Movie Article

Fight Club

The story of how the handsome goofball waged war on costar Nora Dunn

George Clooney has a modest hit with ''Three Kings'' ($32.4 million so far), but it's nothing compared to the palpable hit he scored while shooting the film. The notorious prankster was standing on top of a Humvee, waiting to shoot the climactic scene set at the Iranian border, when costar Nora Dunn began heckling him from 25 yards away. ''I was like, 'You watch it because I'll hit you. I'm not scared of hitting women,''' remembers Clooney. ''She said, 'Come on, man!''' Clooney took an apple and speared it to the end of his car's antenna, pulled it back, and catapulted it right at her, where it smacked her square in the forehead. ''That,'' Clooney says proudly, ''was the greatest shot in the history of shots.''

''He almost knocked me out,'' says Dunn. ''He felt bad, but not that bad.'' That may be something of an understatement. ''There were 300 troops in the scene, and I ran around getting high-fives from everybody,'' says Clooney, who only checked to see whether Dunn was conscious AFTER receiving his kudos. ''I come from Kentucky, where we would have snowball fights, and when you smack somebody in the head really good, it's the greatest sound and the greatest feeling, and you never consider the fact that it's gotta hurt like hell. And then later, because they're crying, you go, 'Oh... I'm so sorry.'''

Sure, Clooney picked on Dunn, but he left costar Ice Cube alone. ''Me and George got an understanding,'' says the rapper. ''I'm not good at practical jokes. I'm good at playing them, but not taking them.'' Clooney didn't need to be reminded. ''Cube's not gonna take it,'' he says. ''He doesn't have to. He's from South Central.''

Originally posted Oct 13, 1999