Posted Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 11:00 p.m.
In the political thriller "Ides of March", George Clooney's character is running for president. It's safe to say, if Clooney himself ever ran for office, he would get Ben McCready's vote.
The Whitewater artist was commissioned to paint Clooney's portrait. Ben, and his family got to meet the actor on the Ides of March set at the University of Michigan.
Sitting next to a replica of the Clooney portrait, and speaking about his day with Clooney, McCready said, "We loved it. My wife Anne will never wash the right side of her face. That's where Clooney hugged her. It was just a wonderful way to spend time...one of those memorable experiences. In 30 years, 700 to 800 portrait commissions, I can think of many people I enjoyed every bit as much, but I can't think of anybody I enjoyed more. He's just one of the most relaxed, friendly, endearing, genuine people."
Clooney had seen some of McCready's paintings and wanted them to hang in the background in some scenes in his film. Staff had also commissioned McCready to paint Clooney's portrait, and the actor wanted to meet the artist painting his portrait.
What did Clooney think of the portrait? "He loved the portrait. His first reaction was, 'You made me look good. I look young'. My first reaction was, I don't know how anyone could make you look
better. But, he loved the portrait....just loved it."
To top things off, Ben's son, Bo, got a part as a featured extra in the film. "Look in the very front row--dark sweater, great looking kid, and there is Bo McCready", he said with a laugh.
And, if you're ever in George Clooney's house, look for McCready's painting of the actor. "It's a very surreal feeling...and I do have to pinch myself, even 30 years into this career. My goodness, this has been a wonderful ride. That's the best part. The people I meet, the people I work with..and he was a lot of fun."