Clooney at the 2009 Venice Film Festival
(Image by Nicolas Genin/Flickr Creative Commons) Permission Details DMCA
Clooney at the 2009 Venice Film Festival by Nicolas Genin/Flickr Creative Commons
Single women swoon. Now pick yourself up, read this and swoon some more.
The activist was joined in his first arrest with his Dad (adorable!) and his one call was to his Mom, prompting his comment "nothing ever changes" to a TMZ reporter as he left DC.
Many of us weren't sure what exactly was happening in the Sudan post-breakup -- civil war? Child soldiers? (Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is blocking food aid which will lead to a humanitarian crisis in weeks, per Clooney, who was in town to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has been active on this issue for years).
Yet, yesterday, our immediate focus was on finding the illegal act that would confine us next to Clooney. Indecent exposure on this gorgeous March day? Wouldn't land us in the next cell block, if they're organized by crime. That long overdue political protest? Much better.
Even if he was soon released, he left us with inspiration. While celebrities champion causes, relatively few take it to the street. Glamorous they are, as checkout trash-mags show, but Gandhian, not at all.
There are some notable exceptions, including Daryl Hannah (environmental causes), Lucy Lawless (arctic drilling) and Martin Sheen (many progressive causes). But Clooney is the highest profile celebrity sent recently to the slammer. Hopefully he's a harbinger of a new wave of bold celebrity activism, reminiscent of protests that raised awareness of apartheid.
But for now, let's bask in the moment and the memories.
Clooney catapulted to fame as ER's gorgeous Dr. Doug Ross, followed by the steamy "Out of Sight" where his suave bank robber alternately feared and flirted with a U.S. Marshall played by a young Jennifer Lopez. He followed it with heist movies and dramas. Sure we might not have seen all of them, but we viewed enough to imprint the image of his seductive smile and piercing brown eyes in our brains.
Numerous covers and awards have maintained a decades-long buzz. He's been repeatedly voted one of the sexiest men and bachelors, even landing at number 16 on VH1's "Hottest Hotties" (seems tautological but whatever, we kind of get it).
But what's really separated him from the typical A-list actor is his political movies. "Three Kings" and "Syriana" explore how oil shapes the world. And "Good Night, and Good Luck," which chronicled Edward Murrow's fight against the bigoted intolerance of Senator Joseph McCarthy, launched the director to superhuman status.
Were his career, looks and activism not enough, the trivia makes him seem approachable and interesting.
Now he lives in gorgeous Lake Como for part of the year, but he's slept on a closet floor and been too broke to buy a hamburger. His pet pig "Max" -- a gift from then-housemate Kelly Preston -- was by his side for 18 years until it died in 2006.
Clooney might be an Oscar-winning actor but his voice was dubbed in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" -- encouraging those of us who find no personal inspiration in the current crop of singing shows.
Despite accolades for his good looks, he cuts his own hair, at least as of 2000, and doesn't wear makeup for films. "Now I'm going through this thing with people thinking I'm about 60," he said in 2009, at just age 49.
And while we don't have time for a bundle of neuroses -- it's a struggle to just get through laundry -- he does need to be changed just a little. His girlfriend, former wrestler Stacy Keibler, needs to hit the mat, and without him.
The perfect man would also change us. Undoubtedly, he'd make us more politically aware and active, in addition to glamming up our life.
Clooney may let us down. No one wants to live life on a webcam (fear of Facebook and YouTube is even toning down spring break), and celebrities get unfair and intense scrutiny.
But for now, he's the man we've been waiting for.
Thank you, George, for being you. See you at the Sudanese Embassy.