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Roundtable: George Clooney, 6 Top Writers on the Allure of Their 'Schizophrenic' Craft

Clooney, Grant Heslov, Jonas Cuaron, Julie Delpy, Nicole Holofcener, John Ridley and Danny Strong dissect the ins and outs of the business.

Seven of this year's most acclaimed writers spilled secrets of their craft for the Nov. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Among the superstar scribes who participated in THR's writer roundtable were George Clooney and Grant Heslov (The Monuments Men), Jonas Cuaron (Gravity), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Danny Strong (Lee Daniels' The Butler).

Strong said he got into writing to take his mind off the frustrations of pursuing acting.

"I spent years as an actor, and you just can't go do it. You have to get hired to do it," said Strong. "That's why I started writing -- to get my mind off of my auditions."

PHOTOS: Clooney and 6 Top Writers on Toughest Career Moments, Worst Advice 

"But what if you can't write, and you can't act?" asked Holofcener.

"Then you direct!" Clooney interjected.

Cuaron, who wrote the hit Gravity with his director father Alfonso Cuaron, said he likes writing with his dad, because "it's the only time I can look to him face to face." 

Julie Delpy  said writing scripts in which she'll also act presents special challenges.

"There is the period of writing where we're excited to write lengthy monologues, and then we get to rehearsing, where we look at the monologue, and we're like, 'Argh!' It's very schizophrenic," Delpy said. "And then we go into the acting process, and we become insecure, we don't sleep, we don't eat, we're freaking out. Actually, it made me realize acting is a very unsettling job. It makes you emotionally a mess, you know?"

Clooney said acting is in a way tougher than writing.

"Your face is on camera, so there's no getting away from it," he said.

See highlights from the conversation at the top of the post, and watch the entire interview here