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"Person to Person": George Clooney

He's been called "the last movie star," "a man's man," "a woman's man" and "one of the smartest people in Hollywood." It is good to be George Clooney.

The actor just brought home a Golden Globe and is nominated for two Oscars for his work in "The Descendants" and "The Ides of March." "Person to Person" goes inside the Los Angeles home of the actor, writer, director, and humanitarian.


GEORGE CLOONEY: Hello. Hi guys...

LARA LOGAN: Hello, George.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Come on in. Welcome.

CHARLIE ROSE: We're pleased to be here.


LARA LOGAN: It's very nice of you to let us come inside your home, George. We appreciate it. Thank you.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Lara, you're welcome anytime. Charlie--

CR: You never let up, do you?


CHARLIE ROSE: Why this home for you?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Um, I bought it in the mid-90 -- early-- early '90s. I had done -- was in the second season of "ER" and I was living in a little house, and I thought, well, maybe it's time to get a little bit -- a little bit larger house off of the street so wouldn't fall prey to every photographer.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Here come on in the kitchen...this is where I-- obviously, known for my-- my cooking talent (LAUGHS). This is where I order food delivered.

LARA LOGAN: What's inside your fridge, George?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Mmmm... Nothing.

CHARLIE ROSE: He doesn't know.

GEORGE CLOONEY: I, uh -- there's some lady that makes salads for me, and I-- salads and some sort of a juice thing because, you know, one of my New Year's Eve resolutions was to -- eat better and to, sort of, do one of those cleanses. I'm really glad I did that.

CHARLIE ROSE: What does a home mean to you? A house -- you have two magnificent homes.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, there's--well, there's a big difference between a house and a home, I think. A house is-- is a place that you would live in -- but a home is a place where your family and friends-- are-- are part of. And I think that that's -- that-- that's one of the wonderful things about where I've been for so long. I've been here for, you know, almost 20 years--


GEORGE CLOONEY: ...and it's filled with---good friends and good-- and family members. And it's always-- it's a place where I have a basketball court and people come and play basketball. And it's just a fun place to be.

CHARLIE ROSE: You also see home as security, too. I mean, you've often said, you know, that-- that it's the thing that you wanna put your money into--

GEORGE CLOONEY: Owning something from the time I was a little kid was always a very big deal in our family.


GEORGE CLOONEY: We - we rented homes growing up. We-- I went to five schools before I was in eighth grade. We -- my dad always said we moved when the rent was due. (LAUGHS) And-- and so, it became a very important part to my father and to -- to their-- and his family-- and to my mother and father both which was -- you know, they -- they spent 30 years payin' off their home., it's one of those things that was always -- to me, it was a sign of making it was being able to own your own home. Owning land is a good thing as opposed to - I -- I worry about investing -- making money off of money. I like owning land.

CHARLIE ROSE: It's a season of awards, and congratulations on the Golden Globe.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Thank you very much.

CHARLIE ROSE: There are those who are saying "The Descendants" is your best performance.

GEORGE CLOONEY: But they drink a lot, so it doesn't -- they don't know what they're talkin' about. (LAUGHTER)

CHARLIE ROSE: All right.

LARA LOGAN: Do you drink a lot, George? Since you brought it up.

GEORGE CLOONEY: I'll show you around the house, you'll understand. When you see how many bars are here.

LARA LOGAN: Can we -- can we swing around the kitchen and just get a look at it? 'Cause I have to say I kinda like your décor...

CHARLIE ROSE: You don't-- there's a picture there of a baseball player, what's that?

GEORGE CLOONEY: It's Joe Morgan. ...One of the great second basemen of all time.

CHARLIE ROSE: If you had been a baseball player, what position would you have played?


LARA LOGAN: Because you wanted to be a baseball player, right...


LARA LOGAN: ...but that's exactly where you ended up was the bench.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, you know...Lara. Now wait. Let's be very clear. I had everything a professional baseball player needed except talent.

LARA LOGAN: That can be a problem.

GEORGE CLOONEY: It is a problem, actually.

