Make no mistake: George Clooney, movie star, has completed his transition to George Clooney, family man.
“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,” Clooney told GQ in a virtual interview for its Icon of the Year issue. “I feel like my mother in 1964. You know, I understand why she burned her bra.”
The truth evident in the rest of the interview, though, is that he’s perfectly content hunkering down at the home with Amal, his wife since 2014, and their 3-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella. While Clooney’s working at a home he bought in 1995, editing his upcoming movie, The Midnight Sky, and exchanging texts with friends in a group chat, he is not doing much else during the pandemic other than spending time with his loved ones.
He has to be cautious, because one of the twins, Alexander, has asthma, and Clooney is now 59.
This is not the George Clooney of 25 years ago.
“I was like, ‘I’m never getting married. I’m not gonna have kids,’” said Clooney, who divorced fellow actor Talia Balsam in 1993, after four years of marriage. He remembered thinking, “‘I’m gonna work, I’ve got great friends, my life is full, I’m doing well.’
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.’”
Family life gave him purpose.
“Because I’d never been in the position where someone else’s life was infinitely more important to me than my own. You know?” Clooney said. “And then tack on two more individuals, who are small and have to be fed…”
Clooney summed it up this way: “For 36 years, I was the guy that if some kid popped up and started crying, I’d be like, ‘Are you f**** kidding me?’ And now suddenly I’m the guy with the kid, you know?”
As in, his former bar and office has been transformed into a nursery. He was delighted when little Alexander stumbled into the room during the interview. The elder Clooney asked him to say something in Italian, because Alexander is already fluent in the language spoken near one of his family’s homes. And he did it!
Clooney also spoke about why he’s directing more and acting less these days, citing reasons other than wanting to spend more time at home.
“I feel like over the last, you know, 10 or 15 years or so, I got to the point where I was like, ‘I can’t sit around and try to prove to people what I can do as an actor.’ I’m much more comfortable in my own skin,” he said.
“When you struggled for 12 or so years as an actor, when you get in, all you want to do is prove you can act and all the stuff you can do and show off all your tricks. And then as you ease into it, you kind of go, ‘Well, I don’t feel like I have to prove anything anymore.’” GQ