NEW YORK — Is there anything George Clooney can't do at this point? A nearly perennial presence on the awards-season circuit and just so freaking dapper in a tuxedo he's almost a parody of himself, Clooney managed to gently mock a reporter at the glittering National Board of Review red carpet Tuesday night — "I was going to say, where the hell's the tie?" — and it still came off as charming.
For the record, Mr. Clooney, the reporter in question was going for the casual, unshaven look — though it's difficult to stand next to the "Descendants" star and come off looking good, especially when the A-lister has girlfriend Stacy Keibler on his arm. Oh well. At NBR's bash, the focus was on film — ones that we're going to be talking a lot about as the Golden Globes and Oscar approach. For Clooney, though, the goal in making movies like "Descendants" and "Ides of March" isn't about getting awards-season love.
"You don't do them for that," he told us. "You do them because you want to make films that last longer than an opening weekend. Both films were films I was really proud of and felt we could tell interesting stories and hope they find an audience. We were lucky enough that they did."
He's not the only one feeling fortunate. Joining Clooney on the carpet were folks like Rooney Mara, Emma Stone, Keira Knightley, Alec Baldwin, Seth Rogen, Naomi Watts, Sir Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren, Lars Ulrich, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender and Martin Scorsese. For his part, Rogen couldn't quite believe he and his film "50/50" were part of all the craziness.
"It slowly keeps happening," he said of the continuing stream of nominations. "Every time we get one thing, I think that's going to be the last one for sure — and then we get another one. I remember for the Golden Globes, I didn't even wake up to see. I honestly did not assume we were going to get nominations for any of this."
"Hugo" star Asa Butterfield echoed that sentiment when he confessed to MTV News, "I'm surprised. What's to like about me?"
A lot, kid! But hey, humility was the theme at the NBR, as star after star professed him or herself simply happy to be along for the ride — which is not to say these folks don't think they've delivered something special.
"I knew we had something the moment we arrived in Mississippi July 11," "The Help" star Viola Davis said. "It's a special story. It's a human story. It's an honest story. No other movie this year looks like this — all these women, all these races, all these ages. I knew we had something."
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