The Digital Journalist
Location: George Clooney in Section Eight offices in Los Angeles --- Image by © Sam Jones/Corbis Outline

George Clooney on Sam Jones

By Elodie Mailliet / © Corbis Outline

Subject: George Clooney for Outline's 25 Anniversary Book--Sam Jones

In a message dated 6/22/05 1:41:38 PM, George Clooney writes:

1-You've had a long photographic relationship with Sam Jones,
having done five shoots together over a period of six years. How did
this relationship come about and evolve?

We did an Esquire cover that came out pretty well, and had a blast
doing it.

2-You seem to be giving incredible access to Sam. Describe the
pact that you made with him before that last Esquire shoot.

He has photos of me with a farm animal, so I give him all the access he

3- How would you define him as a person and photographer? How
different is he from other photographers?

I was surprised to see he was only 5'2" and I thought he would have a
Napoleonic complex, but I was wrong.

4- Referring to the latest shoot for Esquire, do you remember
the John Hamilton book incident? How did you react when you saw the
second copy come in the mail?

I worried about his drug and alcohol problem.

5-Are you nostalgic for the old Hollywood days when control of a
celebrity's image didn't seem to be as tight?

Control was infinitely tighter then. Rock Hudson, for example. There
were fewer outlets, so a studio would control what the press said about
you... and yes, I am nostalgic about that.

6-How come, in your opinion, we don't see more shoots like
the latest one you and Sam worked on?

The magazine business is like the TV business. The competition is so
tough that the productions just got bigger... which is not always
better... not by a long shot.

7- Sam Jones says that, for most actors, going to a shoot is
like going to the dentist: a necessary evil. Is that so for you?

Yup. Few things make me more uncomfortable... but that's Sam's talent.
He's a terrific photographer and even better at making people at ease.

8-It looks like you and Sam have so much fun on shoots together.
What is your best memory or anecdote from the five shoots you've done

Ask him about us faking a car crash on the Universal lot.

9-What is your favorite picture that he took of you.

The orange peel in my mouth shot.

10-What in your mind makes an iconic image and what role, good
or bad, has photography played in your career?

I'm not sure what makes an image iconic... I know that Sam does what
few people can do with me, and that's capture truly candid shots... not
posed. That might be a bad thing, come to think of it... as a matter of
fact... I never liked Sam... I thought this was a piece on Annie
Leibovitz. The truth be told... I'm not really sure who he is... but he
made a hell of a documentary about the band Wilco.