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George Clooney: Awards Not Important, Though Still Doing Some Politicking

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Whether it's humility, brutal honesty or a clever bit of reverse psychology, George Clooney wants one thing to be known this awards season: he doesn't care about awards.

"I am a fan of movies. And so my job is to try to make films that last longer than an opening weekend," the writer/director/actor said told Brian Williams on "Rock Center" on Monday night. "And then if someone's nice to you at the end of the year-- and they've been nice and they've been mean -- my job is to try to make films that I think are entertaining."

The words come ahead of Sunday's Golden Globes, where Clooney figures to have a big night. He's considered the front runner in the race for Best Actor in a Drama at this Sunday's Golden Globes for his turn in "The Descendants," and is nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on "The Ides of March." He should, at the very least, earn an Oscar nod for acting, as well.

The nonchalant approach to gold is a sort of anti-campaign for the star, who already has Golden Globe and Oscar statuettes under his belt. In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, he expressed his disinterest in the traditional backslapping and party circuiting that comes with campaigning for the various awards each winter.

"You use the word 'campaign.' I've actually done it where it was like a campaign, like kissing babies," he told the magazine. "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."

Just as well that he maintain an air of propriety this year, given the new rules governing the major money and effort studios put into campaigning for their stars to receive nominations and awards.

Still, it's not as if he's been invisible. One of the Academy's new rules is a restriction on Q&A sessions with influencers and Oscar voters, and Clooney himself participated in one at the Palm Springs Film Festival this past weekend. The very fact that he was on "Rock Center" at all shows that he's working to maintain visibility, as does his Tuesday appearance on "Good Morning America."

It's hard to tell how much of that is studio mandated press -- "The Descendants" wasn't exactly a $100 million hit, so all press is good press -- and how much is of his own ambition. Either way, expect more nonchalant red carpet walks, which could just help him a big victory these next two months.

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George Clooney - About This Person - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com