Clooney stops at framed case holding a photo of JFK flanked by two ties

GEORGE CLOONEY: Here's a cool thing. I was -- I got a call from-- a reporter...who said that a friend of hers was clearing out their garage and they had a bunch of Kennedy memorabilia that she -- she would like to sell. ...So, my assistant and I went over to just go through a garage full of things, and it was -- you know-- original invitations to the inauguration... and It was like the most amazing stuff I've ever seen in my life, and they were nice enough to give me a couple of President Kennedy's ties for that. I really enjoy having them.

CHARLIE ROSE: And the picture below the president?

GEORGE CLOONEY: That's in the Oval Office a few days - about -- a month after he'd taken office.

LARA LOGAN: How do you feel about politics, and being involved in politics as an actor, and what you do? I mean, some people, you know, roll their eyes, "Oh, there goes George Clooney or Angelina Jolie again. They should just stick to acting." But, I think, you're obviously sensitive to that, 'cause this is not something you wear on your sleeve, this is something that seems to mean a lot to you.

GEORGE CLOONEY I think the most important thing you can do provide or get as much information as you possibly can and then use your ability to attract attention to its best use. And that's really all you can do. ... I'm not a policy maker. I understand the idea that, well, if you're an actor, nobody really wants to hear your ideas on politics... ah -- but I also understood that there are things that you can help affect. And part of it is to bring attention to places that don't get attention. And I find that to be, um, less political. In general, I find it just to try to be helpful.

CHARLIE ROSE: Do you play basketball with the president?

GEORGE CLOONEY: I'll tell you what. I watched him play, and I wanna say he -- he -- he can't go to his left, Charlie, and that's the most important thing. (LAUGHS)



LARA LOGAN: So, he'd be too easy to beat, that's why you haven't played him yet?

GEORGE CLOONEY: (LAUGHS) No, I won't play him because if he beats me, I'll really be upset.

LARA LOGAN: Are you a bad loser?

GEORGE CLOONEY: You know, I'm not a bad loser because when you're 50, you find that you lose more, so you have to become much more -- you have to do a lotta stuff like -- by the way, I've played Charlie in basketball..


GEORGE CLOONEY: He's a very -- very bad loser. (LAUGHS)

LARA LOGAN: I'm not surprised, Charlie.

CHARLIE ROSE: So, here we are at the bookcase -- family pictures.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Yeah, this is my mom and dad...picture of my grandma. This is an old 45 of my Aunt Rosemary.

Rosemary was the - in, in many ways, she was a big, big, big part of our lives. She was the main focus of our family for a long, long time. And -- and she is dearly missed, quite honestly.

CHARLIE ROSE: Lookin' to your right, that looks like a picture of a dog to me.

GEORGE CLOONEY: That's -- that's Einstein, that's my dog. ..I was given the dog from a lovely shelter, but they'd gotten it from -- from-- a place where they -- you know, they -- they take 'em out. So, it was really-- he's a fun dog. Maybe he'll come by later and you'll get a chance to see him.

LARA LOGAN: Why'd you go to a shelter to get a dog?

GEORGE CLOONEY: You know, they're -- first of all--

CHARLIE ROSE: It's where you go to get dogs, yeah.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Yeah, and you know, the -- they always seem to be more appreciative. I would be if they'd taken me off-- off death row....even the shelter that had him, the really wonderful people that were taking care of him said we -- you know, we have to make sure you love the dog -- you know, the dog loves you. And so, I rubbed meatballs on my shoes, and the (LAUGHS) the dog came in and threw himself at me. And-- I find that works also with some actors, you can do that to as well. (LAUGHTER)

LARA LOGAN: How 'bout directors? Does it work on them?

GEORGE CLOONEY: No, but studio executives, sometimes.

CHARLIE ROSE: We're now in one of the bars, I assume.

GEORGE CLOONEY: You're -- yes. Charlie, you will appreciate this area right here.

LARA LOGAN: It's a nice bar.

GEORGE CLOONEY: ...what we like to call home, for Charlie.

LARA LOGAN: What about those photographs on the wall behind you? What's there?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Oh, this was -- there was an original Rat Pack picture taken, I think, from "Ocean's Eleven" with Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin and those guys by a guy named Sid Avery. And then, when we did "Oceans 11," the remake 40 years later or something, the same photographer took a picture of all of us -- Brad and Matt and, you know, the whole gang, Don Cheadle and everybody. So, we did, sort of, the exact -- tried to do the same setup and shoot it. So, they sent me a copy of both those pictures. I thought that was pretty great.

