Oh, George Clooney, you prankster, you. You charming jester, you impish rogue, you roguish imp. Such was public opinion of George Clooney and his pranks for years. How lovely that an A-list actor doesn’t take himself or his movies or the people he’s in them with so seriously! How good of George Ol’ Boy to goof off at the big Hollywood machine, and only at the expense of others. How young we once were, and how innocent. It’s 2016 now. We are running low on patience, and Clooney, well — it seems as though George Clooney is running low on pranks. Take Clooney’s most recent prank, per prank victim Jack O’Connell, Clooney’s Money Monster co-star. O’Connell told EW, “One time I was doing some press-ups on set as part of my method as an actor, I take it quite seriously … And [Clooney] turns up behind me and starts performing these 1940s calisthenics. I really had my pants down at that moment. The whole crew is laughing and I’m wondering why they are laughing. I look up and see him in full float.” Look, O’Connell’s method actor thing is clearly a lot, maybe even asking for the dressing down of a good prank. But Clooney’s action was not that, less a prank than the rude, hollow echo of a prank, like something Jim would’ve pulled during the later seasons of The Office. And maybe Clooney was just having an off day, prank-wise. But pranks have consequences. Said O’Connell, “I was doing press-ups, so I guess I probably deserved it.” It is one thing to dumbly prank an unwitting, serious person. But to make that serious person believe he deserved the fearsome ire of a dumb prank? Contemptible.
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