Back in 2004, George Clooney got together with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh to make a sequel to their hit 2001 heist movie Ocean's Eleven. Much like the first film, Ocean's Twelve brought together a starry ensemble cast that included Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Don Cheadle. In an interview with GQ, Clooney, a well-known prankster, revealed one trick that he played on his co-stars involving a "haunted house".
"We would do hysterical, idiotic things, like there was a house--we were all staying at my house in Lake Como -- and there was a house across the lake, empty. And we made up a story about how haunted it was. And my buddy Giovanni, who was Italian, he's pretending to read this story where this guy would kill people and, you know, throw them into the lake. He talked everyone into how dangerous this house was. So, at like 3 a.m. in the morning we get a ladder and put it on this pontoon boat and Matt [Damon] and Don [Cheadle] and Brad [Pitt] and I took the boat across the water. We took the ladder up and climbed in the house. The first thing we saw was like a statue of a snake eating a woman's head, you're like 'aaaah.' So, we came down to the conclusion that we'd give $10,000 to any guy who could spend the night in the house with a candle, you got six matches and a bottle of wine."
While George Clooney had been careful to hype up the spookiness of the haunted house, Don Cheadle and Brad Pitt were undeterred, and they both agreed to the terms for spending the night in the house. Or at least, they planned to at first. As Clooney goes on to reveal, the two actors soon succumbed to the effects of the gloomy house on their minds and ended the bet.
"We left Don Cheadle and Bard Pitt there and Matt and I came back. We're sitting in the boat in the middle of the lake. We have to see the candle go by every window. It goes by 2 or 3 windows and then we get a call. They're like, 'Fuck that, get us out of this house!' We came back and pulled them out. So there was a lot of idiocy along the way."
The sets of the Ocean's Eleven movies and their sequels starring Clooney were often described as luxury vacations that the cast and crew got to take together. Clearly, from Clooney's account, he and the rest of the actors indulged their playful sides to the fullest while making the movies.
Thanks to the fact that most of the actors on set were friends, the cast of the Ocean's Eleven franchise shared sparkling chemistry that was clearly evident on screen. In recent times, the franchise was rebooted with an all-female cast. But since that movie ended up underperforming, there is hope yet for another Ocean's Eleven sequel that brings Clooney, Pitt, and the rest of the gang back together.