By Dave Karger
Updated December 06, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

For the sake of a little preinterview small talk, we’ve just reminded the stars of Ocean’s Twelve that they’re about to be on the cover of this magazine. They haven’t actually seen the photos, but they’re happy to mine the situation for a bit of comedy gold (or at least tinfoil).

”I’ve got the staple on my forehead!” jokes George Clooney, evoking giggles from the rest of the cast.

Very funny, George. Now, on to the interview…

”I’m on the crease!” Don Cheadle blurts out, prompting more chuckles.

Okay, guys, we have some work to do here…

”My face is where the address goes!” yells Matt Damon. And everyone’s completely lost it.

Jeez. If this is how the crew behaves all the time, it’s a wonder director Steven Soderbergh was able to come up with two hours of usable footage.

Three years after their glossy remake of Ocean’s Eleven made off with $183 million in domestic box office, Clooney and his unruly gang of thieves have reunited (with the addition of Catherine Zeta-Jones as an investigator on their tail) for a globe-trotting sequel that vividly reflects the raucous four months they spent filming. To hear firsthand about the dirty dozen’s European adventures, we gathered six of the eight main cast members — Clooney, Zeta-Jones, Damon, Cheadle, Brad Pitt, and Andy Garcia — in Palm Springs, while their two colleagues joined in from home via speakerphone: Bernie Mac, recovering from a bout with pneumonia, and Julia Roberts, on bed rest just days before delivering her twins Nov. 28. When the posse wasn’t trading stripper jokes or reciting entire skits from Da Ali G Show, they let spill some juicy details about their freewheeling new movie and their unforgettable off-camera escapades.

PITT Bernie, sweetheart, good morning! How you feeling, bud?

MAC [Feebly] I’m much better. Much, much, much better.

CHEADLE Julia, how do you feel?

ROBERTS I feel great, actually.

DAMON Are you enormous?

ROBERTS I’m getting enormous. My stomach, from the time I go to sleep to the time I wake up, is actually exponentially bigger. I’m just really glad that my ass isn’t following suit.

CHEADLE When do you get un-huge?

ROBERTS That’s the $10 million question. I think I’m going to have to sit down and have a stern conversation with my children today and make a plan. How are things in Palm Springs?

CLOONEY Nice. We played golf this morning.

ROBERTS Are you guys all drunk?

CHEADLE,CLOONEY,DAMON [In unison] Not yet!

DAMON It’s early, though.

EW George, you recently wrapped Syriana, for which you gained 30 pounds. But now you look like you did before.


ROBERTS George, I have to say, I hung out with Steven [Soderbergh, who produced Syriana] the other night, and he did describe you to me in detail, because I said, ”I haven’t seen George, but I hear it’s horrifying.”