Few Hollywood franchises have ever assembled a cast as famous or as deep as the Oceans movies. The heist trilogy prominently features a handful of the movie business’ biggest names and, depending on how strict you are, ten or so actors who have been the lead in other popular movies. The collaboration required people put their egos aside, and by all accounts, that largely happened. Unfortunately for lead George Clooney, he didn’t get any credit for it in the press thanks to a particularly hilarious joke Brad Pitt played on him.
Ocean’s Twelve was shot partly in Lake Como, an idyllic Italian town where George Clooney has maintained a home for many years. Apparently prior to the shoot, his Ocean’s co-star, occasional competitor for acting roles and longtime buddy Brad Pitt wrote up a memo and had it posted all over town, telling residents not to look the actor in the eyes and to only refer to him as Mr. Clooney or Danny Ocean. Here’s a partial quote from Clooney from an interview with GQ…
We shot some of it in Lake Como, which was my hometown. Brad sent out a memo to all the people in the town, my town, I’d lived there for years. But he had it posted on like telephone poles. It said, you know, ‘The movie is coming to town. Please only address George Clooney as Mr. Clooney or his character name, Danny Ocean, and don’t look him right in the eyes.’ So the papers were like ‘el divo.’ ‘George Clooney is el divo.’ It’s a horrible story which I later got him back for.
Friends pranking each other in good fun never gets old. I wish there was video of George Clooney’s face when he found out what was going on and that Pitt was responsible. That would be an all-time great gif. Fortunately, I’m sure he found a way to smooth things over with the people in Lake Como, and as he said in the interview, he found a way to get back at Brad Pitt.
The Ocean’s Eleven movies are a ton of fun. They may not be the best thing anyone involved has done, but they’re fun movies that keep your attention, probably because everyone involved is so clearly having a great time. Their attitudes are infectious, and as a viewer, you just want to be along for the ride. You can feel all those real life friendships and the care they have for each other. Plus, many of them are incredible actors with great chemistry; so, that helps too.
Clooney was recently in the news after discussing that time he gave each of his best friends a million dollars. I don’t think anyone in the Ocean’s cast was among those lucky recipients, but fortunately, all involved did pretty well monetarily from making three of these popular movies. As for the actor himself, he's taken a step back in recent years, but he'll next be seen in the upcoming Midnight Sky, which is coming to Netflix and looks wonderful. You can check out a trailer here.