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Daily mail interview

Post by annemarie on Thu May 14 2015, 23:58

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'Amal is SO much cleverer than me. But as for her cooking...' George Clooney on being eclipsed by his wife, her huge appetite for designer clothes - and why he loves the pub near his new English manor


  • George Clooney married high-flying human right lawyer Amal last year 
  • Actor admits his new wife is much smarter than he is saying he's thrilled
  • Couple have moved into a 17th century English manor in Oxfordshire 

By Gabrielle Donnelly For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:04 GMT, 14 May 2015  |  Updated: 07:27 GMT, 15 May 2015  

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George Clooney, with his wife Amal at the Met Gala earlier this month. The actor has admitted that Amal is much smarter than he is 
There is only one way, announces George Clooney, that he’d be able to win an argument with his wife Amal — ‘And that’s by arm-wrestling her. If we put our elbows on the table and set to, that would be my only chance of winning.
‘Because if it’s an intellectual battle, then I’d lose flat out!’
There are not many men who would proudly admit that their wife is brainier than them, let alone boast of it.
But for George, it’s as much a part of Amal Alamuddin Clooney’s attraction as her striking good looks. And this for a man who — let’s face it — could have had his pick of potential wives.
Clooney is certainly looking as smooth as ever when we meet in Beverly Hills, bounding into the room in a leather jacket over blue jeans, with a beam on his face and his wedding ring glinting on his tanned left hand.
If Amal, the high-flying Lebanese-English human rights lawyer whom he married last September, is hardly a conventional Hollywood bride, then Clooney is only too happy to admit that, intellectually, he’s not in her league. ‘
There is no question in my mind but that my wife is smarter than me — and I’m thrilled by it!’ he says. ‘Look, it’s good to surround yourself with anybody who is smarter than you, and for me the bar’s pretty low anyway.
‘But Amal is way up there. She’s brilliant.’
To illustrate the gulf, he tells an anecdote about their separate careers.
‘I’m on the board of a new company that’s about finding an alternate source of power for automobiles. It’s really complex, and it means we have all these insane meetings with the amazing scientists who are working on it. But — with the exception of having been in the movie Gravity — I’m just lost when it comes to stuff like this.
‘Amal on the other hand . . . well, when I told her I was going to be in New York this spring making a film with Jodie Foster, she just said: “OK, I’ll come with you and go and give some lectures as a professor at Columbia University.”
‘And that’s what she’s been doing lately. There’s no question about it, she’s the smart one in the family!’
It’s quite an outcome for a 54-year-old who had, for so long, been known as the last of Hollywood’s die-hard bachelors. When questioned about his single status, he would explain that a brief marriage to actress Talia Balsam, from 1989 to 1993, had put him off the institution.
A subsequent impressively lengthy list of girlfriends, including actress Kelly Preston (now married to John Travolta), Renee Zellweger, British model Lisa Snowdon, Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis and French TV personality Celine Balitran, cemented the reputation of a love ’em and leave ’em operator.
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Amal is a  high-flying Lebanese-English human rights lawyer and she married the Hollywood star last September
It was not a reputation that he had been eager to shake.
A couple of years ago he told me: ‘I’m very happy with the way things are for me. My attitude has always been to enjoy the things I have and not really to think about the things I don’t have. To me, that’s pretty settled, you know?’
Then, in September 2013, while attending a charity fundraising event, he met Amal. From the moment they started to talk, he says, he was hooked.
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The couple met in September 2013 at a charity fund-raising event and from the moment they started to talk, George says he was hooked 
‘I wasn’t looking to get married — and then I met someone who I realised I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,’ he explains. ‘I only hoped that she felt the same way.
‘I was very nervous when I asked her to marry me because this wasn’t even something we’d talked about before, so there was a moment where she could have turned around and said: “What? Are you crazy? I thought we were just having fun here!”
Marriage, it turns out, has brought him a whole new and unexpected level of contentment.
‘From the moment I met Amal until now, the idea of spending my life with her has been the most important thing for me, and the thing that brings me the most joy in the world.
‘I couldn’t be happier with my life right now. I have a great partner in life, and I didn’t think I was ever going to have that.
‘We get along really, really well and we’ve not even had a disagreement — at least, we haven’t so far.’
He adds affectionately, however, that while Amal has many talents, cooking is not one of her strengths.
‘My wife’s speciality is making . . . restaurant reservations,’ he smiles. ‘Her mother makes reservations, too. It’s a generational thing in their family.
‘I’m a pretty decent chef myself. Listen, I was a single guy for a long time, so I know how to cook. I make a nice pasta because I spend time in Italy; I make good breakfast food, and I’m great at Thanksgiving dinner.
‘And that’s good, because let me tell you something about the Lebanese culture: they have big families — and they all show up! There’s hundreds of them. We had a second party after the wedding just for the Lebanese contingent!’
Culinary issues aside, Amal is getting along famously with the rest of the Clooney clan.


