George Clooney on domestic life during the pandemic: ‘I feel like my mother in 1964′

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George Clooney is GQ’s Man of the Year. Which I thought was weird because… George has barely been around this year. He hasn’t had some big hit movie, he didn’t run for office, and he didn’t even make a major business deal this year. As it turns out, GQ basically just gave him MOTY because he’s promoting his movie, The Midnight Sky, which he directed and stars in. I mean, that and he’s George Clooney, arguably still a Cool Guy. The GQ profile leans heavily into George Clooney: Forever A Cool Guy, even though he clearly admits that he’s spent the pandemic year in the same three-bedroom LA home he’s owned since the ‘90s, and he’s been with Amal and their twins the whole time. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He has neck & back issues: The neck surgery was relatively minor, for a disk problem, but when the doctors got in there, they found all kinds of other stuff too. “It looks like arthritis, unfortunately. Which: Hey, isn’t it nice getting older?”

His motorcycle accident last year: “He literally turned directly in front of me. I launched. I go head over heels. But I landed on my hands and knees. If you did it 100 times, maybe once you land on your hands and knees, and any other version you land, you’re toast. It knocked me out of my shoes. When I hit the ground, my mouth—I thought all my teeth were broken out. But it was glass from the windshield.” He also knew, just from years of riding motorcycles, that any injury that involves ramming your neck into someone else’s car generally results in paralysis, so he lay there “waiting for the switch to turn off.” But it didn’t turn off. He was more or less fine, aside from whatever he did to his neck and his knees when he landed.

Whether his life flashed before his eyes: “You know, not really. Although my kids were like a year old, and mostly it was just the thought that this was it and that I wasn’t gonna see them again.” He says his wife, Amal, has since forbidden him to ride again, which he has accepted.

Domestic life in a pandemic: “I cut my own hair and I cut my kids’ hair and I’m mopping it and vacuuming and doing the laundry and doing the dishes every day. I feel like my mother in 1964. You know, I understand why she burned her bra…. It kills me that I can’t go see Bruce Springsteen in concert. It kills me that I can’t go see Bono, can’t go see U2 in concert right now. But…you know, there’s a lot worse things in the world. People are dealing with a lot bigger problems.”

Becoming a father: “I was like, ‘I’m never getting married. I’m not gonna have kids… I’m gonna work, I’ve got great friends, my life is full, I’m doing well.’ And I didn’t know how un-full it was until I met Amal. And then everything changed. And I was like, ‘Oh, actually, this has been a huge empty space.’ ” Marriage changed him in the simplest way, he says, “because I’d never been in the position where someone else’s life was infinitely more important to me than my own. You know? And then tack on two more individuals, who are small and have to be fed.…”

On Breonna Taylor: “I can’t believe it. There’s not even a manslaughter charge for a woman who was lying in bed and got shot to death… Imagine if those were three Black officers and they kicked in the door of a white person’s home and shot and killed the woman, the wife, in bed. Imagine that. F–king ridiculous. You know, it’s just infuriating.” He says he hopes that the protests in his home state remain peaceful tonight. Then, he says, actually: “You know, they talk about looting and stuff. Well, there have been an awful lot of Black bodies that have been looted for 400 f–king years. And…”

He has an Enemies List: The list of former Clooney enemies—though not particularly long—is extremely deserving: TV Guide, for its habit of omitting Eriq La Salle, ER’s most prominent Black cast member, from its covers back in the day; Russell Crowe (“Just out of the blue, he’s like, ‘I’m not some sellout like Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford and George Clooney.’ I’m like, ‘Where the f-ck did that come from?’ ”); a Washington Post film critic, for suggesting that Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was actually directed by Clooney’s friend Steven Soderbergh (“At the end of the letter, I said, ‘Letter actually written by George Clooney’ ”). But, he says, these days he’s mostly ceded the fights to other people. “I have much more fun watching Chrissy Teigen. Somebody steps into her world and you go, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t do that, dude.’ It’s so much fun. Like somebody who thinks they’re really smart, and you just go, ‘Ugh, dude. You brought a knife to a gunfight.’ ”

