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Well, we’ve been reading since yesterday morning, and we finally finished the George Clooney profile in The New Yorker! It’s that long! It’s 9,500 words, and takes up ten pages online. Needless to say, it’s hard to decide on our favorite part.
Maybe it’s the way that Leatherheads ended up being such a dog that the ostensible peg for the profile had to get shuffled off to a paragraph more than halfway through, with the final line, “The reviews, when they came, were unenthusiastic”?
Maybe it’s the line, written by author Ian Parker about Clooney’s predilection for elaborate practical jokes but sadly relevant for other reasons this week, “There’s no doubt Clooney has a taste for directing comic dramas that have an audience of just one or two”?
Maybe it’s the part where Clooney attempts, with middling success, to apply his laugh-it-off charm to an anonymous phone call telling him to “Dump the bitch”?
Maybe it’s the impression of Clooney as a compulsive host, the line beautifully drawn between the guy who plays those practical jokes and the guy who organizes themed weeks for friends at his Lake Como villa?
Maybe it’s the de rigueur moments of traditional New Yorker-profile oh-my-God-that’s-exactly-right description? (Among the finest in this case: Parker noticing that thing Clooney does with his face — “a gyration in the lower jaw suggesting something being moved around under his tongue” — and a description of Clooney’s persona as that of “a man on his way out to a party, feeling pretty good about his hair.”)
No! We think the best part of the profile is the impression of a young George Clooney, just arrived in Los Angeles from Kentucky, delivered by his old friend Ben Weiss — an impression that expertly captures Clooney’s combination, as Parker puts it, of “guy and man”: “Driving, he’d be, ‘Look at that girl, look at that girl, look at that girl. Wow, wow.’”
Somebody Has to Be in Control [NYer]What’s the Best Part of the Epic George Clooney Profile in ‘The New Yorker’?