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Oscar campaigning made George Clooney feel 'unclean'

July 25, 2011 |  5:38 pm

Syriana

Disgust over Oscar campaigning has propelled George Clooney to devote more energy toward humanitarian work in poor nations.

Clooney told Marie Claire magazine that he focused heavily on charity work in Sudan in 2005 after growing weary of seeking recognition for his acting achievements.

"I had just come out of Oscar season, and you really do campaign, like kissing babies," he said. "By the time it's over, you sort of feel unclean. You want to do something that makes you feel better."

After visiting Sudan with his father, he donated money to build a well and huts, but his generosity backfired.

"A year later, the next-door villagers — who wanted water and needed shelter — killed some people to get to that well and shelter," Clooney said. "It's devastating. We have to be very careful. Sometimes helping is not throwing money at a problem."

George encourages other Hollywood stars to pitch in and help.

"There is more attention on celebrity than ever — and there is a use for that besides selling products," he said. "We can't make policy, but we can 'encourage' politicians more than ever before."

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: George Clooney won an Oscar for supporting actor in "Syriana" (2005). Credit: ABC.

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