George Clooney: The most memorable . . . Let me think . . . The fun part, I think, is watching Matt Damon woo a woman, which is good fun. And I also think the love scene between Brad and I, from "Brokeback Mountain," basically.
You began shooting "Oceans 13" right after returning from Darfur. Was the transition difficult?
Clooney: I think that in many ways it was a relief to be able to go and work on a much lighter film. It was in May that we came back from Darfur and it was September that we started the movie, so I had some time. I'd gone to the U.N. and was speaking. I'd gone to the state capital and was speaking. So I had some time to decompress a little bit. And because Brad and Matt and Don (Cheadle) had all individually also been to that area, it gave us something to talk about and focus on while we were together.
What's the secret to playing a trustworthy leader and how was it playing against Al Pacino?
Clooney: Well, I'll start by saying that I think Al learned a lot about acting from me. I taught him a lot. And in terms of being the leader of Brad and Matt, I have some very compromising photographs of them that I use as leverage to make myself the leader. I can't show you those pictures though. But there was a farm animal involved.
MC: Didn't you have a pet pig once?
Jerry Weintraub: (laughs) There you go. You walked right in that one.
Clooney: Yes, I did. He died this year. We called him Prosciutto.
You've been playing Danny for a long time now. Do you feel like him sometimes?
Clooney: Umm, I don't feel like I'm Danny Ocean because he's a thief
. But he is a fun character to play. I've been doing it forever now. And I studied for years. I practiced drinking and gambling for 25 years for this role.
Tell us a little about Ocean's Club.
Weintraub: I think I have my membership card. I have to carry it around at all times. The Ocean's Club was a place for all us to be together and eat our meals together and play poker together and have a drink after work together and enjoy ourselves. We like to be together. We have a membership and a club (takes out a card from his wallet). This is my card, lifetime member of Ocean's Club. Just the cast has it. And if you don't keep it in your wallet and the check comes to dinner and you don't have it, you pay. That's the Oceans Club.
You work with Steven Soderbergh on a lot of projects related to old movies. Why is that?.
Clooney: I'm a fan of films of a specific generation and specific time. The film I just finished directing take place in 1925 so I seem to be moving backwards in time. I like period pieces in general. I'm certainly a big fan of the Oceans series because we thought we could do better than the original series. Steven and I have a great partnership because we have sort of the same opinion on the kind of films we want to make.
What's the best thing about playing Danny Ocean.
Clooney: Rich ... from it. No, I'm kidding. I think the best part of it is, first of all, it's a great project to be involved in because I really care about all the people I work with. They're good friends of mine, we've done a million other projects together besides the "Oceans" films. And it's a fun character to play because you won't see very many films in this day and age with that many big stars who are sort of actively handing the spotlight to the people around them. They share everything with one another. They're not trying to grab the spotlight. It's a casual group and I think that's the thing I love most about it, how laid back everybody is on it.
What's Danny Ocean's appeal?
Clooney: What's the appeal for me is, he gets to be the boss. And it's always fun to be the boss. And I don't have to put a big rubber nose like Matt.