Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Meeting Mr Clooney

Not specifically Jennifer Ehle-related, but this is a cute story of some fans meeting George Clooney while shooting Michael Clayton.

Blooming Grove - Zack Bernard says he'll never wash his back again.

"George Clooney just rubbed my back!" the 18-year-old Monroe resident yelled, pointing to his shoulder.

"We just asked if he could take a picture with us and he was like, 'Sure,'" said 15-year-old Patrick Kearns. "He's a nice guy."

That's what all the Blooming Grove locals were saying yesterday as they stood outside neighbor Maria Caponero's house. Inside, three-time Oscar nominee Clooney was shooting scenes for his new Warner Bros. movie, "Michael Clayton," in which he plays the title character.

There was no denying a movie was being shot, either. A long, bright blue bus was parked on the side of the road and about 100 crew members bustled around, setting up lights and equipment on the street and on Caponero's front lawn. Neighbors watched as the crew spoke on walkie-talkies and the caterers walked around with food. Town of Blooming Grove police officers controlled traffic as the crew shouted "Picture up!" "Rolling!" and "Cut!"

Armed with cameras, camera phones and jackets, everyone waited with a hushed excitement to get a glimpse of Clooney.

They got a little more than that.

Until about 11:45 a.m., Clooney stayed inside the house. Then the crew took a break for lunch, and Clooney, dressed in a gray coat, black pants and white shirt, emerged.

"Hey George! How ya doin'?" someone shouted.

"Hey guys!" Clooney replied, with that smile. That smile! "What's going on?"

Before going to lunch at a nearby firehouse, he posed for pictures and spoke with fans. He also had a light-hearted run-in with local authorities.

"He just asked me how I was holding up," said Town of Blooming Grove Officer Lisa LiVigni, who was securing the road. "He's just very friendly."

At the firehouse, he signed autographs for fans.

People were driving up and down the road all day, but it wasn't until lunch time that the cars full of teenage girls began pulling up and asking questions.

"Is it true that George Clooney is shooting a movie here?" one asked.

Another teen on the set was 18-year-old Anthony Caponero, who lives in the home Clooney is shooting in. Caponero wants to be an actor himself and won't be attending SUNY Orange for the rest of the week. He said his teachers are very well aware of it because this is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

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