George Clooney is still promoting The Tender Bar, which he produced and directed. George is in a good place in his life – two young children, a smart wife, hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank and the freedom to do whatever he wants creatively. It’s a wonder he even grants so many interviews – he truly has “f–k you” money and he could sit in Como, Italy for the rest of his life. He chatted with the Guardian about money, art, his political conscience and how the twins only have one nanny, four days a week.
Whether he has “enough” money now: “Well, yeah. I was offered $35m for one day’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal about it and we decided it’s not worth it. It was [associated with] a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times, and so I thought: ‘Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.’”
How he avoided public embarrassments: “I was 33, 34 when ER took off, so I was older, right? Also, Rosemary was a huge singer – huge! And then rock’n’roll came and she lost her career. And she didn’t get it, because at 21 she thought she was the real deal and by 26 it was gone. So, I’m lucky enough to understand how little the fame side has to do with me.”
Having twins: “Are they very different kids? Ours are so different; it’s like night and day. Alexander loves to laugh and Ella’s very serious, always making sure everybody plays by the rules. They really are born with their personalities!”
He & Amal don’t have an army of nannies: “We don’t, because it’s so important to Amal [to be involved]. We have a nanny four days a week and the rest of the time it’s just us. And during lockdown it was just us – for a full year! I felt like my mother in 1964, doing dishes and six loads of laundry a day.”
Why ‘The Tender Bar’, a sweet coming-of-age story: “The whole country, for the last five years, has been engaged in hate and anger, and I’ve been part of it at times. I’ve been angry, and this was such a kind story. It’s such a gentle film, and I wanted to be part of that, and I thought maybe an audience would want to be part of a gentle experience.”
Why he’s not acting much these days: “In general, there just aren’t that many great parts – and, look, I don’t have to act. My wife and I had this conversation when I turned 60 this summer. I said: ‘I can still bounce around pretty good, and we both love what we do. But we gotta make sure we don’t book ourselves silly.’ So, part of it is just us making sure we live our lives.”
Why he speaks out about political issues: “I would be so ashamed if, for instance, in this last Trump regime, I hadn’t been on the record of being against some of the horrible things he’d done. My kids would be like: ‘So, they were putting kids in cages and you didn’t say anything?’ The blowback is nowhere near as bad as the shame I’d feel.”
Old Hollywood: “The two actors who were personally friends and also had the most influence on me were Paul Newman and Gregory Peck, both of whom were men I greatly admired for who they were and how they were on screen. They were proper old-fashioned movie stars and they mixed it up in [politics]. So it was really fun to be friends with them and copy some of the things they did.”
[From The Guardian]
I kind of believe that George and Amal are not knee-deep in nannies. I think George especially doesn’t like a lot of people around him, and he probably loves that his kids are growing up without being waited on hand and foot. I like what he said about wanting to make a sweet, gentle film after the chaos of the Trump years too – that is what a lot of people need from art, just something nice and comfortable. As for the airline… Emirates Airlines? That’s my guess.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.
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