April 24th, 2009
04:04 PM ET

Bono interviews Clooney

Rock star Bono interviews George Clooney for a Time 100/Anderson Cooper 360 special airing May 1 at 11:00 p.m. ET.

Chuck Hadad
AC360° Producer

My days are never boring as a producer at AC 360’ but my latest assignment definitely goes down in the annals of producer history: shoot Bono interviewing George Clooney. Clooney is being honored by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people and Time asked Bono to write the profile. As Time’s partner, we shot the interview and other famous pairings for an upcoming Time 100/Anderson Cooper 360’ Special aptly titled “The World’s Most Influential People.”

While Bono and Clooney are acutely aware of their own fame, it seems to be inversely proportional to the fanfare surrounding both of them. Clooney showed up to the interview solo: no security, no entourage, just a guy in combat boots and a leather jacket. I met him on the street in New York outside of our interview location and joked with him as I lead him to a green room that Bono was looking forward to getting him in the hot seat. I didn’t know it at the time but that was truer than I could have ever imagined.

Bono trailed him by a few minutes in a separate car and while I tried to keep things professional on the outside, on the inside I felt like the 10 year old kid who wore out his tape of U2’s “The Joshua Tree.”
The two stars are good friends and when I showed Bono to the same green room, he began to belt out the Beatles “Hey Jude” on a piano but changed the lyrics to butter up Clooney for the interview: “Hey George, don’t make it bad …”

I left them to catch up and ran out to be sure our crew was ready. As far as productions go, for this one we went all out and were shooting the interview at Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Ten minutes later, Bono and Clooney walked into the theater, introduced themselves to the entire crew and Bono had the closest he came to a diva moment during the entire afternoon. “Could I get a clipboard so we can make this interview official?!” he said with a smile and a wink.

With clipboard in hand, he sat down, I called for quiet on the set and Bono began.

“You recently slept with someone that I have a crush on … tell me about that?” was one of his first questions to George Clooney and it set the tone of their nearly 40 minute interview: although they’re good friends, Bono would leave no stone unturned.

The special airs next Friday at 11 pm ET. Check out the video above for a sneak peak.

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. billybob

    It's so great we have some people like Clooney or Bono who are very active, articulate about subjects and try to change things... unlike some people who have done nothing but criticize everybody who try to make changes in others lives....
    you just have to take 5 minutes of your time and check just a little in order to see what he has done for Darfur... and you would see that he is actually very aware of the situation, gave a lot of his time and money in order to change the situation over there. Period.

    April 25, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Maria Cruz

    This is yet another reason why today’s media is losing so much credibility. CNN should know better. Silly and substance less claims like these are something we have come to expect from the good people at The New York Times to do, not CNN.

    April 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  3. Maria Cruz

    Amazingly ridiculous! Who in their right mind comes up with these claims? People like George Cluny and Bono certainly deserve our respect and admiration for trying to influence positive change around the World. But to claim that these people are among the World’s most influential people is absurd.

    April 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  4. Betty Hood

    Wow. This sounds like it would be fun to watch! I do, however, question George Clooney's influence.

    April 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  5. Theresa, Des Moines, IA

    I agree with some of the other bloggers- George Clooney is very handsome and has been involved in some good movies, but I would not put put him on the 100 most influential Americans list.

    What is certain, though, is that his interview will draw a larger audience than someone who is more plain and less famous.

    Looking forward to watching... : )

    April 25, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  6. John Titor

    It's things like this that caused 2010.

    April 25, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  7. Ruth

    I think it's great that Clooney and Bono are raising awareness for Darfur, debt relief, AIDS, and other issues.

    April 25, 2009 at 12:08 am |
  8. Jane

    George Clooney is about as tounge-in-cheek re: being Irish as I am about being on the PGA. One. No wife, no kids, really, terribly Irish.
    Two: He hasn't been home to his Irish roots in whatever. No Catholic guilt there. Three: Hello...George still has a sense of humor/ likes to brawl a bit, and likes the bottle so; One and Two don't count. How can you get mad with George, he plays us all like the Mark. God Bless.

