What is your best-ever travel memory? What was so great about it?
My favourite memory is when I invited my friends to go on a motorcycle trip across the Alps. That was one of the best things I ever did. Some of the guys I still ride with are friends from when we were teenagers, and I try to make it a point to get everybody together at least once a year in Como and then make some sort of journey with our bikes. That’s my eternal teenager side.
What has been one of your best locations in which to shoot a movie – and why?
Hawaii [where Clooney shot family drama The Descendants]. The place is magnificent. The locals are great, everyone was relaxed, and this allowed us to do our job efficiently and at ease. What’s amazing is how they live above the rules: people go around on motorcycles without a helmet. They crowd up on trucks and go slow when nobody’s on the street. I rented a motorcycle and I loved riding around, even in the rain.
Have you ever wanted to get lost in the crowd and feel like an ordinary local for a day?
[When motorbiking in Italy] I love being able to stop in small towns and enjoy drinks with the locals. The Italians have a very infectious spirit and that makes me feel very relaxed and less caught up in the business of being who I am. That’s a big part of what draws me back to Italy. I just appreciate the way Italians enjoy life. We should all learn the beauty of four-hour meals!
Your wedding in Venice practically turned into a state event. How did you feel about that?
The funny thing is, we didn’t tell anyone we were getting married. And all of a sudden, thousands of people were out on the streets in Venice, lining the canals. It was crazy and I thought, “this is what it’s going to be like for the next three days”. And it was wonderful. It added to the celebration.
What do you love about Lake Como?
What I love about Italy in general is being able to feel very free there. The Italians have a great joie de vivre and way of looking at the world. Very little bothers them except when their local football team loses. So that kind of spirit is incredibly stimulating. As soon as I set foot in Laglio, I feel truly at home and at peace …and no-one cares about the film business. It’s all about food and wine and the beauty of being there. Life doesn’t get better than that! I’ll work, I’ll play and drink plenty of great wine. I’ve worked hard to get to this point – why should I stop now?
What do you wear when flying?
The trick is slip-on shoes. I am telling you, that’s the secret. The shoes you have to tie, they take forever…and I never wear those goofy masks on my eyes. I am too worried about the guy in the next seat taking a picture of me. That is one photo that you can’t live down.
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