Although most of the world may be focused on the recent nuptials of George Clooney and human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, I would rather discuss the Greater Impact of George Glooney and Eleanor Roosevelt!
You may wonder what the glamorous film star and the formidable wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt have in common. The easy answer is probably not a great deal, other than their left-leaning politics and the fact that they have both been in the news recently, Clooney for his wedding and Eleanor as depicted in The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, a new and superb documentary by the master filmmaker Ken Burns.
What they do have in common is a striking quality, and that is PRESENCE. They both exemplify the quality, and we can certainly learn from them.
In deference to the indomitable Eleanor Roosevelt, let’s start with her.
The renowned First Lady was neither glamorous nor particularly stylish, yet she commanded attention when she spoke because she had total authenticity and demonstrated her passion by action. Although she was a lonely and isolated child, she emerged as a global force through sheer determination and a committed belief in both her crippled husband and her own causes.
Eleanor Roosevelt said much that was memorable: Among my favorite quotes are the following: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”, and “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
Now onto George. I had the pleasure of interviewing him prior to the release of “Out of Sight,” his feature film debut co- starring Jennifer Lopez. What I remember finding remarkable about the suave and handsome actor was how utterly comfortable he was with himself and how genuinely nice he was to me, the crew and even the barista at the coffee machine we stood at before the interview.
Indeed, there was something about his demeanor that said ” I don’t take myself too seriously” and that was so refreshing I have never forgotten the encounter!
The key to PRESENCE is a combination of Eleanor Roosevelt and George Clooney: Authenticity, passion, being comfortable with yourself and at the end of the day, not taking yourself too seriously!
Shirley MacLaine put it well when she said if you can laugh at yourself you will forever amused.
I am working on getting my George Clooney interview digitized, so hope to have it up on my site in the next week or so.