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A clove of garlic a day keeps the vampires at bay

Clooney sheds stethoscope for stake

January 20, 1996
Web posted at: 11:20 p.m EST

From Correspondent Mark Scheerer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- George Clooney is a smooth operator on the hit television show "ER," but in a blood-curdling role reversal, he fills up emergency rooms as a bad guy in his first major film, "From Dusk Till Dawn."

From Dusk Till Dawn

There's no mistaking Clooney in his new film. He's Seth Gecko, a ruthless bank robber who's only slightly less evil than his brother, Richie, played by screenwriter Quentin Tarantino.

"You'll get famous for doing one particular thing, like 'ER,' and then suddenly that's what people think of you. I did years of bad television, being bad in it, so this is no departure from that," Clooney says.


Good television, in the form of the NBC hit show "ER," has made Clooney a famous television physician. You can add to the list of TV's top docs, like Ben Casey and Marcus Welby, Clooney's Dr. Douglas Ross.

Clooney says that Dr. Ross and Gecko probably wouldn't be golf buddies if they met. "I don't know what his reaction would be to Seth Gecko, but well, he'd have to fix him."

Of his character Gecko, Clooney says, "He has kind of a bit of early Robert Mitchum, early Steve McQueen kind of thing going."

What starts out like a "Pulp Fiction" sequel turns into a full-blown vampire movie, under the direction of Robert Rodriguez, who directed the low-budget Sundance Film Festival winner, "El Mariachi."

One might ask why Clooney would want to make his film debut immersed in the cult violence expertise of Rodriguez and Tarantino. "Why? Let me think: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis ... I dunno. For me it's 'How lucky am I? How lucky am I to get a chance to work with those people?'"

And this is not Clooney's first horror feature role, oh no. There were juicy roles in such living-room classics as "Return of the Killer Tomatoes" and "Return to Horror High."


But Clooney admits that he hadn't planned on this kind of return. "I was going to try and be very careful about what I took, wanted to do a couple of small scenes in a good film, just to get an introduction, cause I didn't want to go whole hog. Then this came around and I went whole hog."

Whole hog? George Clooney's gone from killer tomatoes to killing vampires alongside Quentin Tarantino while sporting a pretty elaborate tattoo. A Victorian romance it's not, but it will certainly make those patients think twice about taking Dr. Ross' advice.

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