George Clooney, a charming Kentuckian liquor salesman who is also one of the world's biggest movies stars, let loose on President Donald Trump (also a liquor salesman), in a pointed interview with the Daily Beast recently, one in which he used a palette of colorful language perhaps appropriate to the subject matter at hand.
While promoting his new film "Suburbicon," the actor, director and Nespresso pitchman spoke to writer Marlow Stern about the ongoing skirmishes between Trump, his red-state, red-meat base and the so-called "coastal elites," a clique of which Clooney would seem to be a member. The actor wasn't having it:
Here’s the thing: I grew up in Kentucky. I sold insurance door-to-door. I sold ladies’ shoes. I worked at an all-night liquor store. I would buy suits that were too big and too long and cut the bottom of the pants off to make ties so I’d have a tie to go on job interviews. I grew up understanding what it was like to not have health insurance for eight years. So this idea that I’m somehow the “Hollywood elite” and this guy who takes a shit in a gold toilet is somehow the man of the people is laughable.
Fair. He continued about the notion of Hollywood elitism and exceptionalism saying, "People in Hollywood, for the most part, are people from the Midwest who moved to Hollywood to have a career. So this idea of 'coastal elites' living in a bubble is ridiculous."
This, in turn, curved back to statements about our highly branded commander in chief, of course. "Who lives in a bigger bubble?" he said. "[Trump] lives in a gold tower and has twelve people in his company." Of course, the president would argue that he employs tens of thousands, but the Oscar-winner wasn't taking that particular bait.
"He doesn’t run a corporation of hundreds of thousands of people he employs and takes care of," the actor said. "He ran a company of twelve people!" He then compared Trump's past business ventures with his own work as a director. "When you direct a film you have seven different unions all wanting different things, you have to find consensus with all of them, and you have to get them moving in the same direction. He’s never had to do any of that kind of stuff."
Clooney wrapped it all up with an F-bomb. "I just look at it and I laugh when I see him say 'Hollywood elite,'" he said. "Hollywood elite? I don’t have a star on Hollywood Boulevard, Donald Trump has a star on Hollywood Boulevard! Fuck you!"
You know, it takes quite a lot to make a millionaire Academy Award-winning star who once lived in a 19th-Century villa on the shore of Lake Como look like a man of the people — but that is our gold-plated, gold-haired president, ladies and gentleman.
Gabriel Bell is Salon's Deputy Culture Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @GabrielJBell MORE FROM Gabriel Bell • FOLLOW @GabrielJBell
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