George Clooney, star of the upcoming film The Ides of March, sat down with our managing editor, Rick Stengel, on Wednesday for TIME’s 10 Questions. Though he chatted about moviemaking and serious issues like politics and journalism, he also touched on one odd encounter with a world leader.
Clooney, who owns a home on Lake Como in Italy, told one audience member that tourism to the area had increased since his move there — and that tour guides have consistently (and falsely) inflated the value of his property.
But his most interesting comments on Italy came when he referenced his meeting with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Clooney had been called by the defense as a witness after Berlusconi was charged with paying a 17-year-old for sex. “I spoke to their people and said, ‘I will come and testify if you’d like,’ because I wasn’t at the party that I was said to have been at. I wasn’t at his ‘bunga bunga’ party,” Clooney said.
Clooney added, though, that he did chat with Berlusconi in what he calls “one of the more astonishing evenings of my life.” He was there, he said, to speak with Berlusconi about Darfur. But after all the serious talk was out of the way, it “became a very different kind of evening than anyone thought.” Berlusconi apparently even showed Clooney his bed, which was a gift from Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister. “There’s so many jokes and so little time,” Clooney said.
Check out video of the exchange below, and check out TIME two weeks from now for even more.