    April 24, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  9. Tom from Santa Cruz

    In reply to the comment above )"there are over 100 bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church"). as a born and raised Catholic I truly believe Clooney and Bono are more effective spokesmen and positive influences at this point of history...and as for the the combined influences of your Governers, Mayors, Senators, etc ...zero effect on the plight of Darfur to this point, it is accurate to say...

    April 24, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  10. Mark

    Bono rocks! Bono should host AC360 for a night. He would do a great job. He has been editor for a day for The Independent (English newspaper) and the New York Times. Both engagements did very well. I think he would also do an excellent job on AC360 and bring with him a huge boost to ratings.
    Go on CNN, make it happen!

    April 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  11. Patti Cole

    George Clooney is a great humanatarian. He and his father have done more for Darfur then anyone has lately. Just because he is a movie star does not mean he can't do good things for other countries. We should be thanking him not questioning his motives or why him....

    I think Bono and George are both great people who want to do great things for the less fortunate. I applaud them...

    April 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  12. Sergio A Diaz

    By these standards, Keith Olbermann will be in the top 10, LOL! What´s going on in Time?!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  13. Dan from Iowa

    George Clooney is an o.k. actor, but how in the world is he anything other than that? What an insult to the American people. Nothing against Mr. Clooney, unless he takes himself that seriously too, but this says something about our collective mentality.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  14. Cynthia

    Why is this news? I don't really care about the rich promoting the rich. Viva la revolucion!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  15. Amy

    Oh man!!! Can't wait to see this. And I wore out my tape of The Joshua Tree too. But I was 19, not 10.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  16. Gilby-HI

    Thiis is performance art at the hightest level..
    Comparable only to the paint drying festival in West Hollywood or maybe the Global Warming change to Climate Change.
    What ever you do, please dont look at Diane Finstein and her husbands sweetheart deals with the Obama Kabal in Washington DC.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  17. Dee Plumley

    I will definitely be watching the interview as I am a big U2 fan and Bono is a very intelligent man. Clooney is a good human being and is using his fame to help people, how good is that? I think he is a good example of a popular person using their popularity to help the world.
    I have no problem with it.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  18. Joan

    Whether people like it or not, this country is obsessed with celebrities. Instead of being upset that Bono and George Clooney are considered influential how about being pleased that they use their celebrity to bring tough topics to the spot light and get people to get off their fat asses and do something about it. Plus, neither one seems overly impressed with themselves. Relax Jeff and do something and stop complaining about the people who are at least trying to make the world a better place.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  19. Steve B

    it goes without saying that the power of social movements lies with "the people." and in order to persuade the people, you must first have their attention. by definition, the celebrity is one who has the attention of the populace. for whatever reason they are known and "celebrated" by masses of people. i cannot see any reason to be cynical about those celebrities that use their platform to raise consciousness and to provoke the will of the people to act on behalf of those who have no voice...especially in a world in which the only thing preventing the eradication of extreme poverty and other forms of human privation is human will power (See Jeffrey Sachs' The End of Poverty, 2005). I don't know much about Clooney's work, but I know that it is well established that Bono's leadership in the Jubillee 2000 campaign was the "x factor" in pushing through legislation to relieve 110 billion dollars worth of debt, which was strangling developing countries. rather than criticize this trend of celebrity activism, it seems we should be following the lead of guys like Bono and Clooney – that is, we should be working within our own sphere of influence (whatever that looks like) to raise consciousness and provoke will power toward the creation of a more just society.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  20. jms

    Honestly Jeff, what have you done for Dafur or quite frankly, anyone? And, if you have done the very best for another, who are you to judge what another tries to do? It may not be "perfection", but it is something. It is putting yourself out there for others. This man has placed this country in the world media. It should not be denied nor this country or people, ignored. Continually and with devotion. Can you say the same? I know I cannot. I truly wish I could devote myself to such a horrific situation as Mr. Clooney has. So, if he has "the name", the "power" and a way to use it for the sheer unselfish concern for another, I say go for it. And, may he forever know his heart for another human being beats tonight for his work.

