At ‘Michael Clayton’ Premiere, George Clooney's Wit Still Blunted After Motorcycle Crash

Last night at the Ziegfeld premiere of his film Michael Clayton, George Clooney was feeling jokey. He approached writer-director Tony Gilroy and pointed at the Hilton across the street. "Hey," he said. "You know Ahmadinejad is next door?" "Is he?" Gilroy asked back, probably aware that the Iranian president was in town but probably unaware of his hotel preference. "He literally is," said Clooney. "How big is that?" "Is he coming here tonight?" Gilroy asked his star, playing along. "Yeah, he's coming to the screening," Clooney laughed, as Brad Pitt scampered down the carpet past reporters. For witnesses, it felt like being on the set of Ocean's Fourteen, only more self-congratulatory and less airbrushed. Speaking of which, we asked Clooney whether he's had a midlife crisis. "Just this morning!" he said. "I'm fine now, I got over it." (His secret is Percodan.) After recovering from Clooney's barrage of wit, we asked his co-star Tilda Swinton if he ever played jokes on her while on set. “I think his very existence is an entire joke on humanity," she told New York. We were just thinking the same thing. —Bennett Marcus