While actors occasionally have faced themselves in the past (in the last Golden Globes, Johnny Depp was nominated twice for lead actor in a comedy or musical for "The Tourist" and "Alice in Wonderland"), Clooney's predicament is a little trickier. If he's to take home a trophy in any of the three Golden Globe categories in which he's nominated, he will have to beat his closest collaborators.
In the best dramatic actor race, Clooney is nominated for playing the disconnected dad in "The Descendants" But also nominated in that category is Ryan Gosling -- whom Clooney directed as a political operative in "The Ides of March."
In the directing race, Clooney was picked for helming "The Ides of March," while Alexander Payne was nominated for making "The Descendants."
Finally, in the screenplay competition, Clooney and co-writers Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon were nominated for "The Ides of March," facing off against Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for "The Descendants."
It's not the only incestuous Golden Globes situation this year. Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer were both nominated from "The Help" for supporting actress, while Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster were chosen for best actress in a comedy or musical for "Carnage."
Rash joked that there's only one proper move for Clooney to make -- back "The Descendants" all the way. "It just feels like he needs to choose his allegiance," the screenwriter said. "But I'm not going to lead him one way or the other." The screenwriters suggested that Clooney and Payne resolve their director clash in the ring. "Give them some uncut footage, and they have to arrange it," Faxon said.
Jim Burke, who produced "The Descendants," said he was gratified, rather than worried, that the movie is facing "The Ides of March" in the three races. "I don't feel awkward or weird, and I don't think George or Alexander does. I think George is a fantastic actor, but he's also a great filmmaker," Burke said. "It could be weird only if we were less supportive of each other."
Clooney seems to relish the idea of facing his best filmmaking friend. Said the actor, "Bring' em on!"
-- John Horn
Photo: George Clooney in "The Ides of March." Credit: Saeed Adyani