George Clooney mocks own Forest Ranger v Rust parody in keynote speech

George Clooney, whose upcoming film, Wind River, was adapted from James Fenimore Cooper’s 1876 novel, said “how idiotic” his “Rust” scene was

George Clooney, whose forthcoming film, Wind River, was adapted from James Fenimore Cooper’s 1876 novel, said “how idiotic” his “Rust” scene was in a keynote speech to the Palm Springs Film Festival on Saturday.

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Clooney’s clunky on-screen disguise of a forest ranger nicknamed Rust, gave him the chance to get his own video riff, presumably drawing some inspiration from Jon Stewart’s deployment of the same gimmick in The Daily Show at the 2014 Labour conference. The actor appeared on the comedian’s show to discuss Darfur and, while doing his bit for the BBC charity Windrush, he asked Stewart to come up with a fake name, before the Labour leader graciously agreed. It worked, with Stewart using his spin of the force to not only hide himself, but get to the stage of the Labour conference. The moment became part of a viral phenomenon, much like Clooney’s digital outing topless in a phone booth in the Omaze video for his cancer charity.

“How idiotic, we need a comedian to come up with a name for a forest ranger,” said Clooney to a nodding audience on Saturday.

“How I wish Jon Stewart had not given me the name Rust. Thank you!”

Clooney is one of the main stars of Wind River, directed by Taylor Sheridan, whose drama Sicario was well-received when it was released in 2015. The film stars Elizabeth Olsen as an FBI agent investigating a murder on a Native American reservation. Clooney plays the sergeant whose hunting down of the killer reopens old wounds with the surrounding town and village.

Clooney told a news conference on Friday that this had been his “favorite moment” on set.

He said: “It’s the most ridiculous part because it’s completely insane to pretend that you’re a guy called Rust who is actually this huntin’ poacher.

“So, it’s a tool to tell everybody this is a character that can only be credible as a wild guy.”

“People’s noses got real, their faces,” he added.

“It’s really weird because it’s the most idiotic thing. That’s what it is. That’s what you find so crazy.”

The film is the latest for the Hollywood star, who is known for his roles in films such as Up in the Air, Syriana and Money Monster. The Ocean’s Eleven star, who has enjoyed a string of success in recent years, became a father for the second time to twins, Ella and Alexander, with his wife Amal Clooney in June 2017.

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