I lost track of time, but by 2 a.m. or so — when I was hammered and was reasonably certain that others were, too — we had become raucous. Out of nowhere, Clooney jumps out of his chair and starts climbing a fence that overlooks the lake below. From the top, fully clothed, he counted, One… two… and jumped. I heard three just before hit the water. Within seconds, he was challenging our masculinity. Okay, guys, let’s see your stuff. One other guest was next up and jumped. Hell, I thought, I have an early morning plane and I don’t want wet clothes. So… what choice did I have? I stripped down to my skivvies, climbed that darn fence…. And whoa, it seemed like I was 30 feet above the water. One… two… I was in the water by three. It was very dark, a little cold, but terrific. So we kept jumping.
Eventually we repaired to his kitchen in bathrobes, trying to warm up. Out came a bottle of limoncello, and the conversation flowed on until I finally crawled up to bed at 4:30.
Who was it? Find out, and read about a practical joke Clooney played on Walter Cronkite, after the jump.
Yes, it was CNN political analyst David Gergen that spent a long weekend in Italy with Clooney, filing this detailed report on the actor for Parade, with a focus on Clooney’s charitable efforts. Along the way, Gergen recalls a story Clooney told him about the legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite–a close friend of Clooney’s father Nick. The actor played a practical joke on Cronkite when he visited the villa:
One of his favorites from his days at the villa arose from the time some years ago when Walter Cronkite was a guest for the first time. At the end of his maiden lunch, where people were casually dressed, Cronkite asked Clooney what the dress code was for dinner (I asked the same thing… who can be sure in these situations?)
“Oh, Walter,” Clooney told him, “we always dress in black tie for our dinners here.” This being Hollywood, Cronkite had brought a tux and when the dinner bell rang that night, he dutifully showed up in all his studs. There awaiting him at the table were all of the other guests, all dressed in bath robes. “Damn you,” Cronkite said, and stomped off back to his room to take off his tux. A little while later, Cronkite returned, dressed in his bath robe. And there, of course, Clooney had ensured that every guest would now be dressed in tuxedoes and gowns. Cronkite let off a string of expletives — but they had a grand dinner. (Nick Clooney, George’s dad, was there for that visit, and over the years, he and Cronkite developed ties so close that the family asked Nick to give a eulogy at Cronkite’s memorial service. Many thought it was the best given.)
The entire profile is worth reading, check it out here.