Clooney talks in Toronto about his upcoming film "Michael Clayton" and compares Hollywood to the crooked world in the movie, and discusses why the Oscar race makes him crazy.
Actor George Clooney leaving a news conference for 'Michael Clayton' at the Film Festival in Toronto, Saturday Sept. 8, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Adrian Wyld)
Just A Minute With George Clooney - video link (sorry; it's not embeddable!)
Movie looks good; Clooney looks REALLY good...and I'm not even usually a big fan!
Clooney, Pitt trade playful jabs at TIFF
Actor Brad Pitt gestures as he comments on his favourite George Clooney movie during a news conference for 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' at the Film Festival in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Adrian Wyld)
Updated Mon, Sep. 10 2007
TORONTO -- The city of Toronto temporarily became the heartthrob capital of the world on Saturday as movie stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt charmed their way through the Toronto International Film Festival.
An affable Clooney, wearing a grey suit with a black shirt, took playful jabs at his famous friend while promoting the stylish thriller "Michael Clayton'' at a downtown news conference.
The bearded Clooney joked that Pitt was among a litany of celebrities famous for doing nothing and called him "a tiny little man.''
Pitt, meanwhile, held court over a relatively subdued news conference that immediately followed, although it wasn't all seriousness: as he jokingly claimed that his personal life wasn't under too much of a microscope, he posed for photographers by sticking his finger in his ear and pretending to pick his nose and then chuckled as their shutters clicked away madly.
He also cracked that his favourite Clooney movie was the critically maligned "Red Surf'' after being told that Clooney chose "Johnny Suede'' as the Pitt film he liked best.
Pitt was in Toronto to drum up interest in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,'' a long and brooding western shot in Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. last year. It co-stars Casey Affleck.
The actor, dressed in a white jacket and jeans and his trademark tweed cap, had just learned he'd won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his turn as the legendary gunslinger.
"It's a really nice honour,'' said Pitt, considered to have been a strong contender for an Oscar nomination last year for his role in ''Babel.'' "The best thing is how happy my friends are about it.''
With back-to-back appearances by Clooney and Pitt -- close friends since they began shooting the "Ocean's Eleven'' franchise -- the star power at the festival reached its zenith on Saturday.
Toronto's 10-day movie marathon is considered among the most important festivals in the world, attracting the biggest names in the business -- and this year has been no exception. In addition to Clooney and Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Clive Owen, Woody Harrelson and Jodie Foster are among the stars in town.
Clooney's laugh-a-minute news conference came the day after he showed up an hour early for the red carpet gala for "Michael Clayton'' and chatted cheerfully with many of the assembled fans.
Pitt wasn't the only Clooney pal to be singled out for ridicule. When Clooney was asked if he felt professional rivalry with any of his movie star friends, he quipped: "I don't compete with my friends, but I feel some competition with Matt Damon because I'd like to kick his ass.''
Clooney did drop the Pitt shtick occasionally, lauding his friend at one point as a "great actor'' and pointing to his turn in "Snatch'' as one of his best performances.
But while the suave Clooney refused to answer any questions about his love life, neatly disposing of a query from a reporter with a quick "nice question, have a nice day,'' Pitt wasn't so standoffish.
He discussed what it's like to live under the relentless glare of publicity that has come with his union with actress Angelina Jolie. The couple have four children and are hounded almost constantly by paparazzi.
"I know the deal, I understand the tradeoff,'' said Pitt. "The only time it has crossed the line is when it's a full-frontal assault on the kids. Unfortunately, there is no line with family ... and that really bothers me.''
He also paid tribute to Jolie, saying he turns to her often for career advice.
"She's the best sounding board I have and I value her opinion immensely,'' he said. "It pisses me off sometimes, but it's good.''
What pisses him off? The fact that Angie's advice is good? LOL!