George Clooney may be only playing a politician in “The Ides of March” but you’d think it was his life work from the way the director, co-writer, producer and star worked the crowd at Wednesday’s opening night of the Venice Film Festival.

Wearing a midnight blue Armani tux, Clooney practically danced around the vast red carpeted expanse of the Sala Grande, shaking hands, signing autographs, posing for pics — everything but doing handstands.

As his late aunt Rosemary Clooney’s recording of “Mambo Italiano” played in the background, Clooney, the first of his troupe to arrive, was joined by co-stars Marisa Tomei, a slimmed-down Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Evan Rachel Wood, whose elegant gown evoked a 1950s princess named Grace.

Charlie Rose, who cameos as himself in Sony Pictures’ “Ides,” said, “I was with George at Lake Como, and it’s been fabulous coming here tonight. I’ve never been in Italy in the summer, and it’s just a remarkable experience.”

Since Rose interviews Clooney’s fictional governor in “Ides,” it’s likely he’ll interview him again in October when the pic opens. “I’ve done 15 interviews with George,” Rose said.

Also on the red carpet: Diane Kruger and Cindy Crawford, whose red gown evoked a marvelously passionate mermaid.