George Clooney aging like a fine wine

The movie business is predicated on predictability. Studios churn out sequels and remakes; directors rarely stray from their preferred genres; actors gravitate to the same sorts of roles. But apparently not George Clooney, who just wrapped up a career year. And precisely when he couldn’t be more admired as an actor, Clooney says he is pulling back from the very job that brought him renown.

At a point in his life when he could play it safe — he’s 50, has a supporting actor Oscar for Syriana and can pay the bills with his international TV spots — Clooney instead placed two speculative and not insubstantial bets on himself last year.

Just as people have grown understandably indisposed toward anything political, Clooney directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in the election drama The Ides of March. Rather than play the candidate any number of people wish he were (not interested), the actor’s Ides of March presidential contender is about as honorable as John Edwards. And while starring in an Alexander Payne movie might initially appear risk-free, the film’s cuckolded protagonist is not necessarily the type of character Clooney’s peers would fight to play. “I was terrified from the moment it started,” he says.

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