CHARLIE ROSE: One of the interesting things that people say about you is you have maintained friendships with people you've known all of your life...They're part of your friends today -- you add new friends and people that you work with. Give us a sense of how you feel about friendship and why it's so important.

GEORGE CLOONEY: I've been in Los Angeles for 30 years. I moved here from Kentucky. And I've had most of these friends since -- you know, some of them, since one of the first days I moved here. ...They, we all just sort of have remained very close friends. And it's something I'm-- extremely proud of.

Oh, by the way, Charlie, this will-- this will make you a little jealous -- (LAUGHS) a bottle of Maker's Mark with my face on it.

LARA LOGAN: Before you leave the bar, of all those bottles up there, what is your drink of choice?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, you know, I don't know. I-- I drink a little vodka--I, we, I like a little tequila. If I-- I have a place in Mexico that I spend time at, I like tequila every once in a while. Right now, I've just filled this with vodka. (LAUGHS)

CHARLIE ROSE: The film that you made about Murrow is called "Good Night, and Good Luck," which was the famous way that he signed off. What was the kinship? What did you find that -- that touched you there?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, I-- I'd grown up around it because my father so much respected-- not just the man Edward R. Murrow, but a lot of the very important broadcasts he'd done, "Harvest of Shame," for instance, or obviously, going after McCarthy.

GEORGE CLOONEY: And I thought it was interesting to talk about the importance of what you do for a living, quite honestly.

Clooney leaves the bar and walks across room to his living room and sits down.

CHARLIE ROSE: Why didn't you play Murrow?

GEORGE CLOONEY: I thought about playing Murrow, and I'd written it to play Murrow, quite honestly. And -- I realized that Edward R. Murrow was this character that always felt like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. And that isn't something that is necessarily-- the way people think of me. And I didn't think that I could act my way out of that.

CHARLIE ROSE: And now you've made "Ides of March," which is also about politics -- What was -- why did you wanna tell that story?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well... I think it was an interesting time to talk about how we elect people...If the right guy gets into office -- do the means justify an end? And maybe they do sometimes if that's -- if that's what it takes. But you do give up something along the way. You give up a little piece of your soul along the way. And what are you willing to trade off?

LARA LOGAN: So, it's -- it's always seemed to me -- watching the -- progression of your career, George, that you could almost have been a journalist if you hadn't been an actor. Would you have been? Is that-- is that true? Does that sound right?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, I only lacked intelligence, Lara. Other than that, I could have done it. (LAUGHTER) I'm always very excited by and happy to be around journalists. I get to travel with them a lot, and I-- I'm --

LARA LOGAN: On your trips to Sudan?

GEORGE CLOONEY: I'm very proud --

LARA LOGAN: For example?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Trips to the Sudan --

LARA LOGAN: Tell us about Sudan. Why did you choose that particular conflict to be, you know, your mission?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, you -- you know, how -- and I think you both know how this works. Some things get attention and some things don't. And it really was a genocide. People love to talk about it as, you know, mass atrocities. Whatever you wanna call it, there were hundreds of thousands of people being killed and mowed down, sort of innocent people. And it needed to be louder.

So my father and I went in by ourselves. And -- and it was an interesting time. ... It was, obviously, something we hadn't done, and we were a little in over our heads, but we were there for about 10 days. ...I think that it had some effect, at least, in -- in bringing attention.

CHARLIE ROSE: We're right now in your living room. Explain to me where we are in this Los Angeles home.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Well, we're in -- first of all, we're in -- a town called Studio City which was initially part of the Universal Studio lot. And then, which was everything. They did -- all kinds of films. And then, they started making the lot smaller and building homes. And so, this is -- this is-- up in the hills, and there's a park behind me so I don't have a whole lotta neighbors.

LARA LOGAN: Do you hang out a lot here or not?

GEORGE CLOONEY: This is a good spot. This isn't bad. We watch a little football on television. Watched -- watched my Bengals lose terribly. That was -- that was a good, fun day for me.