[From GQ]

I’m sure Chrissy Teigen loved the shout-out (although I disagree with him). And I love that Russell Crowe is on his Enemies List, OMG. There are a million other stories and interesting parts in the interview, like when his son Alexander joins the Zoom call and George coaxes him into speaking Italian. George also confirms a widely reported gossip item, which is that he presented 14 friends with bags of $1 million in cash EACH, and George explained at length about how he got his hands on that kind of cash. He also pointed out that he handed out that cash almost a year to the day before he married Amal. Now he’s even richer, because he sold a controlling interest in Casamigos for buckets of money too. Also: if you had the choice between spending a year in lockdown in a small LA home versus a spacious English country estate versus a beautiful mansion in Como, Italy, where would you go? RIGHT??

Cover and IG courtesy of GQ.

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39 Responses to “George Clooney on domestic life during the pandemic: ‘I feel like my mother in 1964′”

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  1. Arb says:

    He’s always seemed to have a bit more depth than his peers. Not a lot. He’s still a very rich person who does less for his fellow human beings than the average nurse, but for Hollywood, generally ethical in his choices.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I do wonder why he didn’t go to Lake Como, maybe because he couldn’t get there before the shutdown? Maybe he didn’t want to be around staff?

    I find him interesting, he just seems to really enjoy life in all its aspects. I mean its easier to enjoy when you’re a movie star, LOL, but still.

    • Millenial says:

      I feel like it’s got to be a legal visa issue. I don’t think he’s an Italian citizen, and neither is Amal. I don’t know if they could legally just hang out in Italy for a year and a half without coming back.

      • Nire says:

        Amal is British so she could stay in Italy without a problem, although that will change soon with Brexit. My guess is, given that Clooney has a house there, he has permanent residency. I’m in France and if you buy property outright and open a bank account with a large sum of money in it, then establishing permanent residency is fairly easy.

      • Nikki says:

        Also, a tax issue. UK taxes are crazy, compared to the US.

      • Mindy_Dopple says:

        That makes sense.

    • Cassandra says:

      Legal issues aside, don’t forget that at one point Italy was the Covid-19 worst case scenario and most of us thought it would never get that bad in the US.

      I wouldn’t have headed to my gorgeous house in Italy in March either haha

    • I would think they would choose America or England for lockdown given his wife’s work and his current medical issues. I really enjoyed the GQ article and the 35+ minute video imbedded in it where he talks about his films is worth the time. He doesn’t mention it, but I heard none of the friends could be considered wealthy at the time and that the money was tax free as he had already dealt with the taxes. So it was $1 million each free and clear to friends who didn’t have that kind of money.

    • souperkay says:

      Post production for his film is ongoing, as the director he would need to be wherever post production is, which is LA.

      They are in LA for his work.

    • Zaya says:

      They most likely didn’t quarantine in Italy, but Italy was rocked hard by the sars-COVID-2 back when our lockdown just started.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I’d say a combination of Italy being a hotspot early on, not knowing how terrible the US response to COVID-19 would be, and the fact it is an election year. He might have thought the US would get things under control quickly, then he could host Hollywood fundraiser dinners for whomever would be the Democratic nominee. It was unusual to see him so quiet during a big election year.

  3. G says:

    that cover is great he is so fine

    i find him nausating at times but les nausting than most celebs

  4. Solace says:

    I find him calming.

  5. I theorize that he is gunning for a cabinet position in the Biden administration and wants to be more than a court jester for the real politicians and diplomats.

  6. minx says:

    He’s aging quite well.

  7. grabbyhands says:

    Wow, how kind of him to give each of his super rich friends a million dollars in cash each.

    I’m sure they all directed it to worthy causes.

    • SmalltownGirl says:

      It was his long time friends, the one who had been in his circle before he was famous. Probably none of them are hurting but it wasn’t his celebrity friends he was talking about (or at least not entirely).

    • SpankyB says:

      One friend was working as a bartender trying to support his family. The richest one was Rande Gerber and when he tried to turn it down George said if he didn’t take it no one else would get theirs. Obviously he took it.

