George Clooney couldn’t make it to this year’s Golden Globes — but he still knows exactly who won. The star, 55, spoke to Us Weekly on Monday, January 9, at a London event for The White Helmets, a 40-minute Netflix documentary about Syrian civil-defense rescue workers who run into the rubble in the aftermath of air strikes to search for injured victims.
“I can’t change policy, but I can make things louder,” he says of why he’s a strong supporter of the film. “The White Helmets are heroes. If I can help them out, then that’s a good use of celebrity, I think.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has been tweeting about Meryl Streep for criticizing him during her speech at the 2017 Golden Globes on January 8. “I believe he said she’s overrated? Well, I’ve always said that about Meryl. She’s one of, if not the most, overrated actress of all time. She and I worked together and played husband and wife in [2009’s] Fantastic Mr. Fox. Even as a female fox, she was overrated. I believe that,” he quips, laughing. “But seriously, aren’t you supposed to be running the country?”
Asked for his thoughts on the president-elect, Clooney replies, “We have to hope he can do a decent job because when the President of the United States fails, really terrible things happen. We’ve been very lucky as a country most of the time. I think we’re going to be a little unlucky now, but I hope for the best. Look: I didn’t vote for him, I don’t support him and I don’t think he’s the right choice. But we have to hope that he doesn’t destroy everything.”
As for Streep’s criticism of the former Celebrity Apprentice host? “It is her right, as much as it’s everyone else’s right to say she can’t say it,” Clooney says. “You can’t demand freedom of speech and then say, ‘But don’t say bad things about me,’ right? I’m doing this interview right now and there will be a billion people on Twitter who’ll go, ‘Shut the f–k up, dude.'”
He adds: “I worked on a campaign when I was 12 years old, so am I supposed to give up any interest in the rest of the world because I got a job on a television show that ended up having 40 million people watch it? I was working on Clinton campaigns long before anybody knew who I was, and all of a sudden you get famous and you go, ‘Now I have to quit?’ No! Last time I checked, the only celebrities that have really succeeded in politics have been a Republican, Ronald Reagan, and a Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger, so I don’t see any reason to be complaining.”
For now, Clooney is using his voice to draw attention to the White Helmets project, which he plans to turn into a feature-length film. “We bought the rights to it and we’re going to make a movie. Look, movies take awhile and you gotta have a story. So we’re going to work on the script and we’re going to figure it out.”
Part of what he’s figuring out is Syrian involvement in the movie. “We just got the rights, like, two weeks ago, so we haven’t done much of anything yet. But I think it would have to be done with subtitles, don’t you?” he says. “It would seem awfully weird to do an American version of the film. So we’ll certainly involve as many Syrian people as we can, Syrian talent.”
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