    Sometimes a cigar is truly just that. Perhaps some should take a step back and actually consider that there are really good hearts/souls for another out there. Living life as a cynic closes you off to the amazing part of so many who can truly touch anothers life. No matter who you are...

    Thank you, Mr. Clooney. May you stay as noisy as you have been. Keep up the volume.....

    April 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  21. KatchProFILMS

    Thanks, again.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  22. CM

    Double Smug Alert! Run for your lives!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  23. Sharon S

    CNN obviously has an ignorant view of who influential people really are!! I think someone at CNN just has the Hots for George Clooney!

    George is NOT influential he has done NOTHING but like someone said blow Hot air!

    Pathetic really Bono and George Clooney are your ratings really that bad? Could it be because you simply refuse to tell the REAL NEWS or the REAL TRUTH!

    I guess CNN will be saying Nancy Pelosi is a Saint next? Right she get convicted of LYING To AMerica!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  24. Tom

    Bono? George who? Please! I need to hear their expert view on anything like I need a hole in my head...of course it is VERY LIKELY they did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  25. charles

    Two celebrities stroking each other's ego. Yawn...

    April 24, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  26. Carol, California

    I thought I was the only one who looked at this headline and thought, "Oh, no. Another one of these ridiculous People magazine shows, where celebrities sit around and tell us how wonderful they are".

    I agree with Kristina, Jeff, and Steve. How on earth are George Clooney and Bono some of the World's Most Influential People? They won't even influence me to watch the show.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  27. JC-Los Angeles

    Simply hearing that George Clooney of, The Facts of Life fame, is one of the world's 100 most influential people made me immediately dial NASA to see if I could join their next launch into space.

    While George should receive ample credit for birthright, he seems to have been born with a dimmer switch on and the propensity to be the only one in the room that finds himself funny.

    Each time I have the misfortune of hearing him speak, unlike his girlfriends, I can simply change channels and make him go away.

    While the world should do everything to combat the crisis in Darfur, exposing them to George Clooney and Bono compounds the problem.

    April 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  28. Derek

    Really. Let’s stop with the self-important celebrities capitalizing on the world’s misery to further their publicity goals.

    EXACTLY..Give it a rest there BONO...it is just getting ridiculous..I use to like U2 when they had good albums...such as Auctung Baby and previous...now it is BONO this and BONO that...iTunes to poverty.....I can't wait until the BONO breakfast cereal...

    Concentrate on making a good album that people will buy because it is good..not because it is PLASTERED on everything....

    (U2 can eat this cereal...now go get your boots on...)

    April 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  29. Steven Cravis

    I look forward to what Bono and George have to say.

    April 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  30. Mari

    Isn't it funny how the far-right demonizes and criticizes any and all Hollywood "types" that disagree with them?!

    But....... if they are Charlton Heston, or Chuck Norris......... well, they are A-Okay!

    Last I heard, we STILL have freedom of speech in our Nation, that includes George Clooney.

    April 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  31. geurtie

    *sigh* Since you are aware of what an amazing moment that was for you, I won't rub it in. Wow, Bono and George Clooney... Who wouldn't have loved to do this?

    I don't know about influencial but I feel that anyone in a position to affect the thoughts and actions of others should do their part to raise awareness for the less fortunate. Both Paul Hewson and George Clooney do that very well, like countless other celebrities. It is all to their honor, even if it is not what makes them so special in the first place.

    In the meanwhile, I'll be warming up the TIVO too.☺

    April 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  32. Michelle

    After Bono is done with the rock star career he could be
    a journalist. I have enjoyed the articles he has written in
    various publications, I will be tuning in to see who is the
    100 most influential.I am sure President Obama is on the

    April 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  33. Mark

    So amusing to see how many people insist that these guys aren't influential. Yet here we are, watching and listening to them. How many people would have clicked the link if it had said, "A social worker interviews a city commissioner!" ??

    April 24, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  34. Tim

    I agree with Jeff Hensel 120%. Well said.

    April 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  35. Moh

    Say again... most influential to whoes world? It can't be "the world"!

