The actor speaks out on the comedian (his former boss), Paris Hilton and bombing at the box office
Credit: Jay Ackerman

Hand it to George Clooney: He’s sexy, he’s funny, and he’s not afraid to share embarrassing stories about how Roseanne Bar hit on him.

The actor, who sat down with Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers Wednesday night at the Picture House Theater in Pelham, N.Y., following a screening of his latest movie Leatherheads, revealed secrets about his early days working for Barr on her sitcom Roseanne – as well as his thoughts on Paris Hilton and bombing at the box office (which, he readily acknowledges, Leatherheads did). Choice quotes below:

Roseanne on Clooney

Travers: “I have this quote (from TIME magazine) to read aloud from your former boss Roseanne Barr. ‘He can drink too much and still while standing in a bar parking lot at 3 a.m. discuss the world with such passion and good sense that you actually stop imagining him nude.'”

Clooney: “Don’t you want Roseanne writing your obit? I worked on her first series, and when I met her she said, ‘You’re really good looking, why don’t you take me out behind the stage and make me stink.’ She was unbelievably kind to me at a time when no one was.”

Clooney on Bombing at the Box Office

Clooney: “[Leatherheads] bombed and when I say bombed, it bombed. Someone said, ‘How does that feel?’ and it stings a little bit. It’s not like we just showed up: I was working on this for a couple years and put a lot of work into it, and you get knocked back a little bit.

“The trick is how you handle things when things don’t go great. It’s easy when things are doing well. The people I most admire are the people who handle it when the studio says that’s really underperformed and they say, ‘Ow, that hurt.’ I’ve been a fan of watching people go through cycles, not just winning cycles.”

On Realizing He Could Be an Actor

Travers: “When was the point when you said, ‘I can do this?'” George: “It was in acting class. There is a funny thing that happens when you are a young actor. You equate financial success and getting jobs with whether or not you are good at it. And it still happens. That’s why there is Paris Hilton. Now I’m in trouble with Paris Hilton. I was in class for a year or so and I was working with actors who were working and I could hold a scene with them.”