Impossibly handsome A-list movie star George Clooney, whose perfectly chiseled jaw and clinically coiffured hair have sold a million movie seats and made countless other men feel insecure, has put his good looks and his heart on the line for a message seldom seen on celluloid, or real life for that matter—world peace. The 46 year old actor and father of none was designated by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace.”
The advocacy role is designed to raise awareness of the world body’s peace keeping efforts, and in the words of the United Nations, “to advocate on behalf of the UN and focus global attention on its efforts to improve the lives of billions of people.”
Clooney responded that he was deeply honoured to receive the appointment, currently held also by actor Michael Douglas, primatologist Jane Goodall and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, stating that “I look forward to working with the United Nations in order to build public support for its critically important work in some of the most difficult, dangerous and dire places in the world.”
Which just might be the best lines this Oscar winner has ever delivered.
The hirsute actor may be a stranger to a hair-piece, but he is no stranger to world peace—Clooney is a long time activist and spokesperson for political and social causes, most notably in advocating a resolution to the Darfur conflict in Sudan.
Towards this end Clooney has in recent years made the film Sand and Sorrow (2007), delivered an address to the UN Security Council, toured and written letters to countries involved in the region to encourage them to commit to decisive action, and formed a non-profit organisation with fellow stars Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle named Not On Our Watch.
One of only three people to have been given the title “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine, one cannot help suspect this famously self-deprecating actor values his new title far more:
“I’m certainly the last person to give advice on, well, anything.”
“When you’re young you believe it when people tell you how good you are. And that’s the danger, you inhale. Everyone will tell you you’re a genius, which you are not, and if you understand that, you win.”
“You have only a short period of time in your life to make your mark, and I’m there now.”
In light of his outspoken liberal principles and deeply held personal convictions, there has been a movement in recent years to convince Clooney to run for political office. With honesty somewhat unbecoming of a political aspirant, Clooney responded in the negative, and humourously to the overture:
”Run for office? No. I’ve slept with too many women, I’ve done too many drugs, and I’ve been to too many parties.”
Whatever his declared vices, or his commendable forthrightness, it seems safe to say that George Clooney has done more to change this world than many who hold political power, for in the actor’s own words:
“The only failure is not to try.”