It should come as no surprise that casinos and celebrities make strange bedfellows. Throughout the history of Las Vegas, more than a few celebrities and entertainers got much needed exposure by staying close to the bright lights of the "city that never sleeps."
It should also come as no surprise that gambling has become a popular theme among movie makers. In the 1970s and 80s, films like Fever Pitch (Ryan O'Neal) and The Gambler (James Caan) exposed the dark side of the gambling industry. In more recent years, movies like Rounders (Matt Damon, Ed Norton Jr.) took us outside the casino for a look at how gambling has become a normal part everyday life.
These movies and more have inspired movie celebrities to affiliate themselves with the gambling industry as both actors and gamblers. Interestingly enough, many of the celebrities seen running around gambling circles are the ones who became exposed to the industry through their movies. Billy Crystal. Matt Damon, George Clooney and Ben Affleck are all frequent participants in some of the largest poker venues and tournament in the world.
In the case of George Clooney, spending time in a casino environment must feel like going home after spending months on end acting in and directing the films Ocean's 11, Ocean's 12, and Ocean's 13, which are all part of the Ocean's trilogy. Based on what is known about Clooney and his gambling background, it turns out these movies may have been a labor of love. Along with actors like Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DeCaprio, Clooney in also rumored to have made substantial business investments in the casino industry.
Speaking of Clooney and his loves, It has been rumored that both he and Affleck have loss meaningful relationships due to conflicts caused by their love of poker. In Clooney's case, he was dating the beautiful Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis starting in 2009. When the relationship ended in 2011, stories circulated that Ms. Canalis was no longer interested in playing second fiddle to George's love of poker. Of course, Affleck's troubles with his ex-wife Jennifer Garner and the Hard Rock Cafe Casino are well-documented.
In a world where life often imitates art, it easy to see why Clooney is drawn to the flash of the gambling world. Because of his love of the gambling industry, movie goers from all over the world have been entertained with at least three movies that featured a long list of Hollywood's A-list actors who gave us all the chance to dream of the big hit.