Why you should care
Because do you really think George Clooney doesn’t want people looking at his ass?
I saw George Clooney’s ass. Let’s just get that out of the way now. But to put a finer point on it and to be completely accurate, it must be said that when I finally got to meet Clooney in person, he was bending over in his black denim jeans and there I stood.
My best friend, who lives in Beverly Hills, used to work in entertainment. Back when the TV show ER was all the rage, she took me on a tour of the Warner Bros. lot when I was visiting from New York. Every corner was filled with artificial sets from popular TV series. Everything was fake.
As a series of familiar-looking people whizzed by in golf carts, my friend went around giving all the big-name actors bear hugs. I stood proudly next to her, trying to play it cool. In her scratchy Marlboro Red voice she spoke with each member of the ER cast as if they were members of her family. Since I too was like family, I played along. “Happy New Year,” I said. That was about it — what else do you say to a celebrity without gushing?
I certainly got the VIP treatment: a seat in the director’s room and a private viewing; I even got to stand next to the actors during takes. As I removed my headset, I asked an extra, “Hey, you got another pair of gloves?” “Sure,” he said, and left his post to grab a pair of clear rubber gloves, which he then handed to me. I still have them in a box somewhere.
George was not only beautiful, he was surprisingly quick-witted and genuinely funny.
I met just about everyone from the cast and crew that day, including Tony the grip guy and Jamie in craft services. It was a lot of fun. Yet there was something, or rather someone, missing. I still had not met George.
“Can we check one more time?” I whined. “Maybe he’s back now?”
“OK, pumpkin, but then this girl has to get home,” my friend said.
We walked around the lot and landed at the shiny aluminum trailer, the one that seemed just a tad larger than the others. Amy, George’s assistant, was outside, pacing frantically with her cellphone, looking very LA.
“Can we come in?” my friend whispered.
Amy signaled us toward the entrance. We peeked our heads in, hoping for a glance of some memorabilia … and there he was. He had bent over to pick up something from the floor when we entered. He then stood up, turned around and looked me straight in the eye. “Hello,” he said, smiling. And yes, he is better-looking in person.
“George, this is my friend Elana,” my friend said.
I reached out to shake his hand, hoping mine was not trembling. “Hi, George, nice to meet you,” I said. I remained impossibly calm. I never realized he had muscles on the show. Within seconds my friend and George were like any two co-workers talking shop: This one was cheap, that one a drunk, commiserating on the long hours they worked. George was not only beautiful, he was surprisingly quick-witted and genuinely funny. He improvised a scene from my friend’s last day on the show; a dead-on rendition of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz left us in tears of laughter. I started to feel more comfortable and added in a few jokes and retorts that earned me a Clooney smile.
After the assistant and my friend made plans while I was pretending to hang out, George walked back to his trailer. Wow, I thought, GQ was right — he really is a great guy. I managed to muster up a “nice to meet you.” He did not reply. Silence. Dead silence. I began to wonder if the whole exchange had been just another scene and not the natural connection I thought it was. Was he just faking it? I hated LA.
What a bunch of phonies! This would never happen in New York.
As we walked toward my friend’s Camry, she began to spew out dinner options. “We can go for Cuban, you like Cuban? Or maybe sushi? I know a great place,” she said. Suddenly I wasn’t very hungry. I had lost my appetite. No one eats in this city anyway. And then I heard it. A Hollywood icon’s echoes reverberating from his trailer.
“Nice meeeeeeting yoooooou toooooo!” he bellowed. Which, in total, was worth the seven-second delay.
I grabbed my friend’s hand tightly and smiled. LA wasn’t so bad after all.
“Sushi,” I said. And we headed for the hills.