George Clooney shares many words of wisdom — on fame, success, failure– in his interview for Omega's Lifetime magazine (he's a spokesman). He also talks about his upcoming "Gravity" directed by Alfonso Cuaron (he gushes over the "Children of Men" filmmaker and says co-star Sandra Bullock is "off-the-charts great"). Clooney's next directing project, the caper heist film "The Monuments Men," has a tone similar to "The Great Escape" and "Bridge Too Far." As he looks back at his career highs and lows and considers the view forward, he's committed to pushing boundaries. And aging doesn't bother him: "I have two options," he says; "Get old or die!"
More highlights from his interview below:
On fame, success and failure:
"I was 34 before [fame] hit. And I'd failed a lot. And having failed a lot I understood how lucky success was. Because it's not just about your brilliance. Luck has a huge hand it in. I think the reason why a lot of young people are such screw ups,..is oftentimes they didn't have the luxury I had of forming important relationships and opinions and life experiences before having success."
"Fame can be very dangerous, because you can start to enjoy that part of it. And that's not the good part of what I do for a living. The good part is the making of films. The unpleasant part is the fame part, if you're not careful."
"If you actually lived the life that people hand to you, it'd be fantastic. Of course, no one actually is what those images are portrayed. I do happen to have a good life,..But I also like to work. I feel like I got the brass ring and I got very lucky in this. Most people don't get this opportunity and I feel like because I have this opportunity I want to do as many things as I can to push as many limits as I can until they say I can't. And they will say I can't."
On "The Monuments Men":
"It really is a fascinating story. I was an amazing, massive theft of everything. And planned! The thought [of Hitler] was, 'I;m gonna build the largest museum in the world, then I'm gonna steal all the art and I'm going to fill it,..it's also a very good lesson in what we didn't do in Iraq. This isn't a political film at all, but the fact that we let them just loot the museum and all the history. It's very hard to let go of all your history. It hurts your soul. Art really does represent that."
On Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity":
"It's two people floating in space. It's really high concept and it'll either be an amazing film or just awful! I think it's gonna be unbelievably beautiful and an unbelievably great movie. And Sandra Bullock is off-the-charts great,..She's so good in the movie. I think it's gonna be a beautiful, beautiful film. But it's a big risk. To have Alfonso basically saying, 'I'm gonna put you you guys in space suits and make this a story about survival and really about your own sort of persona journey.' I think it's a very brave film,..I love, love, love, love Alfonso. There's a guy who truly is an artist."
"I certainly direct with confidence even if i'm not confident. I learned early on as an actor that confidence can be faked and its not always a terrible thing to do. A lot of times if people feel you're confident than they're confident."
On his "rule" for making movies:
"My role in making films now is to try and only make films that I'd be interesting in going to see. That's my rule. It doesn't always mean the film ends up being the film that I would go and see! But at least I start out with that theory."