George and Amal Clooney arrive at the 2015 Met Gala

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The actor says: 'From the moment I met Amal until now, the idea of spending my life with her has been the most important thing for me, and the thing that brings me the most joy in the world' 
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‘I am very lucky because I am 54 and have very healthy, happy parents who are still together,’ says George.
‘My Dad still works, and my Mom runs a shop in the town of Augusta, Kentucky. She sells antiques there, although I like to tell her it’s just a junk shop!
‘They are two of the smartest people I know. I talk to them constantly, we laugh constantly, and I rely on their opinions about anything.’
Strong women, it turns out, have long been a feature of his family life.
‘My mother was mayor of a town for a while. My sister was a genius when we were kids,’ he says.
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The couple pictured before their wedding last year. They married in a lavish wedding in the Italian city of Venice
‘I was sort of a con man in high school. I got good grades, but I got them by learning just barely enough to get by.
‘But my sister was something else. When we were teenagers we took the college placement tests, where they really separate you out; and once again I just barely got by and she got a perfect score. That’s when I realised that I was the idiot in the family, and she was the genius’.
So he became an actor. And while George is now well-acquainted with the more frivolous side of fame, it could have been a trickier adjustment for the new female brainbox in his life. I ask how Amal is holding up to life in the spotlight, and Clooney shrugs.
‘She doesn’t think of herself as a celebrity. It’s just part of the deal that comes with us being married.
‘I think it’s a difficult adjustment when she’s trying to walk on the campus at Columbia and she’s being followed around when she’s trying to talk to someone. Especially as she deals in the law, where you want to be able to have discussions about anything.
‘But she’s worked very hard and found a wonderful way of balancing what she does for a living and not being invaded by too much attention because of me. It’s a tricky thing, but she handles it very well.
‘I think it helps that her own work is so important. When she is involved with a legal cause, then there are serious consequences at stake — real life-and-death stuff.
‘So the idea of being photographed, or asked some stupid question when she’s out in public, doesn’t faze her. She can handle it because it’s nothing compared to the fact that, if she fails at her work, there are people’s lives at stake.’
He says the arrival of Amal at his side has sent interest from the paparazzi soaring.
‘I tell you, before she came along it was bad enough. But now we’re inundated.
‘We were staying at the Carlyle Hotel in New York and there were all these people outside with cameras. Mick Jagger was staying there, too, so we waited for him to go outside so we could go sneaking out behind him, unnoticed.
‘He comes out and everyone’s shouting, “Mick! Mick!” . . . and then he walks towards Central Park and Amal and I are behind him. I’m telling her, “Go-go-go!”
‘We run out . . . and the cameras turned around and followed us all the way down the street. I told them all: “She has to learn to be less fashionable!” ’
It’s a moot point. Mrs Clooney’s bulging designer wardrobe is rather more eye-catching than most human rights lawyers’. George once joked that they need an entire extra bedroom in their Los Angeles house for her designer dresses.
Today, he says simply: ‘From the first day I met Amal, she has had her own sense of style. She doesn’t have a stylist, she just has clothes that she loves to wear, and she knows exactly what will suit her.

