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‘Catch-22’s’ George Clooney talks returning to TV since ‘ER,’ jokes that he ‘cries a lot’

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'Catch-22's' George Clooney talks returning to TV since 'ER,' jokes that he 'cries a lot'

George Clooney is set to not only appear in his first TV series — “Catch-22” — since starring in his final “ER” episode 10 years ago, but the Oscar-winning actor will also executive produce and direct his latest project.

Speaking to reporters during the Hulu portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Los Angeles on Monday, the 57-year-old star opened up about what drew him to the World War II limited series.

Clooney revealed that he and fellow director and executive producer Grant Heslov initially passed on the show — which is based on Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name — however, the scripts changed their minds.

“Grant and I, we said: ‘No, I don’t want to do ‘Catch-22,’ that seems ridiculous,” Clooney admitted. “And then we read the first three, and then read the next three… we called and said: ‘Where do we sign up?'”

GEORGE CLOONEY ESCAPES MAJOR INJURY IN ITALY MOTORBIKE ACCIDENT

George Clooney of the television show "Catch 22" speaks during the Hulu segment of the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 11, 2019 in Pasadena, Calif.

George Clooney of the television show “Catch 22” speaks during the Hulu segment of the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 11, 2019 in Pasadena, Calif.
(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

GEORGE CLOONEY, DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON TOP FORBES’ HIGHEST-PAID ACTORS LIST 

“[The writers] did such a great job of unspooling these characters… They just figured out a way to interpret it that we didn’t think was really possible,” he continued. “I think that’s why we got on board.”

When asked about his emotional journey, Clooney — who plays Scheisskopf in the show — teased: “Mostly crying, I cry a lot.”

Joking aside, he explained: “No, listen, from the beginning, we thought we’re going to get to explore one of the great characters in literature… it requires an audience to be able to like and trust a character who does despicable things in a way.

“Part of that came down to casting… we read hundreds of people, put a lot of offers out to other actors and he was much cheaper,” Clooney teased again, adding: “Budget was very important.”

“Catch-22” premieres this Spring on Hulu.

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Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should ‘face accountability to the maximum’ if attack was orchestrated

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Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should ‘face accountability to the maximum’ if attack was orchestrated

When “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett said he was attacked by two masked men yelling racist and homophobic epithets, as well as “This is MAGA country,” MSNBC host Al Sharpton came out in support of the star.

“We can’t make people love each other, but we can sure hold them accountable if they harm each other,” Sharpton said at the end of his “Final Thoughts” segment headlined, “We’re with you Jussie.”

But amid multiple reports this weekend that Smollett may have been involved in orchestrating the attack, Sharpton, who made his name in the 1980s as the spokesperson Tawana Brawley in what turned out to be false claims she was raped by four white men, changed his tune on-air on Sunday.

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Sharpton still thinks someone should be punished, but his tune has changed as these new reports emerged.

“If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did, in some way, perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum,” Sharpton said referring to the actor and two men linked to him who have been questioned by police. “Let us get to the bottom of it, and let justice be done, no matter who is right or wrong.”

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Smollett, who is black and openly gay, has claimed he was attacked by two masked men early on Jan. 29 as he walked to his Chicago apartment from a Subway restaurant. Smollett alleged the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him.

Sharpton famously lost a defamation suit when the Brawley attack was eventually found not to have happened. Now, there are reports that Smollett might have also orchestrated an alleged attack — as local reports have cited sources saying the attack was a hoax, though the Chicago Police Department has not confirmed that.

Last week, Chicago police questioned two Nigerian brothers in the reported attack but released them Friday without charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the pair had given officers information that had “shifted the trajectory of the investigation.”

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“While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident, ” Guglielmi said Sunday.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago.
(AP)

Smollett received an outpouring of support from politicians and celebs when he first went public about the alleged attack in January. Smollett reportedly has claimed at least one of the attackers said to him, “this is MAGA country,” in reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan.

The Brawley rape allegations in the late 1980s left an entire community on the brink of “civil war” – and a recent Fox Nation documentary took a closer look at one of the most racially-charged legal sagas in American history.

The New York teen’s claims — in which she said she was allegedly raped in the woods by multiple white men in Wappingers Falls, New York, and then left wrapped in a feces-covered plastic bag with racial slurs written on her body — helped springboard the careers of activists including Sharpton. But after an extensive investigation filled with twists and turns, a grand jury found the allegations to be an elaborate hoax.

Smollett’s lawyer has denied his client had anything to do with his alleged attack in Chicago.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Greg Norman and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

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Pregnant Meghan Markle arrives in New York City for royal baby shower

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Pregnant Meghan Markle arrives in New York City for royal baby shower

Meghan Markle will celebrate her baby shower in the Big Apple.

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The pregnant Duchess of Sussex reportedly touched down in New York City on Monday with the party scheduled for Tuesday.

The 37-year-old former “Suits” star’s stylist and best friend Jessica Mulroney is in charge of the shower, Page Six reported.

The shower is said to be taking place at an Upper East Side hotel.

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It’s unclear who else is on the guest list or whether Markle will also have a baby shower across the pond.

Markle and husband Prince Harry announced in October that they’re expecting their first child.

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The baby is due in the spring, likely in April.

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Markle and Harry will reportedly have a working “babymoon” in Morocco starting Saturday.

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Worship leader began fostering because ‘the Lord started to speak to us’

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Worship leader began fostering because 'the Lord started to speak to us'

Worship leader Lindy Conant-Cofer, 30, went into missions right out of high school with her sight set on traveling the world to preach the gospel. But while her beliefs haven’t changed, her perspective has.

“So often we think if we’re not in Africa or India, we can’t do something great in missions, but the paradigm shift we’re in is it’s not just nations, it’s your neighbor,” Conant-Cofer told Fox News. “It’s like God is saying, ‘I want you to go next door and share the love with them.'”

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Conant-Cofer and her husband, Chase, started seeing a lot of their friends fostering and adopting kids, but they didn’t think it was for them, especially given that they travel a good portion of the year with the “Carry the Love” campaign, a ministry to reach college students with the love of Jesus. She was also busy writing songs for her debut album with Bethel Music‘s imprint, Heritage Music, as a follow up to her first album, Every Nation, with her band Lindy & The Circuit Riders.

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“But the Lord started to speak to us,” she said. “If we won’t take in these kids, I actually don’t know who is?” Just one day, I felt like the Lord said in His still small voice ‘Lindy, you have to value life over your schedule.'”

Lindy Conant-Cofer leads worship ahead of her new album, "Driven By Love," releasing on Feb. 22.

Lindy Conant-Cofer leads worship ahead of her new album, “Driven By Love,” releasing on Feb. 22.
(Lindy Conant-Cofer)

In December, the Huntington Beach, Calif. couple decided to take that step of faith.

They drove to the hospital Dec. 21 to pick up their first newborn as foster parents, playing her new album, “Driven By Love,” on the way, as the songs gave them the courage and faith they needed.

“We were prophesying our new season,” she added.

Now the couple is joining an “adoption and foster care movement” that kicks off Feb. 23 around “The Send,” a gathering expected to bring around 60,000 Christians at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Lindy & The Circuit Riders will be leading worship during the big event.

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One of the initiatives is pushing for 1,000 days of adoption and foster care leading up to World Children’s Day 2020.

She said it’s not about getting mad at the culture, amid debates on abortion and infanticide or bleak statistics on kids who don’t have permanent families. Instead, Christians should have a “joyful response.”

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“I want my hands to be connected to my heart. I want my life to be a testimony,” she said. “The light is going to shine so bright and help people see there is something birthing forth. We are in a move of God.”

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