  8. Sumodo1 says:

    He’s my forever peen

  9. JACK says:

    His LA house is big with 8 bedrooms. He used to talk about how he bought a place that had enough room for the boys, his longtime group of friends.

    • leuce7 says:

      Not only that, he spent an estimated $1 million on renovations to make it a family home, including building “villas” for staff and guests, and a playhouse for the kiddos. This isn’t a small house or small property.

  10. GuestwithCat says:

    I remember when he was just George the handyman on “Facts of Life”. I was the same age as those girls and wished I could go to their school. 😂 I honestly never really followed him after that. I didn’t get into ER at all because I had other things I was watching at the time and I saw only a handful of his movies.

    I had the general impression a lot of women were pretty deluded wasting their time hoping he’d change his mind and settle down and make babies with them before he got old and decrepit. But that’s about the extent of my attention to George Clooney.

    • minx says:

      I noticed him when he was on an early 90s drama, Sisters. He played Sela Ward’s love interest for one season. I thought, hmm, who is HE?

      • Alex Schuster says:

        He was in one episode of the Golden Girls playing an undercover cop after a jewels thieves who were the girls neighbors

      • Alex Schuster says:

        I couldn’t understand all the hype about him back in the 90s. I didn’t find him attractive nor a good actor until I watched O’ Brother where aret thou. I fell in love with him, he was funny and took a role where he wasn’t a heartthrob actually dumb while highly intelligent and clumsy. I love his movies and he is a great actor needless to say.

  11. Singhsong says:

    He’s giving me George Michael vibes with the haircut and beard. Not a bad thing.

  12. BL says:

    I heart George. So much class ❤️

  13. sealit says:

    I will always have a soft spot for George Clooney. My grandparents spent the last years of their lives at the Motion Picture Home. George is (was?) on the board of directors and donated the money (with Jodi Foster) for the gym and pool.

  14. Barbiesucks says:

    Put Amal and George next to Ivanka and Jared and of course you realise they’re decent people relatively speaking. But George thinks it’s just about the culture wars when it’s not; it’s about income inequality and economics as well.

    Also I think he needs to stop drinking so much and really look after himself with like a Jennifer Aniston diet. He has young kids and a youngish wife and should aim to stick around until he’s 80 or 90+.

    Russell Crowe is a good actor but did he need to actually name names to make his point? That’s just breaks the profession code, doesn’t it?

    Finally, when George Clooney starts mentioning Chrissy Teigan as a positive example, you know he’s a lot more bothered by bad press and negative comments than he likes to pretend he is. (“Oh, Amal and I aren’t bothered by XYZ…”)

  15. SJ Knows says:

    Clooney is starting to really get on my nerves.

    I used to like him, Esquire did a few interviews with him I enjoyed.
    But his talking about giving away $14 to 14 of his friends makes me want to puke.
    It’s a great thing that he did spread the wealth around but I have a serious problem w/him discussing it in public.
    Why verify it happened? Certainly he could has found a way to not “claim” this.

    I am old school about private things, I budget my money so I can donate to causes I want to support, I’m a regular working person and I keep it to myself.

    Now, if Clooney wants to throw $$Millions around, go ahead and donate like it’s on fire..just STFU about it.

  16. OK says:

    I haven’t read the article in GQ, just going on what has been written here but George owns a big house in the Hills above LA (bought it off Stevie Nicks in the 90′s) to pretend he is living in a small three bed house is absolute eye wash, it has a pool , tennis/basketball courts a 20 seat home cinema , a guest house and the garage alone would be the size of most peoples home.

    There is a long private drive up to the house from the road and he owns the land either side of it. He does tend to exaggerate for comic effect. There may only be three bedrooms in the main house but that place is huge it’s a damned mansion

  17. True says:

    pact of the actors of the 90, they are trying to be relevant.

  18. Anna says:

    Great but please stop using the term “Black bodies”. It’s Black *people*. That terminology got started and now it’s out of control. Using the term “bodies” is not woke, as some people seem to think it is (falsely informed by academia and art world that have popularized this phrase). It’s just another way via language that Black *people* are dehumanized. Say *people*, not bodies.