George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and company became good friends while playing a bunch of crooks and con men. They’re still as thick as thieves — and that was reason enough to get together again for “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
Friendship — and the importance of sticking by your buddies — is the running thread in the story line for the movie, the third in a series that began with “Ocean’s Eleven” in 2001.
“We all love working together, and making movies is about as fun a thing as you can do,” Damon told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. “The only thing that tops it is making it with your friends. When the call came, I think we all jumped.”
After the gang’s foray into Europe for 2004’s “Ocean’s Twelve,” the new flick returns the action to Las Vegas, where Reuben (Elliott Gould) thinks he’s getting in on a casino deal with ruthless, sleazy Willy Bank (Al Pacino, a newcomer to the series). But Bank double-crosses him — giving Reuben a heart attack.
That’s when the crew, led by Danny Ocean (Clooney), decides to avenge Reuben’s losses by sinking Bank on his casino’s opening night. Robin Hood-style, they rig the casino so that all the gamblers win, sucking millions from the slot machines and blackjack tables.
Clooney said the actors “wanted to go out on a high note” in what is expected to be their last “Ocean’s” film together.
“We felt that ‘Twelve’ was not, was not certainly received as well (as ‘Ocean’s Eleven’),” Clooney told AP Television News. “So we wanted another crack at it, too.”
Visual gags abound: Clooney briefly turns up in a thick mustache and gold chain. Damon, who sports an enormous fake nose for much of the movie, has to seduce the enemy’s right-hand woman, played by Ellen Barkin, the lone female star in the ensemble movie.
“Ocean’s Thirteen” was to have its black-tie premiere Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival. Meanwhile, cast members hosted a fundraiser for Not on Our Watch, which is working on behalf of refugees from the Sudanese province of Darfur, and gave back-to-back interviews in beach cabanas at a secluded luxury hotel outside Cannes, cracking jokes and finishing each other’s sentences.
Many of them had their families in tow — a reminder of how much their lives have changed since “Ocean’s Eleven.” Brad Pitt and his partner, Angelina Jolie, have four young children, and Matt Damon’s wife gave birth to a daughter last June.
Damon: “Brad has had it tough. He’s ...”
Clooney: “Hobbled with children ...”
Damon: “And that wife ...”
Clooney: “That horrible, ugly wife.”
Damon: “I mean, to go home to her every day ...”
Clooney: “What do you do?”
Damon: “Well, you have your work. That’s about it. You can take refuge there.”
Clooney, still single, reminisced about turning up at the makeshift bar on the “Ocean’s Thirteen” set and finding it overrun by children.
“Matt said, ‘We should take a photo of this’ because I’m in here with a bunch of, like, kids in diapers, and I’m sitting here having a vodka,” Clooney said.
“Ocean’s Thirteen,” a Warner Bros. Pictures film, will be released June 8.