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Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 16:48 GMT
Clooney modest about Oscar hopes
George Clooney, at the Berlin Film Festival

Hollywood star George Clooney has talked down his Oscar prospects for his role as a disillusioned CIA agent in the political drama Syriana.

"I don't think we're going to win any," said Clooney, who has been nominated for three Oscars, including best director for Good Night, and Good Luck.

"The hope is that people will see this film - I don't know about wins."

"There's been a lot of Brokeback Mountain stuff," added the actor, also shortlisted for original screenplay.

His screenplay nomination, for Good Night, and Good Luck, pits him directly against Syriana director Stephen Gaghan, a previous Academy Award winner for Traffic in 2000.

Clooney gained 35 pounds to play Bob Barnes in Syriana, a veteran CIA agent assigned to assassinate the heir to the throne in an oil-rich Persian Gulf country.

George Clooney in Syriana
Syriana focuses on US foreign policy and the oil industry

"I put it on so quickly I was anxious to get it off," said the 44-year-old, who is shortlisted for best supporting actor alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Matt Dillon and William Hurt.

"The depressing thing was that I could put on 35 pounds (16 kilograms) in 30 days."

Syriana is based on the 2002 memoir of real-life CIA agent Robert Baer, who joined Clooney and Gaghan at the press conference in Berlin.

Baer said he and the director toured the Middle East for two months as part of their research of the multi-layered film.

"It did get it right," he said of the film. "All those figures in this movie, I can associate with somebody real, a real political player."

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