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George Clooney: More Oscars on the Way?

In honor of The Ides of March‘s release in theaters today, Applause Books author Kimberly Potts explains George Clooney’s current career, and why we may be seeing a lot less of him in front of the camera in years to come.

All those interviews and late night talk show appearances George Clooney and his Ides of March co-stars have made in the last few weeks have led to a plethora of stories about how a whole lot of celebrities have gone skinny dipping at Clooney’s famous villa in Lake Como, Italy.

But what they haven’t gotten across about the movie is that it could very well lead to the Oscar winner’s next Academy Award nomination(s).

In Ides, which hits theaters today, Clooney plays Mike Morris, the governor of Pennsylvania who’s now a Democratic presidential contender. Ryan Gosling pops up as his campaign leader, and a scandal later, we’re knee-deep in a thrilling political drama that resonates all too strongly with recent real-world political scandals, and sparks all sorts of discussions on matters of politics, ethics and doing things for the greater good.

And while Gosling’s performance is stirring all the buzz, don’t be surprised if Mr. Clooney isn’t a nominee for Ides when Oscar nominations roll out next year. Clooney stars in the movie, he co-wrote the script and directed Ides.

And, as arbiter of all things Hollywood awards-related,, points out, the only thing potentially standing between Clooney and Ides of March gold is the fact that his second movie of the year, the family dramedy The Descendants, is so terrific it may steal his Ides thunder.

Still, one-upping yourself is not a bad position to be in, and both movies are payoffs to what has been Clooney’s career philosophy: to agree to star in the movies studios want him to make, and then using his position to get made the movies he personally wants to make.

In the newly revised and updated release of my Clooney biography George Clooney: The Last Great Movie Star, Clooney asserts that his ultimate goal is to work only behind the scenes, making his movies, but not starring in them.

Is that possible? Even Clint Eastwood, whose career I think Clooney’s is modeling, still takes an on-camera role now and then, and it’s tough to imagine a time when Clooney’s face on the screen and name on the poster wouldn’t be a tremendous selling point for a movie.

Besides, I think the book’s title only becomes more and more true every year. With entertainment fans’ attention constantly being pulled in dozens of directions, celebrity of Clooney’s magnitude becomes a rarer thing. He is The Last Great Movie Star.

George Clooney: The Last Great Movie Star

In this updated biography of one of Hollywood’s most colorful leading men, pop culture expert Kimberly Potts traces Clooney’s life from small-town boy to big-screen idol. Potts fills us in on Clooney’s early attempts to break into film (including his Batman flop), his many well-publicized romances, his political and humanitarian efforts, plus a major fight with director David O. Russell on the set of Three Kings. Potts also recounts how Clooney has gained success and acclaim with his shrewd strategy of alternating blockbuster movie roles, such as the Ocean’s franchise, with less lucrative “passion” projects – such as Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck – that reflect his personal ethics. He won an Academy Award for the former and rave reviews for the latter, and has continued to earn accolades and Oscar nominations for smart dramas such as Michael Clayton and Up in the Air.

Available now from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.