Michael Smith: No, I can't invite George Clooney to your party
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Friday, December 07, 2012
12/07/12 at 4:20 AM
Read the Tulsa World’s continuing coverage of the filming of “August: Osage County.”
Related story: Lasting impression: Movie, stars leave behind memories, more after ‘August: Osage County’.Original Print Headline: No, I can't ask George Clooney to your party
No, I cannot talk George Clooney into attending your birthday party.
This is but one of the odd requests that I received during the two months of filming on "August: Osage County," which brought Hollywood stars to the area and turned average, everyday Oklahomans into starstruck fans - short for fanatics.
I was on-the-scene for a couple of days of outdoor filming, and my proximity to Ewan McGregor and Abigail Breslin and others must have convinced many readers that I had some proverbial "in" with the production team. That was hardly the case; a good reporter contacts all the sources he can find, learns when such an outdoor event is taking place and crosses his fingers that it doesn't rain.
I couldn't talk to Clooney about anything. As I was told by a publicist regarding him as the producer of the film - and the rest of the cast, for that matter: These people are here to work, and they won't be made available.
As far as their off-hours were concerned, well, that was fair game, and a few citizens found Juliette Lewis on a shopping trip or Chris Cooper picking up some groceries at the local market.
But these requests? My reply was "Sorry, but no ..." to these appeals I received via email or voice mail during filming.
No, I do not know where Meryl Streep is living (among the stars put up in rented Bartlesville homes for eight weeks), and I would not supply that information if I did. What would you do, knock on the door? Don't scare me.
Granted, it's a coincidence that your husband's name is the same as that of one of the characters in the movie, but no, I don't agree that the actor playing that character would find this coincidence "really neat and want to meet your husband."
Well, how wonderful that you look "just like Julia Roberts" and you believe your husband "could pass for Dermot Mulroney," but no, I'm not the person to talk to about work as a stand-in.
No, I can't give you the address of the big Osage County house where most of the filming took place. It's so close to the Kansas state line that a good drive could push a golf ball into that state to the north, and everybody in Osage County knows where it's located. But the long county road leading to the residence was closed. So don't bother.
No, I don't know where Clooney is eating dinner. He ate out in Bartlesville (Frank & Lola's) and he ate out in Tulsa (Biga), and he didn't mind posing for a photo or two in these cases. Classy. But he provided no advance itinerary.
Sorry, but I don't know where Roberts shops while she's in Bartlesville, but my guess is that she doesn't. Multiple sources said she was easily the most private of the cast members.
I'm not aware of when Lewis will next be visiting the Blue Dome district in Tulsa, but check out her Twitter account; she'll usually tell you what she's up to.
No, I will not invite Streep to your house for pecan pie and coffee. Are you nutty? Do you think she'll "do" Julia Child for you?
Um, no, I cannot provide you with a mass email list so that you can invite the cast members to visit your museum.
I watched Benedict Cumberbatch act in downtown Pawhuska for several hours one day, but no, I don't know when I'll see him next. So I probably won't be able to tell him how much you love him in "Sherlock."
And no, I can't talk Clooney into coming to your Halloween party, either.
The best news I can offer is that during the time that Hollywood came and went from "Osage County," I didn't hear a single report of bad manners on the part of any Oklahomans.
I hope that's true, but based on these requests, I'll always wonder.