George Clooney

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He's played Batman, she's played Lara Croft.

But George Clooney and Angelina Jolie don't have to stretch too much to channel their inner superhero: Both are real-life do-gooders who passionately advocate for causes they believe in.

Case in point: Today, the A-listers threw their massive star power behind two crusades against violence and human-rights abuses in Africa.

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As a preamble to his Senate visit, the Today show aired an interview with Clooney this morning in which the star spoke about his trip last week to South Sudan, where he witnessed firsthand the nation's alarming strife and oppression.

"It was hairy," he told host Ann Curry. "There were moments that were dangerous…the randomness of the violence, and people are getting killed and hurt." He noted that in the village they visited, "39 people…in the last month have been killed, 514 injured, in a village of a thousand people."

In one fraught anecdote, he recounted how a rocket blast exploded less than a mile away.

"It was close enough to feel it," he said, in between clips of footage taken during the trip. "It was close enough to wake you up."

Clooney also appeared on CBS This Morning, where he drew parallels to another bloody conflict.

"There seems to be the exact same signs that we saw in the beginning of Darfur, which is a government bombing innocent civilians," he said.

Clooney appeared on the show with human-rights activist John Prendergast, and both spoke about their observations about the massive dangers facing South Sudanese civilians caught in the crossfire, including airplane bombings, rocket attacks, rape and kidnapping.

"We also have a window of opportunity to avoid [a civil war], so our job is try to point everything in that direction," Clooney said.

"We want to try to choke off this government of Sudan."

Meanwhile, Jolie was at the International Criminal Court in The Hague today, where she watched the conviction of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga.

Lubanga was found guilty of abducting children and forcing them to become child soldiers who fought and died in a bloody civil war, for a period that stretched from 1998 to 2003.

Jolie, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, watched  from the front row of the public gallery as the verdict was read.

Afterward, she release a statement saying that "the delivery of the ICC's first verdict is an important moment for the court, for the [Democratic Republic of Congo] and for the rule of law."

She also added that the verdict "sends a strong message against the use of child soldiers" and that she hoped it would "provide some measure of comfort for the victims."

Given Jolie and Clooney's fervent commitment and social conscience, who needs fictional Hollywood superheroes when it's already got the real thing?

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