LARA LOGAN: Are the -- are the colors and everything -- and the furniture, is that your choice? Or who decorated it?

GEORGE CLOONEY: This is not my choice. I-- my friend Randy Gerber-- came in and said, "Listen, your house looks like a frat house..."

LARA LOGAN: What a surprise.

GEORGE CLOONEY: (LAUGHS) ...and it's time to be a grown up."

CHARLIE ROSE: Why-- why are we surprised?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Here, come on, I'll walk you outside.

LARA LOGAN: It's very beautiful, your home, George. It's very comfortable. It looks, kind of...


LARA LOGAN: You, know it's not too...

Clooney walks out on the patio on way to his screening room

CHARLIE ROSE: Now where is the screening room? Before you go outside am I gonna see the screening room?

GEORGE CLOONEY: I'm gonna get you to the screening room.


GEORGE CLOONEY: Are you looking for yourself?


GEORGE CLOONEY: You know, Lara -- lemme, let me just...

CHARLIE ROSE: No, don't go there George. Don't go there.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Let me tell you what's happening. You know, the reason that -- that Charlie keeps talking about "Ides of March" is because he's in it.


GEORGE CLOONEY: You played -- and this is a stretch -- you played Charlie Rose. (LAUGHS)

CHARLIE ROSE: And how well did I Charlie Rose?

GEORGE CLOONEY: Honestly, you were the second best to audition for the part.

CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, that looks good outside there.

GEORGE CLOONEY: It does look good. Now, if you look over here, Charlie. Here, you can pan over there for a second.


GEORGE CLOONEY: Now, you see that.

LARA LOGAN: You have a modest wine collection.

GEORGE CLOONEY: This is the screening room. There's a popcorn machine, which is important...

Clooney puts on red 3D glasses

GEORGE CLOONEY: And here's the thing, I put a 3D projector in, and I can't -- you know...

CHARLIE ROSE: It -- it's not you.

LARA LOGAN: I kinda like it.

GEORGE CLOONEY: I can't, I can't get used to that look. I think this is why 3D is never gonna--like work... But I really do like watching movies.

CHARLIE ROSE: When you watch a movie, do you look at it differently? I mean, are you looking -- things that might influence and, you know, and inform your directing and/or acting?

GEORGE CLOONEY: You mean things I might steal.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, exactly.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Is what you're saying?

CHARLIE RISE: That's what I meant.

Clooney's dog, Einstein, runs into the room and jumps on his lap

GEORGE CLOONEY: Oh, look -- oh, look who comes in. Come here, buddy.

CHARLIE ROSE: Oh my God, there is Einstein.

GEORGE CLOONEY: That's Einstein.

LARA LOGAN: Oh, wow.

GEORGE CLOONEY: See now -- if you look at that dog right there, that's-- he's very appreciative. He's very happy to be around... You wanna go? Get outta here. He's gonna go find some food somewhere.

GEORGE CLOONEY: But, but, films are a really big part of my life. I really enjoy being in this business. It's a fun... It's an exciting business to be a part of and to make films that last for a, a long period of time...something that would, that still talks about where we were at a certain time in our history.

CHARLIE ROSE: George, this is really an interesting time in your life, it seems to me. I mean, here you are being lauded for "The Descendants" as an actor, lauded for "Ides of March" and other films as a director. You're pushing ahead and touching new frontiers. I mean, is the best of times for George Clooney?

GEORGE CLOONEY: You know, the truth is, this is a really good time in my life. In my work, which most people don't get the opportunity to do, I've been given sort of the keys to the, to the toy box and understand that I get to use it and understand that that's a very temporary thing and it doesn't last for a very long time.

GEORGE CLOONEY: So, first and foremost... I have a great appreciation for the fact that I have caught the brass ring. That's a nice thing to do. And also, sort of in the rest of my life and in my family and in my friends and the people I care about-- everybody's in a really good place. So, it's nice. And understanding how temporary and how quickly those things change, sure, this is a really nice time in life.

CHARLIE ROSE: George, thank you again... a pleasure.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Hey, it was good fun. See you guys!

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