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Ewan McGregor (left) laughs at George Clooney's reaction to a question at the news conference for the movie "Men Who Stare at Goats."

FRANK GUNN

George Clooney never misses a chance to horse around. So when a reporter at the press junket asked the star of The Men Who Stare At Goats (a comedy about a paranormal U.S. military unit in Iraq) what his paranormal power of choice would be, he slowly narrowed his eyes and gave the female reporter a leisurely up and down.

"I'm doing it right now," he deadpanned, squinting a little closer. "Wow!" he said. Peered harder. "Congratulations!"

A moment later another female journalist asked the Academy Award winner when he first realized he was famous -- a question many in the room expected to solicit another wisecrack. Off the top, he didn't disappoint. "Early on," he quipped. "My parents told me when I was very young I was famous."

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Then he actually got serious for a second. "Look, everything is luck, you know. Everything we do is luck. And the truth of the matter is I ended up on a television show that was averaging 40 million people. That's a lot. And it was a funny thing because literally a week before the show came out we were at The Smokehouse, the restaurant across the street from Warners to eat. And we were all dressed up in our doctor's smocks. Tony Edwards had a brand new baby, and he'd given him half a french fry, and the baby started to choke. And we're all in our doctors' outfits saying, 'Somebody do something! Help him! About a week later they [people working there]figured out who we were. So I would say probably the week after ER is when I realized it. And it was a nice thing after about 12 years of doing really bad television."

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