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George Clooney: Actor, heartthrob ... and tailor

It turned out that the star of “Up in the Air” did not have this year’s best actor Oscar sewn up (it went to Jeff Bridges instead) — but his nimble fingers did come to the rescue when his date, Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis, suffered a potential wardrobe malfunction.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

It was a situation tailor-made for a hero. Red carpet time was looming, Hollywood was waiting with bated breath to see who would take home coveted Academy Awards — and George Clooney’s girlfriend was suddenly the victim of a major wardrobe malfunction.

Elisabetta Canalis — an Italian model and sometime actress who has decorated such films as “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” and co-hosted her nation’s version of MTV’s “Total Request Live,” in addition to being the latest of many lovelies to be seen on the arm of the debonair Clooney — was having her hair done by celebrity stylist Jonathan Antin when the unthinkable happened. But let him tell it, as he did to TODAY’s Meredith Vieira and Al Roker Monday morning in Los Angeles.

“I’m doing Elisabetta’s hair and the back of her dress, her zipper, broke open,” said Antin, a judge on the Bravo reality competition series “Shear Genius.” “The assistant jumped in with a needle and thread and started sewing the back of her dress.”

Earlier, Antin had tried to talk Clooney into letting him do the actor’s hair.

“George, you need a trim,” Antin had said, eyeing Clooney’s salt-and-pepper coif. Technically, Antin was right. The hair was verging on unruly.

“No,” Clooney told Antin. “I look good. I’m cool.”

Now, Antin was seeing just how cool Clooney is. Before the assistant could get far with the repair work on Canalis’ gown, Clooney stepped into the room, sized up the situation with the calm eye of a Hollywood hero, and took command.

“Hold on a second,” he told the woman who had begun to sew up the dress. “I have experience with this. I used to work on suits, honey.”

Antin reported what happened next: “So he grabbed the needle and thread and started sewing her zipper in. I got to tell you something, he did an amazing job at cross-stitching.”

George Clooney a cross-stitcher? Who knew?

“As if there isn’t enough reason to hate George Clooney,” Roker needled. “He does it all, and he can sew. He makes his own clothes.”

It’s just too bad the star didn't have the best actor Oscar sewn up as well as his date’s gown. He was a nominee for “Up in the Air,” but the golden statuette instead went to Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart.”