Up in the Air, George Clooney

George Clooney is handsome and savvy, but he’s also self-aware when it comes to his ladies-man reputation. When he signed to play an eternal bachelor in his latest film, Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman (Juno), he immediately saw parallels between the character and himself. “Jason came to my house and brought the script and I read it,” Clooney says. “There were some things that sounded like they were taken from a Barbara Walters special that I had done. I’m not completely unaware of people’s perceptions of me. I sort of felt like, if you were ever going to deal with it, this is probably the best way to do it and the best person to do it with. If you can’t point at what people think are your shortcomings, then you’re boxing yourself in.”

He’s also particular about not allowing a body double in his films, even for the split-second shot of his thumb on a suitcase handle in Up in the Air. “I bite my cuticles so I’m always ashamed,” he admits. “But when you see somebody else’s hand come in and it’s got, like, different fingers or hairy knuckles, it doesn’t look right.”

For more on Clooney and Up in the Air, plus Dave Karger’s fearless Oscar predictions, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands January 1.