Clooney at Play: PEOPLE

04/03/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

If there was a prank pulled on the Las Vegas location of the upcoming all-star heist flick "Ocean's 11," PEOPLE reports in its latest issue, the perpetrator was probably coverboy George Clooney. The star, who turns 40 on May 6, was producer Jerry Weintraub's chief suspect when it was 1 a.m. and Weintraub returned to his Bellagio hotel suite only to find a gooey coat of Vaseline on every doorknob inside. Arming himself with a baseball bat, reveals PEOPLE, Weintraub stormed down the hall, rapped on the door of costar Julia Roberts's suite and bellowed his summons: "Where the hell is Clooney?" As Roberts feigned sleepy innocence, Weintraub searched her room. Then, hearing a door slam, he swung around to see Clooney and Matt Damon hightailing it down the hall. On another night, reports PEOPLE, Clooney rigged a bucket of water over Roberts's door -- only to soak a hapless bellman who entered first. "The pranks here," sighed Weintraub, "are akin to 'Animal House.' "

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