George, Amal, and Mia Alamuddin at Tomorrowland premiere

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The couple have recently bought an English manor house in a tiny hamlet across from the Thames-side village of Sonning, which George had fallen in love with while filming The Monuments Men in the area
‘She has great style sense. And sometimes she will look at me and she’ll be looking a little confused about my own style. Sometimes she will ask: “Uh, are you going to wear that tequila T-shirt again?”
‘My friend Rande Gerber and I have our own tequila brand, Casamigos Tequila — and I like to wear their T-shirts when I leave the house, because there are paparazzi outside and I figure that if they’re going to stand outside my house, then at least they can take photographs that will help me sell my tequila!
‘But Amal every once in a while will say: “Put on a nicer shirt before you go.” And I go: “Yeah, OK, you’re right!”’
More of a problem for the couple, he explains, is making time to be together. ‘That’s the toughest part about it: figuring out our schedules. Our deal is that we can’t be more than a week apart, so it means we both have to adjust the work we do, and when and where.’
To give them a domestic base in Britain, the couple have bought a house in the Oxfordshire countryside, a stunning 17th-century manor in Sonning Eye, a tiny hamlet across from the Thames-side village of Sonning, which George had fallen in love with while filming The Monuments Men in the area.
‘Basically it’s on an island, and we have a boat and ride around and have a fine time. We’re doing some work on the house right now to update it a little bit. It had been updated a few years ago, but it needs to have some more done to bring it back to the way it originally was.
‘We won’t be back there till, probably, September, but we’re having a fun time working on it, and I love it there.
‘There’s a restaurant there called The French Horn, which is this unbelievably great restaurant. And a pub, The Bull, which is the greatest pub in the world.
‘To get there, we walk from our house and over a bridge and through a graveyard — which is fine when you’re going there, but not so much when you’re coming back!
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George Clooney starring in his new film Tomorrowland, a science fiction adventure story, which is out later this month 

Disney's Tomorrowland trailer starring George Clooney

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‘Best of all, we share the island with a little theatre, which is perfect because I’ll have work for later when I need it! I can do a one-man show of Twelve Angry Men, playing all the parts!’
For now, though, he’s still hot property in Hollywood, with a new film, Tomorrowland, coming out later this month. 
It’s a science fiction adventure story in which Clooney plays a failed inventor who teams with a teen genius to go time-travelling. It’s geared towards the teen market and is firmly placed to offer entertainment for the summer evenings rather than attract any Oscar nominations.
‘I play an old guy!’ he says, laughing. ‘I opened up the script and began to read and it said, “Fifty-five-year-old grizzled has-been!” And I was like, oh, thanks!
‘But that’s OK. When I was in my 30s and I got to do a movie, I got to punch the bad guy and there’d be explosions all around. Now, I’m just this guy who gets punched all the time! And I fall down and whimper, and it’s funny and I enjoy it.
‘This is a very different project for me because I don’t usually do the big summer movies.
‘I did one, once. It was called Batman And Robin and I certainly learned my lesson there!’
He groans, remembering the notorious 1997 clunker.
‘But this is something different. It’s not a comic book, and it’s not a sequel to another movie. It’s just a really good story and I wanted to be part of it.’
With the film’s obvious appeal to a younger audience, it raises an inevitable question about Clooney’s next step: now that he’s finally settled down with a wife . . .
‘I know what you’re going to ask,’ he interrupts. ‘The answer to the question about children is, I really have no idea of what is going on. No idea.
‘Look, we only just got married, so give us a chance!’

  • Tomorrowland is in cinemas from Friday May 22.




Last edited by Katiedot on Fri May 15 2015, 11:23; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text. Please don't post just links!)

