From left: Bob Balaban, George Clooney, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon
01/17/2014 at 06:00 PM EST
You'd have to be Mel Brooks to write a hilarious movie that prominently features Nazis, but George Clooney
and his writing partner, Grant Heslov, have penned a poignant but often funny action-thriller in The Monuments Men
The real laughs, however, came at the Los Angeles press junket for the film on Thursday, which featured Clooney's costars – Matt Damon
, Cate Blanchett
, Bill Murray
, John Goodman
and Bob Balaban.
Despite the somewhat heavy subject matter of the movie – which is about a group of WWII soldiers given the task of rescuing priceless artworks from the Nazis – the press conference was a laugh-filled lovefest-meets-celebrity roast for the actors.
Here are the top five wisecracks from The Monuments Men
cast, with an honorable mention going to Bill Murray's colorful outfit, which made him look as if he had been attacked by his golfing wardrobe.
Clooney on casting the film
: "Casting was fun. We couldn't get Brad [Pitt], so we got Matt."
Blanchett on having all of her scenes opposite Damon
: "I know! Can you imagine my disappointment? I thought I was going to be working with Bill Murray … I think we've aged relatively well. The last time we were together was in [The Talented Mr. Ripley
], which was an entirely different endeavor, then in-between times he went and made Behind the Candelabra
. Fortunately I hadn't seen that before we started working."
Clooney on his career arc
: "When you start out as an actor you're just trying to get a job. I wasn't really motivated to be the sixth banana on The Facts of Life
, but I was thrilled to have the job."
Damon on being Clooney's friend
: "It can be a little annoying
being his pal because it's kind of like God said, 'Maybe this time I'll just give one of them everything. Let's make him handsome, and as he gets older he'll look even better!'"
Damon's response when the Oscar nod for Clooney's Gravity was brought up
: "What's this movie called? Gravity
? Oh! The Sandra Bullock