George Clooney got his best advice at the age of 7: ‘Never mix grain and grape’

HRH PRINCESS OF WALES (HRH Princess Diana) Seen at the 1995 Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Bandphoto Agency Photo B21 009812/E-36  09.07.1995

George Clooney is one of W Magazine’s March covers, all for their annual Best Performances issue. George had a new movie out recently called The Midnight Sky – he starred in it and directed it. He’s been giving a ton of interviews to support it, and honestly, this might be my favorite version of George? He’s almost 60, he’s got a bad back, he survived a terrible motorcycle crash, he’s got twins and he’s putting all of his years of self-sufficiency to good use during the pandemic. He just seems pretty chill these days. You can read read the full W Magazine piece here. Some highlights:

Deciding to take the role in The Midnight Sky: “I haven’t been acting very much lately. But this was a part that, the minute I read it, I felt like I was probably the right guy to play it. When we got hit with that first blast of 70 mph, 40 degrees below zero weather [in Iceland], I questioned everything I’ve ever done in my life. There was a moment when I thought, I volunteered to do this?! But nobody said I’m smart. I loved that there was a dreamlike quality to the film. You can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. He might be losing his mind. Or he might be sane. Originally, the narrative was about regret and seeking redemption. But as the pandemic took over, the film became about our inability to be home and hug the people we love.

Watching The Ides of March for the first time in years: “When we did The Ides of March, I knew that we were going to talk about how we elect our officials. But I also knew that if we just did that, then it would be preachy. So that’s why I made him [Governor Mike Morris] the bad guy along the way… He wants to get elected, but he’s also having sex with an 18-year-old intern. It’s funny, Amal and I actually saw the movie recently. We were just flipping through the channels, and it was on. We watched the last half of it. And I tell you, the first thing that comes to your mind is, I really miss Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was such a powerhouse and so much fun to work with. I miss him.

What originally looked like a disaster but turned out to be a great thing: “Batman & Robin. It’s a terrible movie, I’m terrible in it. I get it and I always make fun of it. But the truth was, the next film I did was Out of Sight, which is a great film. Up until then, I had just been an actor getting jobs. When somebody says, “You want to play Batman?” you’re like, “Yeah, man, I’ll play Batman!” So after that, I realized I was going to be held responsible for the movies that got made, and what the film was, not just my performance. I thought, I’ve got to focus on screenplays. The next three films I did were Out of Sight, Three Kings, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? It really taught me a quick lesson in what to look for and how to look at your career.

Pandemic hobbies: “I’ll tell you what I’ve taken on as a hobby: two or three loads of laundry a day, dishes all fucking day, because these kids are all slobs. Apparently, you have to wash your children every once in a while. I cut [my son’s] hair, and I cut my own hair too, but I’ve always cut my own hair. My hair is like straw. I haven’t cut my daughter’s hair. I’d get in trouble if I did. If I screw up my son’s hair, he’ll grow out of it. But my wife would kill me if I touched my daughter’s hair.

The best piece of advice he’s ever received: “My aunt Rosemary [Clooney, the actor and jazz singer] told me, “Never mix grain and grape.” No wine and tequila. Or vodka and champagne. I was 7. We learned early in Kentucky.”

[From W Magazine]

I wish I knew “never mix grain and grape” when I was in college, that would have saved me a lot of puking and hangovers. The one lesson I did get during that time was never drink liquor after beer, but liquor before beer is fine (there’s a rhyme about it too). Add another one to the booze lessons though – no grain and grape mixing. Anyway, what else is there to say? I miss Phillip Seymour Hoffman all the time and I still can’t believe he’s gone. I also think Out of Sight is probably George’s best film? It’s the Clooney film which holds up to a ridiculous degree, and a huge chunk of it is George and Jennifer Lopez’s amazing chemistry. Sigh.

Cover courtesy of W Magazine.

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37 Responses to “George Clooney got his best advice at the age of 7: ‘Never mix grain and grape’”

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  1. Lauren says:

    Oh yeah the “not mix grape and grain” should definitely be told to all of those heading towards college. I still remember the epic hangovers from those days. Nowadays I know better. I stick with beer or wine, never both in the same setting.

