19/10/2011 17:04 BST | Updated 19/12/2011 05:12 GMT

George Clooney Rules Out Political Career At London Film Festival

George Clooney worked the red carpet like a true vote-winner at the UK premiere of his new political thriller.

The Hollywood star plays a US presidential candidate in The Ides Of March and like his campaigning character, he proved expert in pressing the flesh and greeting the crowd at the BFI London Film Festival screening.

"Did you see that? I was kissing babies, did you notice that?" he joked.

The actor, who also directed the film and co-wrote its screenplay, acknowledged the similarities between politics and showbusiness - but insisted he wasn't planning a career move.

"Is there anything tempting about [politics] if you were to look at it right now? Is there anything that would be tempting about it? Not for me," he said.

"Washington and Hollywood are both one-industry towns, so they are very similar in that way, there are sort of pecking orders - theatre actors look down on film acting and that kind of thing, and the same thing with senators and congressmen."

Clooney - who returns to the festival tomorrow night with another new film, The Descendants - added: "We didn't try to make a film about politics, we tried to make a thriller, we weren't trying to turn it into a civics lesson. So we hope it registers with people, that's the best we can do."

The actor was joined at the American Express gala at Leicester Square's Odeon cinema by co-stars Evan Rachel Wood and Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Hoffman predicted that the film would resonate with UK audiences

"It's kind of a universal tale, there aren't any specifics in it - the idea of power and corruption and hiding secrets, I think that story's been told for hundreds, thousands of years," he added.