George Clooney Talks Adolf Hitler's Artistic Past in W's December 2013

Posted Monday December 2, 2013 2:38 PM GMT

During promotions for "The Monuments Men," George Clooney fronted the December 2013 issue of W magazine.

While sitting down with the publication, the "Burn After Reading" star revealed information about the notorious Adolf Hitler, which he learned while working on his World War II project.

Check out GossipCenter's recap of Mr. Clooney's Q&A session below. For more, be sure to visit W!

On his hints for the ending of "The Monuments Men":
"Watch the end of 'It’s a Wonderful Life,' the Frank Capra film. You can’t end a movie that way anymore—today, Lionel Barrymore, the bad guy, would be hauled away in handcuffs. But Capra doesn’t do that. Barrymore just goes on home, and that’s it, the end. We forget about him and forgive him because Capra’s idea of a perfect ending was 'living well is the best revenge.' I tend to like endings that would never happen in today’s movies. In 2013, 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' wouldn’t end the way it does. I’ve shown that movie to young kids who just love the film, and then you come to the last scene—a freeze-frame of Butch and Sundance getting shot—and their mouths drop: 'No, no, no, no.' Films from the ’60s and ’70s end in shocking ways. And that’s why we love them—those movies broke all the rules."

On his discovery of Hitler's hidden talent:
"Yes, he was a failed artist in Vienna. In the film, we show a couple of his ­watercolors. If he had only been a little bit better at painting, history might be different. He loved da Vinci! Starting in the late 1930s, he sent professors to the greatest museums in the world to have 'meetings,' but they were secretly making lists of all the paintings and their locations for Hitler. When the Nazis conquered a country, he would take the art. He wanted to build a Führer Museum [for his artwork]. He had a model of it in the bunker with him! He wanted to steal all the great art in the world, and he was well on his way—during the war, he collected 5 million pieces. He also destroyed works he termed 'degenerate art.' The Nazis took amazing Picassos and Klees and Mirós and burned them in the garden outside the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris. They wanted to prove that they were illegitimate and had to be destroyed. Hitler pulled off the greatest art heist in the history of the world—luckily, some of that art has been recovered."

On "Gravity":
"I actually like working by myself. Truthfully, I was constantly in motion. The trickiest part was learning to speak quickly and move 50 percent slower because you are in space. It was not fun in the machinery—I have a bad back and a bad neck, so that part was not fun. But you have to step back and look at my life. I’m lucky enough to get to work on these projects."

Photo Credit: Emma Summerton for W