  2. Levans says:

    The beer and liquor rhyme saved me many nights…if i could recall the rhyme correctly at that point in the night 🤣

    • Mcmmom says:

      “Beer before liquor, never sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.”

      • Babs RS says:

        I learned it as “Booze and Beer, never fear. Beer and Booze, you lose.” LOL

      • Duch says:

        In German, too: “Bier auf Wein, das lass sein. Wein auf Bier, das lob ich mir.” Learned it when studying there in the 1980s, and it’s stuck with me all these years.

        Roughly: “Beer after wine, let it be. Wine after beer, that I like.”

      • clomo says:

        The German one has always been my M.O. I figured it out the hard way. College years, a lesson in liquor. I went to a bar in Baja that served 31 favors of margarita. My friend and I wanted to try them all and share them but we didn’t make it even halfway, made it to celery and stumbled back to our hotel. No bueno next morning.

  3. Nev says:

    Let’s see him and JLO in another film already!!!

    • Dlc says:

      I would LOVE to see that!

      • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

        Me too! They were amazing in that. The entire cast was so well done. Remember Michael Keaton as the douche-y FBI bf? He was subtle yet indelible. So many were, but in his small role, I appreciated his take.

  4. smcollins says:

    I know his dating history always gets thrown out there as a big negative but I still believe that he is one of the good guys in Hollywood. Yeah, the PR around his courtship & wedding with Amal was pretty OTT but they’ve definitely reigned it in and seem to be living a relatively quiet life now. He really is known as a stand up guy and I think because his success came later after so many “fails” he just seems to have an appreciation of it that escapes so many others that achieved success a lot faster/sooner. He could have easily traded on his name but I don’t think he ever really did? George was, is, and probably always will be one of my favorites.

    • Anne Call says:

      There’s a great podcast called Smartless and the interview with George Clooney is really great. He’s very self deprecating, funny and articulate. Hosts of the podcast are Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes and they are good friends in real life and have a lot of their funny friends on.

    • I live on “the wrong side of the tracks” in the small area where George Clooney lives. (I live in a tiny 2 bedroom, he lives in a mansion, lol) Anyway. through the years I have had plumbers, builders, vent cleaning guys, roofers, etc that have all told me they worked on George Clooney’s house and not only were they SHOCKED when he met them AND helped them (most stars have house managers who do that stuff) but that he was the nicest person they have ever met. They RAVED about the guy, and it’s not like I asked about him! We would just chat and it would ALWAYS come out. I was in the business, lots of friends in all areas of the business and I have NEVER heard a bad word from agents to crew about the man and that is RARE RARE RARE. I mean, the vent cleaning guys adore him? That’s a good guy.

  5. Betsy says:

    As basically a non drinker, I never knew if those rhymes were right or not. I guess yes?

    I like George. I like Amal. They seem like decent people.

  6. emmy says:

    I love George on screen, he has such charisma and Charme. As someone said above, he and Jennifer Lopez should do another movie together, they were great in Out of Sight. And no, don’t mix your drinks!

  7. DS9 says:

    I wonder all of the time what kind of career J.Lo would have had post Out of Sight/The Fall if Hollywood didn’t insist on treating all Latina women like empty headed sexpots.

  8. Liz version 700 says:

    That is great advice. Just never do it never

  9. JEM says:

    As a parent of little kids, I snorted when he talked about his “pandemic hobbies”. That’s seriously all there’s time for! He is a good dude, and so funny, and still hot.

  10. Kkat says:

    I laughed when I read his pandemic hobbies, add to that fing cooking all the time because they are both pigs and slobs.

    I’m really looking forward to his documentary on Jym Jordan. I hope he destroys him.
    When I heard what he was doing I thought about how people tell actors to stay in their lane when it comes to politics.
    Well here he is taking up the whole highway, what a great way to use his platform. Exposing this horrible piece of crap that shouldn’t be any where near a position of power.
    I rubbed my hands together in glee when I first heard.

  11. Keri says:

    Back when Brad Pitt was heavily promoting himself as a family man in interviews, I remember him outright shading George, his supposed friend. The interviewer asked him something like, “Have the twins met George?” Pitt said something to the effect of, “I would never do that to the twins. I love them too much and George hates kids!” While George didn’t have the most stellar rep at the time for dating a slew of women, I always thought, wow, Pitt is a douche. Years later and who would have thought that Clooney would end up being the better parent to twins as well as the better husband?

