George Clooney may have an interest in politics, both on-screen and off, but public office is one role he'd never take on.
"It would never be something I'm interested in. I'm not good at the kind of compromises that you have to make to get elected," said the ever-dapper star at the premiere of his latest political thriller, "The Ides of March," Wednesday in New York.
Clooney's father's unsuccessful run for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District in 2004 may have left a sour taste in his mouth. "I watched that happen and I watched how frustrating it was for him and I didn't enjoy it," he said. But it's the current political climate that keeps him from throwing his hat in the ring.
"It's still the most polarized time we've seen in a long time. And very caring, smart people on both sides of the aisle, you could argue, are having a very difficult time getting anything done," said the 50-year-old Academy Award winner.
Clooney, who directs, co-wrote, produces and stars in the film opening Friday, has no regrets about his chosen career path: "I got the better gig. I got a nice house, life is good," he said with a laugh.
In the film, Clooney's presidential hopeful, Pennsylvania Gov. Mike Morris, faces a tragic sex scandal, compromising backroom deals, political backstabbing and blackmail. But the liberal Democrat says he's more hopeful than he presents in "Ides," his fifth stint in the director's chair.
"Am I cynical? Some. But I'm also one of the big optimists in the game. I'm really optimistic about this country, I always am. I always feel like things are cyclical and I think that things will work out."
One campaign he is preparing to lead is "Ides" co-star Ryan Gosling's bid for the People Magazine's annual title of Sexiest Man Alive.
"Listen, Brad (Pitt) and Matt (Damon) and I are going to sit him down and go through some of the things he should do for the campaign."
According to the two-time sexiest honoree, Gosling's hair will be his most important platform.