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George Clooney cutting back on acting, to focus on producing

George Clooney, seen here on Oct. 22, 2017,

George Clooney, seen here on Oct. 22, 2017, says he'll focus on producing movies rather than acting. Credit: FilmMagic / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

George Clooney says he is pulling back on acting to concentrate on producing.

“Look, I acted for a long time and, you know, I’m 56. I’m not the guy that gets the girl anymore,” he told London’s Sunday Times, quickly amending that, in fact, to say, “I shouldn’t be the guy that gets the girl.”

He did not rule out a screen return completely, saying that “if somebody’s got Paul Newman in ‘The Verdict,’ I’d jump,” referring to the late screen legend’s Oscar-nominated role as a disgraced, alcoholic attorney trying to win a seemingly impossible case in Sidney Lumet’s 1982 best picture nominee.

“But there aren’t that many like that,” Clooney went on. “Acting used to be how I paid the rent, but I sold a tequila company for a billion . . . dollars. I don’t need money.” In June, Clooney and his business partners, Hewlett native Rande Gerber and real estate developer Mike Meldman, sold their Manhasset-based tequila company, Casamigos Spirits, for $700 million and a further potential $300 million based on performance over 10 years.

“So I can fight to make movies I want to make,” Clooney said. “If you look at what I’ve been in over the past 15 years, for the most part they weren’t going to get made if I didn’t do them. Nobody was going to make ‘Good Night, and Good Luck,’ ‘Michael Clayton’ or ‘Up in the Air,’ and I fought to get those out there.”

He added, “I don’t have political aspirations. I have always been involved in politics. My father ran for Congress. It’s been in our family forever. But, mostly, I can help in ways I actually know very well, like messaging [voters].”

Clooney won an Oscar for 2005’s “Syriana” and earned nominations for 2007’s “Michael Clayton,” 2009’s “Up in the Air” and 2011’s “The Descendants.” He has starred in a string of other movies including 2013’s “Gravity,” 2000’s “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven.”

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