    I always kind of side eyed/rolled my eyes at George’s obvious PR antics with his wife leading up to the wedding. But since then, they’ve kept a relatively low profile and just raised their kids quietly much like Angela is doing. I also like that he has a rep for sticking up for fellow actors and crew members who get verbally abused by asshole directors. That makes him ok in my book.

  12. Boo says:

    Ugh, I had a gin and tonic after wine several years ago and it was a big mistake. If only Rosemary Clooney was my aunt, I would have known better.

  13. Amber says:

    A lot of my favorite drinks (manhattans, martinis, etc) involve both spirits and vermouth, which is fortified wine, so I mix grain and grape all the time and it doesn’t seem to matter.
    I think Michael Clayton is also a standout performance from George Clooney. It’s SUCH a weird movie, a movie like that would not be made now, even though it’s only 15 years old. It requires him to not be so charming, and he’s weirdly effective as the character. The opening shots of him standing in the clearing with the horses…it stays with you.

    • Janice Durdle says:

      Yes absolutely loved Michael Clayton. Underrated movie and performance.

    • Cava24 says:

      And French 75’s! Gin and champagne. Maybe it’s okay if they are in the same drink or something.

    • Meg says:

      Yep michael Clayton is one of my favs. The shots of tilda swinton getting ready & going over her talking points is not whats normally shown in films, so revealing of her character

    • Jack says:

      He was nominated for an Oscar for Michael Clayton, I believe. I also loved Up in the Air!. He has had so many good movies, but not in almost 10 years. I hope he finds a script that really works with his acting style. I really enjoy his movies.

  14. Midge says:

    Beer before liquor, all the more sicker. Liquor before beer, nothing to fear.

    • Brittney B says:

      I always heard it as “beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear”

  15. Brittney B says:

    I can mix drinks of any type in any order with no problem… hangovers only happen if I don’t drink enough water.

    I feel like the majority of hangovers are just too much sugar or not enough water.

  16. Jayna says:

    Love George. His Netflx movie was awful, but I did think he was good in it. He is a charming man; that’s for sure

  17. Rina says:

    Syriana is his best film (refreshingly does not spin/glamour the military/intelligence sectors) and best performance in my opinion. Interesting comparisons of Pitt and George upthread. Think Brad Pitt has always been “looking” for something in his partners and showmances whereas George always knew what he wanted (contract girlfriends included) and stayed true to himself. Think he had his fun with his bfs and gfs (I assume he is bi) and then settled down and had kids when he was good and ready rather than to fulfill some sort of social ideal, which I think Brad Pitt felt and thought he wanted. I don’t think Amal is a contract but he definitely went looking for a potential Mrs POTUS or at least Governor of CA when he was done with the fun. And the reason he’s been lowkey and his wife stopped calling the paps is because they were getting a lot of negativity, methinks. Angelina hasn’t been low-key with her kids at all! They’re still in her interviews and getting papped everywhere.

    • Meg says:

      Is there info about George’s sexuality out there like an open secret ive missed? Or just a hunch you have?
      Good point about george being more true to himself than brad seemingly having kids as he felt pressure to? IMO brad has narcissistic qualities and narcissists take on qualities of those around them (he dresses like his girlfriends) so looking ‘normal’ being a husband and father would appeal to him as opposed to actually wanting those things

  18. Granger says:

    I love George, but the comments about all the cleaning kind of rub me the wrong way. You can’t tell me they don’t have a housekeeper who does most of their cleaning and laundry for them.

    Still, he seems like a great guy, and I have always appreciated his perspective on success and fame. I remember he once said that most of it comes down to being in the right place at the right time, and if just one casting director hadn’t thought he was right for a role that made him famous, he might still be toiling in relative obscurity today. He seems genuinely grateful for everything he has.

  19. Renee says:

    Would people with housekeepers and nannies stop pretending they are “doing everything” like the rest of us? I guarantee they have a nanny and a housekeeper. So….NO, George is not doing dishes all day. I’m so tired of the celebs trying to be just like us…..