"I don't want press," George Clooney said with a hearty laugh. "What are you, crazy?"
Such was his reaction to the reminder that Lady Gaga peeling back three layers of couture and ending up in her undies on the Met Gala red carpet (which he brought up, for the record) was a handy way to get press, if he was so inclined.
But whether he seeks it out or not, Clooney is his own category when it comes to press—one day he's criticizing the relentless scrutiny of Meghan Markle; the next he's calling for a boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei; and the next week he's warning his fellow Americans against the dangers of "rampant dumbf--kery" in a bit for Jimmy Kimmel Live. And at any given time, the father of toddler twins can be making a reportable poop joke.
Right now, however, the press is for the movie star's big (make that Major Major) return to TV after 20 years with Catch-22, a six-part adaptation of Joseph Heller's classic novel satirizing the absurdities of war, which starts streaming on Hulu this Friday. Clooney is also an executive producer and directed two episodes.
"You learn a lot of things [on a set]," he told E! News' Melanie Bromley at the series' red carpet premiere last week. "Mostly you learn it really helps having wonderful actors out there that can support you and help you when you make mistakes as a director."
So despite the fact that he's now a two-time Oscar winner and countless other superlatives, there's something that hasn't changed since ER made Clooney a household name.