George Clooney is on the cover of Time magazine, and the story, written by Joel Stein, reads kind of like a blog entry. For the interview, Stein invited Clooney over to his house for dinner; Clooney agreed. Stein tries really hard to contain his fanboy glee. But. If you weren't already hopelessly in love with the 46-year-old actor — if you didn't already find him unbelievably charming — this article seals the deal. He comes off as smart, down-to-earth, effortlessly cool. Some gems: Clooney doesn't accept gift bags. "Rich famous people getting free shit looks bad. You look greedy. And I don't need a cell phone with sparkles on it," he says. But you'll never hear him bitching about stuff like that: "I know what pisses people off about fame," Clooney says. "It's when famous people whine about it."
The thing about Clooney is that he knows how to play the game properly. "You don't say, I don't talk about my personal life," he explains. "People say they won't talk about their personal life. And then they do. And even when the tabloids say really crappy things and it pisses you off and you know it's not true, you have to at least publicly have a sense of humor about it." He's extremely passionate about his campaign to stop the genocide in Darfur: "I've been very depressed since I got back. I'm terrified that it isn't in any way helping. That bringing attention can cause more damage. You dig a well or build a health-care facility and they're a target for somebody," he says. "A lot more people know about Darfur, but absolutely nothing is different. Absolutely nothing." And yet, he can find a silver lining: "I have a U.N. passport. It says 'Messenger of Peace' on it. It's very cool," he says.
During his dinner with Stein, some sort of alarm goes off. Clooney proceeds to scour the house for the source, and even goes into Stein's dusty, musty crawlspace. (There's video!) He finds nothing, but then when the beeping starts again, he discovers it's the carbon monoxide detector in an outlet near the table. "Either it needs a battery," he says, "or we have six seconds to live."
And yet: Even this funny, charming, practically perfect star is not good enough for Hollywood's standards: behold how someone PhotoShopped the hell out of Clooney in the promotional shots for his upcoming film, Leatherheads. If George Clooney isn't good enough just the way he is, what is this world coming to?