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Sun, November 28, 2004

Dirty Dozen
All's fair in film & war for Ocean's Twelve pranksters

HOLLYWOOD -- If you're expecting staid decorum don't put George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt on the same movie set. Definitely don't group them together in a press conference.

Clooney is known as the master prankster, so when they arrived in Italy to film the sequel Ocean's Twelve, Pitt thought he'd strike fist.

"I sent out a memo in Italian that instructed the Italian crew to address George only as his movie character Danny Ocean and never to look him directly in the eyes," says Pitt.

As Clooney recalls, the joke worked big-time.

"The memo actually sounded as if I'd written it. For about a month that's exactly how I was treated, until I finally asked what the hell was going on."

Clooney saw a copy of the memo and immediately realized Pitt was behind the joke.

"By the time I stopped it, word had leaked out to the Italian press, who were painting me as this big diva that made the crew call me Mr. Ocean."

Pitt quaked in his boots a month -- but nothing happened until he was back in L.A. Then Clooney started a bumper-sticker campaign. First, he put a sticker that read 'I'm gay and I Vote' on Pitt's car.

"That one stayed on for about three days before Brad found it," says Clooney, who then put a sticker on the passenger side of Pitt's car that read 'Small penis onboard.'

Damon reports gleefully "as Brad drove through rush hour traffic people were honking and waving. He thought it was because he was Brad Pitt and waved and honked back."


It was Damon who became the brunt of the verbal sparring when the subject turned to People Magazine's latest list of this year's sexiest men.

Jude Law, Damon's costar in The Talented Mr. Ripley, was named Sexiest Man. Damon tried to say it was Pitt who was most upset by the new list.

"Pretty boy Pitt is very upset that Jude made the top of the list instead of him. It really hurt him," he laughs. "I'm great friends with Jude and I'm afraid Brad will retaliate in some way."

Of course, Damon quickly became the brunt of Pitt and Clooney's jokes.

"Matt ran a great campaign this year. Brad and I gave him tips but Jude reached out to the on-line voters," says Pitt.

Clooney gives Damon some hope when he points out that "Matt is on People's sexy list, so he's like the runnerup in a Miss America contest. If Jude can't serve out his term properly, Matt could actually be bumped up the list and take the crown."

Damon says he's working hard to "get both George and Brad on the Sexiest Man Over 40 list. They both qualify now."


Both Clooney and Damon made it into the puppet satire Team America: World Police as Hollywood actors duped by their own image and success.

"I've always wanted to be a puppet," says Clooney, adding he "would have been offended if I hadn't been in the movie."

Clooney explains he's "a friend of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I helped them get (South Park) on TV and I was Sparky the gay dog in their movie. Part of the fun of being a celebrity is that can be made objects of satire."

Damon adds: "George and I don't take ourselves seriously. If you're friends with comedians, you can always count on them to throw you in front of a bus for a good laugh."


In Ocean's Eleven, it was Clooney's Danny Ocean who got the girl when Julia Roberts played his love interest.

In Ocean's Twelve, it's Pitt who gets the film's romantic interest in Catherine Zeta-Jones.

"I wrote that into my contract," says Pitt. "There was some speculation about my character's sexuality in Ocean's Eleven that I felt I had to dispel in this movie."

Clooney jokes he was hurt that Pitt gets paired with Zeta-Jones in their newest caper.

"I was a little upset but it's OK. I'll get her back. I'm doing a love scene with (her husband) Michael Douglas in an upcoming movie to even the score. That'll teach her for dumping me for Pitt."

Clooney and Zeta-Jones played lovers in the comedy Intolerable Cruelty.

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