'Ocean's Twelve' Stars on 'Moral Values'

In the new film "Ocean's Twelve," a variety of Hollywood A-listers play professionals, each with a special skill, who band together to pull off a gambit none of them could accomplish individually. The film might be seen as a metaphor for real life.

When movie stars come together, they're often recognized as a force to be reckoned with -- and not just at the box office.

Six of "Ocean's" stars -- George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia and Don Cheadle -- recently sat down with ABC News' Diane Sawyer for an exclusive interview about family, fame and public perception.

After one of the most heated presidential campaigns in recent memory, Saywer asked them to reflect on the outcome, the importance of moral values and the idea they are on the opposite side of that dividing line.

"We are, in fact, at times defensive of the idea that there's this disconnect between us and the rest of the country," Clooney said.

"We are actually, all of us, conservative, not liberal, whatever … We are reflections of that society. And we're a product of it."

Movie stars who grew up in Middle American families are troubled by the idea that the country does not think they belong to them.

Pitt grew up in Missouri with an upbringing he describes as "Baptist and then a more nondenominational charismatic kind of movement."

Asked if Hollywood endorsements hurt candidates, Pitt said, "I think it has to some degree."

Hollywood vs. the Heartland

Clooney had a very personal interest in the recent election. His father, Nick, ran as a Democrat for an open House seat in their home state, solidly Republican Kentucky. The actor realized he wouldn't be considered an asset for the candidate.

"I couldn't campaign for my father, you know," he told Sawyer. "It's Hollywood vs. the Heartland."

In fact, Republican candidate Geoff Davis attacked Nick Clooney through his son. "There will be a clear contrast between the values of this district and the values of Hollywood," Davis said on the campaign trail.

Nick Clooney -- who was well-known in the area as a local TV news anchor and newspaper columnist as well as the father of George and brother of the late singer Rosemary Clooney -- lost by roughly 10 percent. Despite the disappointment, the younger Clooney is glad his father ran -- but says he had no special words of advice for him.

"He's a grown-up and he's been a grown-up a lot longer than I have," Clooney said.

Different Backgrounds, Different Values

The "Ocean's" stars come from varied backgrounds. Clooney describes his as Kentucky Methodist: "Fire and brimstone."

The Cuban-born Garcia and Welsh actress Zeta-Jones were raised Catholic. Cheadle is from an African Methodist Episcopal background. And Boston-bred Damon says his family is Protestant.

They point out that they travel the world trying to help, supporting charities. But they say they are puzzled as to how they wound up being seen as opposed to the rest of the country's values.

Asked why they thought so many actors were Democrats, Clooney responded rhetorically, "Why are so many African-Americans Democrats? I think it has to do with tolerance."

Cheadle said their politics may come from the job, because acting requires them to understand and identify with people from all walks of life.

"We look at and try to humanize people that are in those positions, because we often play them," he said. Acting, he said, makes you "not as willing to label and dictate to other people what is right and wrong."

Damon agreed.

"It's not good-evil, this-that, black-white, it's more complicated than that," he said, "because people are more complicated than that."

Garcia said he just hopes everyone in America wants to celebrate different views, which he called the most American thing of all.

"The important thing is that you have the ability to express yourself," he said. "I come from a tragedy where you cannot be free. We came to America 'cause my father wanted me to enjoy those freedoms."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...