We chat with George Clooney at last night’s Men Who Stare at Goats after party on the Bridle Path

We chat with George Clooney at last night’s Men Who Stare at Goats after party on the Bridle Path

Don’t fight the swoon: for 90 seconds at least, George Clooney is all he’s cracked up to be (Photo Karon Liu) 

Women who stare at George Clooney? All of them. No exceptions. There’s no point in pretending. We had only to follow the female gaze as we walked into a modernist Bridle Path mansion for Vitamin Water’s spectacularly un-recessionary after-party for The Men Who Stare at Goats, and there he was: the magnetic centre of this glassed-in world, turning the whole room to pins and needles. The most confident among us feeling suddenly unsteady, teetering between should-we and shouldn’t-we.

If a little dignity can be salvaged here, we did try to resist (though perhaps we should have consulted better advisers than Shinan Govani and fellow TIFF.TO-er Jen McNeely). But he was right there, looking impossibly true to celluloid: old-school dash, flashbulb smile. One moment, we were perfectly sober and nearly sane; the next, we were laid waste with a handshake. A bandaged handshake, actually. George Clooney’s right was wrapped in white gauze.

“Sorry about my hand,” he said. “I caught it in a car door six weeks ago. So the lesson learned was—”
“Don’t open your own car doors?” we suggested.

It’s true. George Clooney has a devastating laugh. Emboldened, we tried another, only slightly worse joke: maybe the white-gauzed hand could be a sort of Michael Jackson tribute?

“Ha,” he said. “It could be! I really was pretty sad about that.”

He looked away for a second. But that devilish, careless grin didn’t slide, and suddenly it all felt too easy, too mockable. We wished him luck and rushed off to douse ourselves in cold (Vitamin) water and recover our senses.