Holy heart attack, Batman! In less than a week's time, the one and only Mr. George Clooney will grace our metro with his magnificent aura. Clooney will join Houston celebutante Lynn Wyatt as the featured speaker in the "Brilliant Lecture Series." The series focuses on bringing "international leaders, philanthropists and entrepreneurs to Houston to help inspire and support new ideas." The lecture takes place Thursday, May 3, at the Wortham Center and tickets range between $25 and $150 a pop. $150 to see the loveliness of George Clooney up close and personal might just be worth it. Maybe he will even have something interesting to say!
Clooney is not your typical Hollywood star. In the past few years he has proven to be much more than just a pretty face. He has influenced public debate on humanitarian issues in Sudan and highlighted concerns over Prop 8. He has met with politicians and representatives from the United Nations, and he pulled off one of the greatest heists in Las Vegas history... oh wait, that was a movie. Let's face it: The guy is a hero.
Art Attack loves George Clooney and wanted to reminisce about all things Clooney. Join us for a walk down Clooney lane.
The Early Years Some of us, who are old, may remember the first time we saw Clooney as George Burnett, the neighborly handyman, on The Facts of Life. His hair was much more mullet-esque and his acting left little to be desired, but he still had that Clooney charm. A young Clooney also showed up on the hit show Roseanne as the ladies' hot, studly supervisor Booker Brooks. The women workers often harassed him, but that's what he gets for being adorably cute and working with a group of sexually repressed middle-aged women in a factory.
The ER Years Sometimes when a star reaches the obscene height of celebrity status that Clooney has achieved, we tend to forget where they got their big break. For Clooney, he played Dr. Doug Ross on the hospital drama ER. Dr. Ross was something of a player, he loved the ladies and they loved him back. No one loved him as much, though, as Julianna Margulies's character, Nurse Hathaway. People were totally gaga over Clooney as the doctor with daddy issues and he kept them coming back for more for five years. He left the show in 1999, but gave the kids a huge treat with a cameo in 2009.
Getting on Track YearsClooney and rom-coms don't mix. Clooney does not have a career analogous to his contemporaries like Matt Damon or Brad Pitt. Those guys came out of the park with acting accolades and instant good reviews. Clooney's film résumé, in the beginning, is spotty at best. He had some highs, From Dusk Till Dawn and Three Kings, and some lows, the rom-com One Fine Day and the somewhat boring thriller The Peacemaker. And then he made the mistake of taking on the role of the caped crusader in the worst film iteration of the Batman franchise ever.
Super-stardom Years It didn't take long for Clooney to find his stride and become the celebrated actor he is today. In 2000, he starred as Ulysses Everett McGill, the fast-talking, chain-gang escapee in the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. The film was a commercial and critical success and the start for Clooney's long and winding road to Oscardom. In 2002, he directed the indie flick Confessions of a Dangerous Mind about Gong Show creator and alleged CIA agent Chuck Barris. While the film did not make a huge splash (many blamed promotion), it showed off Clooney's directorial chops.
He quickly went on to direct the acclaimed Edward R. Murrow biopic Good Night and Good Luck, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Directing. The same year he played a CIA agent in the somewhat confusing Syriana, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. From then on it was smooth sailing and critical acclaim (with a few misses...The Men Who Stare at Goats?). He has won numerous awards for acting, directing, writing and producing and has most recently received a Best Actor nomination for last year's The Descendants. The dude is a Hollywood giant.
The Good Guy Years Good acting and distinguished eyebrows are not the only reasons everyone is in love with Mr. Clooney. He appears to be a really good guy who, like, totally does humanitarian stuff! Clooney is heavily involved in the "Save Darfur" movement and produced a TV special called A Journey to Darfur to highlight the situation. Just last month, Clooney turned bad-ass on the world and got himself arrested for civil disobedience during a demonstration at the Sudan embassy in Washington D.C. That's right, you tell 'em, George.
The Obama Years (Days)
Clooney has been a devout supporter of President Obama, but who knew the actor and the president were BFF? Just this past week, it was announced that Clooney would be hosting a big to-do fundraiser for the president at casa Clooney. There have been e-mails, tweets and news reports abound coercing us regular folk to donate to the Obama campaign for a chance to win a seat at the dinner. Enticing, but is it worth three dollars?
The Clooney Future What could George Clooney possibly do next? Will Clooney get to the point where he says, screw it, and stops working completely? Will the guy ever take a break? He has reached the very top of every pinnacle, so where is there to go from here? From the looks of it, Clooney has no intention of slowing down or settling down. As he gets older and better-ooking, his lady companions get younger and better-looking.
Despite his fame and fortune, George Clooney just seems like a cool dude who would drink a PBR with you. Of course, only if there was no Cristal around.
The Brilliant Lecture Series featuring George Clooney will take place Thursday, May 3, at 7 p.m. For more information, visit brilliantlectures.org.