Known for his outspoken views on war and human rights ‘The problem is, we elected a manager and we need a leader. Let’s face it: Bush is just dim’ [14], Clooney is also a busy activist closer to home. Recently he appeared with Brad Pitt in a stage production ‘8’, a re-enactment of the federal trial that overturned California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage [23]. The one-off performance in an LA theatre was reported to have attracted an audience of more than 1,000 and was thought to have raised $2 million for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. In the same year Clooney also used his celebrity status to auction a lunch date to benefit the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network [24].

Many celebrities are involved in charitable acts, presumably some do it to salve their conscience about their extremely luxurious lifestyles, and Clooney confirms that ‘It’s the only way I can reconcile being successful’ [10], but for him it is clearly much more of a passion than a guilt trip. And long may he continue to champion these needy causes.

The Loyal Friend

While work is George Clooney’s first love, a close group of longstanding male friends are next on the list, a group he calls his ‘Family’ [4,6]. This is in keeping with Clooney being ‘fascinated’ by male camaraderie in both his life and his movies ‘There’s this thing about guys that is attractive. We do all the dumb things. But there’s this thing we also do that I like. There’s this camaraderie that I really do love’ [6].

His friendships with ’The Boys’ are probably his closest relationships, with a tight-knit group of like-minded men who have know him for decades, long before he was famous, and who have always been there for each other in times of need. The central importance of this like-minded band for Clooney is clear ‘It’s important. It’s my family. When you are in the position I’m in you meet a lot of nice people. I have a lot of nice acquaintances. But this is my core group’ [25]. ‘There’s something really great about looking over at the same group of guys for 20 years with this familiarity and understanding that, win or lose, we sort of made it through together’ [25].

Richard Kind, Thom Matthews, Matt Adler, Waldo Sanchez, Tommy Hinkley, Ben Weiss, Grant Heslov, Rande Gerber have been his closest friends for more than 20 years [4,6]. He is reported to be very generous to The Boys, apparently picking up the tab for their holidays together and giving them expensive gifts (a new motorbike each one Christmas) [4]. Although there are clearly benefits to being part of Clooney’s inner circle, he is quick to dismiss any accusation that The Boys are his ‘posse’ or that they are abnormally close. He insists ‘They are not my posse… But we all enjoy the fact that I can get us a jet and we can go somewhere. Because we all know that may not be the case in a couple of years’ [4]. ‘I’ve been best friends with the same eight guys for 20 years’, ‘it’s now a badge of honor for us. They’re not sycophants. They’re all successful. But we work hard at staying close [25]. ‘So we talk to each other at some point every day, it’s not like some sick fucked-up thing. It’s like, Hey man, what’s up? It can be fucked-up if that’s your obsession. But it’s just