George Clooney

Ocean's Eleven

Interviewed by Ben Falk

George Clooney plays ringleader Danny Ocean, in the remake of The Rat Pack's "Ocean's Eleven". Clooney also produced the film through his company Section Eight, which he co-founded with director Steven Soderbergh.

Did you feel like the original Rat Pack?

We never really thought of it that way. It is such a different film. I don't know if you've ever seen the original, but it's not great. There wasn't really the ghost of Frank, Dean, and Sammy over us, because they're just too cool. We can't play on that basketball court.

Is it true that you were the cast's ringleader?

I was kind of the ringleader. We went and got the cast in a similar way to the way the movie unfolds. Steven and I went about recruiting the biggest names in showbusiness.

And you looked like you were having a good time.

Brad, Matt, and I were talking about it. It will never be better than this. No one went to their trailers. We just sat around the set and laughed and told stories.

It must have been pretty amazing to get a cast of this magnitude in the same room?

It is unprecedented these days. You can get a small, independent film with a lot of stars in it, but you can't do it with a studio film. The only way to do this was for all of us to sit down and go, "Look, if this is ever going to work, we all have to cut our salaries and make the film we want to make."

You seem to be a star that doesn't care about being in the 20 million dollar club?

I did "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Three Kings" for next to nothing, literally next to nothing. I take a back end and sometimes you see some money, sometimes you don't. But if you get to make the movies you want to make, it's worth the whole thing.