Clooney, Zellweger promote movie in Salisbury

George Clooney and Renee Zellweger visited Salisbury Wednesday to promote their film "Leatherheads," which was filmed in the state.

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SALISBURY, N.C. — Academy Award-winning actors George Clooney and Renee Zellweger were in Salisbury on Wednesday to promote their new film, “Leatherheads,” which was filmed in the Tar Heel State.

"Leatherheads" tells the story of the beginning of America’s professional football league. Set in 1925, portions of the film were shot in western North Carolina, including Charlotte, Winston Salem, Greensboro and Salisbury.

“In general you can’t create places like this. You have to find places, and this was a spectacular location for us,” Clooney said during a news conference at the Salisbury Train Station.

At one point, the noise from a passing train allowed Clooney to demonstrate the difficulties of shooting on location. While shooting the film at the station, he said, some scenes had to be filmed in pieces to deal with the outside noise.

It wasn’t all train noises while in the state, however. Clooney and Zellweger both raved about the people and the food.

Clooney said people in Los Angeles and New York are jaded when it comes to making movies and can sometimes be unpleasant.

“Here, it is a very difference experience… it’s fun,” Clooney said.

Zellweger added that “the enthusiasm was contagious.” As for food, Zellweger, a Texas native, said she enjoyed the grits, barbeque and chicken-fried steak.

“I’d like to thank you for the extra 15 pounds,” Clooney joked.

The talk did turn to sports, with Clooney expressing sadness over his hometown team, the University of Kentucky, losing to Marquette in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Clooney wished University of North Carolina luck.

“We were out the first round. It’s over for me, so you guys better win it all,” Clooney said. “You probably will.”

“Leatherheads” hits theaters April 4. Last year, film production in North Carolina brought $200 million into the state's economy. Another movie shot in the state – “Nights in Rodanthe” – is due to hit screens in October


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