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George Clooney isn't just a big movie star and sex symbol. He's also one of the industry's most notorious pranksters. But the jokester says he's not only dished it out; he's been the victim of some spectacular pranks at the hands of friends and costars Brad Pitt and Matt Damon!
"My friends are rough on me. Brad Pitt's brutal, and Matt Damon," Clooney told Parade magazine for their upcoming cover story. "My friends used to change my outgoing phone message all the time. This was the old days, when you had a phone machine. They would change the message to something horrible and there was nothing I could do to change it back. That was always brilliant."
The dashing actor, 50, explains that a good prank requires patience and a history of friendship.
"You set a bit of a trap and then you watch it slowly unfold," Clooney explains. "I've had ones that have taken years."
Clooney, who has two Oscar-hopeful films coming out this fall, says one of his grandest pranks involved his best friend, comedic actor Richard Kind.
"I convinced one of my best friends, Richard Kind, that I was painting. I bought some other pictures, I told him I was studying art. And then for his 40th birthday I gave him this horrible painting. He had to hang it on his wall, [it was by] his best friend! And for years people would come over -- everyone else knew it was out of the trash -- and go, 'That is a beautiful painting.'"
Eventually, even Kind began to believe Clooney's gag gift was real art.
"He was convinced by the end that it was a beautiful painting," Clooney recalls. "Until I did The Tonight Show,
But while Clooney is happy to discuss his penchant for punking his closest pals, he remains tight-lipped about the women in his life -- including his current flame, former WWE star Stacy Keibler.
"I don't tweet. I don't go on Facebook. I think there's too much information about all of us out there," he tells Parade. "I'm liking the idea of privacy more and more. There will be funny things, like I'll read something I've said about a woman somewhere. And I haven't spoken about my relationships in 15 years."