    April 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  36. C-note

    Only if this title of "most influential" is awarded by a vote of the general american public. There is certainly no rational, educated person that could come to this outlandish conclusion. He may be (at best) one of the most influential (or at least well known) entertainers in American Film, but really? One of the WORLD'S most influential people? I am well aware that he likely makes a myriad of contributions of money, time, and efforts to various causes – a fact that the average person is not privy to. This notwithstanding, there are truly thousands of people with a greater impact on the world. TIME magazine is pandering to the general public (yet again)... Bono deserves this award much more than Clooney, but I STILL don't think I'd rank him in the top 100.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  37. John Luma

    Yes, to clarify what the headline and focus should be here, realistically -

    But let's not denigrate George's or Bono's sincere interest or attempts to keep a spotlight on Darfur's obscene black mark on human behavior. By his own admission he has not changed a thing - except our awareness of the problem and some of its causes.

    I would say we need more rich, famous stars who make a genuine effort to change dire lives - their abilities to entertain us need only be the first step.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  38. Kristen - University Park, PA

    Yea I don't get George Clooney as one of the most influential people either. He is nice to look at and a talented actor but if this is your tease to watch the show, I didn't buy it. Who cares how Clooney feels about being famous or any other celebrity?

    April 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  39. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    It's always nice to see fame being used to better the world instead of the famous person. George Clooney and Bono are both class acts. Looking forward to the special.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  40. Susan Hopkins Tedeschi

    I have always admired George Clooney for his humility, humanity and self-depreciating humor. HOWEVER, as his Kentucky cousin six-times removed, I do feel that his comments regarding Kent'ucians' second language as being English was depreciating of Kentuckians and not George himself. An apology would be greatly appreciated.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  41. Lynda

    Oh please, this is the worst pandering to the Liberals I have ever seen. Bono? George Clooney? Ronald McDonald is pretty influential too..who is going to interview him?...Sponge Bob...kinda grill him about Burger King's creepy "king" or whatever he his....I thought you guys had more class...Ted must be taking major migrain meds!!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  42. John

    These two guys make issues public and do very little about it. I do not see either of them or any cleb friends getting together to donate millions of dollars they have. They want the average american to. How about they lead by example and really give a large amount to help the causes the feel so strong about.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  43. Jesse

    America is drunk on celebrity adoration. He is just a good looking guy that makes a career of presenting illusions. "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." – Oscar Wilde

    April 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  44. Mickey

    I too, am not sure about Clooney, but Bono is a no-brainer when it comes to influence.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  45. Joe G. (Illinois)

    I’m not a fan of either or.. Although before deciding to boycott Brad Pitt for making a movie with Natalie Portman and Matt Damon for other reasons, I did enjoy watching some of the George Clooney’s movies such the Ocean 11 series.. But now, having watched this small clip.. I can almost say with certainty that I have hardly seen any greater self absorbed Celebrity sampling of the North America. So my question is: Am I hip..? Am I up with the progress of society..?

    April 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  46. Steve

    big name, good rolls in movies, least influential person ive ever would have placed even in the top 300,000th. But never met him, but hope he realizes what this dose mean with this and hope he will push for a more positive influence for the furture of our country or lives.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  47. Dean Sparks

    Warm up my TIVO, Baby......

    April 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  48. Jeff Hensel

    How in God's name could George Clooney be one of the world's 100 most influential people???? That is utterly ridiculous....a movie star?...what has he done for Darfur...nothing...but blow hot wind....I saw him interviewed on the subject....inarticulate on the subject and naive in his understanding...

    There are over one hundred countries with over 100 leaders...there are 100 U.S. Senators....there are 50 U.S. Governors....there are over 100 U.N. ambassadors...there are over 100 bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church....There are thousands of Mayor in cities all over the world.....It is absolutely absurd!

    April 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  49. Kristina Garcia-Bunuel

    Really. Let's stop with the self-important celebrities capitalizing on the world's misery to further their publicity goals.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  50. chascates

    And I thought Meghan McCain hosting The View was great! I'm going to have to buy a TV for this!

    April 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
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