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George Clooney On Oscar Campaigning, Early Career Tricks

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George Clooney played a candidate for president in this year's hit "The Ides of March," but don't expect him to be on the campaign trail the next two months.

The star, who already has Golden Globe nods this year for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for "Ides" and Best Actor for "The Descendents," tells Entertainment Weekly that he won't be using his considerable charm to stump for gold.

"You use the word 'campaign.' I've actually done it where it was like a campaign, like kissing babies," he said. "You can justify it by saying, 'I'm helping the movie,' but you cross a line where it feels like you're only helping yourself. And it starts to feel unclean. So I haven't done that version of it since then. I didn't do it for 'Up in the Air' or 'Michael Clayton.' So the word 'campaigning' isn't part of it anymore."

Of course, when Clooney was campaigning, it worked out pretty swimmingly -- he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "Syriana" in 2005.

Viola Davis, who earned a Golden Globe nod for her work in "The Help" and looks to be a lock for an Oscar nomination, agreed that the glad handing and backslapping that goes into winning an award is uncomfortable.

"People feel like you're self-generating all of this publicity. If people are saying, 'Who's going to win best Actress? Is it going to be Meryl or Viola' then somehow it's like we're the driving force behind that article," she said. "Like we're chirping in your ear. They don't know how putrid it is, even for us. Because the worst parts of yourself can come out if people plant it in your head that you have to win."

The Academy itself is less than pleased with all the campaigning; in September, they announced strict new rules meant to curb the practice. Those included a stop to receptions after film screenings, a ban on negative social media campaigning and Q&A restrictions.

"It's really a perception problem for us. The Oscars are about what our members see on screen and think is quality work," Academy COO Ric Robertson told The Hollywood Reporter. "To the extent that the public dialog about the Oscars is who threw a good party or ran a successful campaign versus the quality of the work, that's off-point for us. We want people to be taking about the work."

Clooney, famous for his tricks, isn't necessarily averse to some gamesmanship to get looks from Hollywood. In his early days, he said, he lived a fake double life to get auditions.

"I was with this really crappy agency when I first moved to LA," he said. "I literally went up for two roles in a year. And I was dating a girl who worked at the agency. So I created this character, Josh Reynolds, who was an agent at Artists First. And I would call casting directors and pitch myself, and when they would call back and ask for JOsh Reynolds, the girl I was dating would call me and say, 'All right, you got a call from this person.' And i would call back as the agent. I got myself a bunch of auditions."

For more, click over to EW.com.

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