Refusing George Clooney’s Burrito

When you're George Clooney, you can order a hundred burritos and always expect someone else to cover for you.

We were in the lobby of a low-slung brick studio in Burbank where George Clooney was to record the commentary for the _Good Night, and Good Luck_ DVD; I was there for _Rolling Stone,_ writing a story about DVD commentaries. He's not very tall for such a manly heartthrob, maybe five-eleven in his big clunky black shoes. But goodness, is that man ever tan. This was a Saturday, so he wasn't working at his day job, and I don't think there was any makeup involved. But Clooney's hair is dark brown verging on black, and the skin tone of his forehead was just a shade or two lighter than his hair.

We got down to business around 2 p.m., with Clooney and his co-writer/producer/old friend Grant Heslov taping their audio track with more than their share of grogginess and false starts. About 20 minutes in, a hesitant voice came through the headphones from the control room: "Excuse me? Your lunch is here."

In came a whole bag of steak burritos from some dive across the street. Clooney had ordered way more food than he and Heslov wanted, just in case the random publicists and technicians in the room were hungry. Now, you might think that George Clooney is so rich he can afford to buy burritos for the entire adult populace of Burbank. But just as likely, he knew that there was no way he was paying for any of this. Someone at the front desk paid for these burritos long before Clooney had a chance to. When you're George Clooney, you can order a hundred burritos and always expect someone else to cover for you.

Clooney made it clear that this was not just his lunch but also his breakfast, but the rest of us seemed to have eaten. There was at least one steak burrito unclaimed in the bag, and Clooney — rather generously, I thought — asked me if I wanted it. No, thanks, I said. (I'd had lunch already at In-N-Out Burger, where I have nearly all my post-morning meals when I am on the West Coast.)

"You're gonna regret it," he said. "These are really good burritos." He undercut his own case a few minutes later, when a publicist mentioned to him a recording of an Edward R. Murrow speech that had been downloaded from the Internet. Clooney replied, "I'm gonna download that burrito in about 10 minutes."


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