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Donnamarie on Fri May 15 2015, 00:48

Thanks annemarie.  I'm a bit surprised that George did an interview with The Daily Mail after he tore them to shreds last summer over their story about Amal's family.  
Much of what he said in the interview he has said in other interviews.  I think he is on autopilot now. But interesting how he sees himself intellectually ... How much smarter his sister is, etc. I'm always  impressed with George's humility.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by annemarie on Fri May 15 2015, 00:50

True but his job is to talk to the press so he gets on with it. I love that he is so close to his family really nice to hear.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Donnamarie on Fri May 15 2015, 01:15

Yea he does have a solid relationship with his family.  And even with aunts, uncles etc. I'm sure he is a welcome addition to the Alamuddin's family too.  He embraces people in general.  For me I just find it refreshing that he has opened up as much as he has about Amal and his marriage.  I think he really is excited about this change in his life.  And he doesn't mind sharing his feelings a bit.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Missa on Fri May 15 2015, 01:45

I'm not sure this was a separate sit down with the Daily Mail, or if they were just included in a larger group with some other international press.  These are literally word-for-word responses that were posted in other magazines a few days ago (the ones with the hilarious google translations).  He might be on autopilot, but he's not a robot.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by kat19 on Fri May 15 2015, 02:02

Yeah I'm under the impression this was all part of an interview with a group of reporters from different outlets....some of the responses are the same as those in other interviews, word for word

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Donnamarie on Fri May 15 2015, 02:20

I didn't consider that.  That may have been the case.  There were comments in this interview  tho that weren't mentioned in other interviews.  The comments about his family and his being a board member of some thinktank, how he sees himself intellectually.  But each reporter's story could vary as to what they want to include of George's comments.  

I would just add that the statement by the reporter that George met Amal at a charity event in September 2013 were not George's words.  So I'm still not sure that was the case since he wasn't quoted saying it.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Missa on Fri May 15 2015, 02:21

Yeah, I caught that too. They must mean 2014, right?

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Donnamarie on Fri May 15 2015, 02:31

Missa wrote:Yeah, I caught that too. They must mean 2014, right?

What do you mean 2014?  When they met?

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Missa on Fri May 15 2015, 02:34

That is what I meant, but I realize I was wrong now. I'm distracted by the Scandal season finale, I didn't double check my calendar Smile

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Donnamarie on Fri May 15 2015, 02:52

I don't know when and how they met and George has actually not said.  He has talked generally about how he knew pretty quickly that she was special and how they were friends first.  We know he fell for her pretty quickly. But he hasn't talked about when and how they met.  I'm not sure during these round of interviews that any reporter has asked that question.  The press has gone with a story from the beginning that they met at a charity event in Sept. 2013.  And that would have been in Italy since George has acknowledged as much.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Missa on Fri May 15 2015, 02:55

Yes, I know that story. In my head, 2013 was adding a year to the timeline, which is why I was confused. Met September 2013, married September 2014. I'm back on track now. Smile

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by annemarie on Fri May 15 2015, 03:09

Yes they married on the anniversary of their meeting.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Donnamarie on Fri May 15 2015, 03:26

annemarie wrote:Yes they married on the anniversary of their meeting.

I've heard that too but was it ever acknowledged by George or his family?  I don't mean to harp on this but I just don't remember George ever talking about their actual meeting.
Maybe I'm having a senior moment but this I don't recall.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by melbert on Fri May 15 2015, 03:40

It was also said that they met while he was still contracting with Stacy, but had to be discreet.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Sevens on Fri May 15 2015, 04:50

He said they met in Italy and were friends for a little while...

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by SideEyeSally on Fri May 15 2015, 05:45

During his Letterman appearance, George stated that he met Amal in Lake Como. She was a friend of a friend. He pursued her for months before she agreed to go on a date. This then takes us to the publicized September/October 2013 meeting date. I'm not sure of the "true anniversary date of their meeting" - as you recall September 12 was also rumored to be the wedding day. A bit of trivia: September 12 was the wedding day of JFK and Jackie Kennedy Onansis. Hmmm....best laid plan?

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by annemarie on Fri May 15 2015, 11:32

Well before the engagement he did say they met in Italy. I think that's all we are gonna get and really it doesn't matter they met married and are happy good for them. Not everything in their lives needs to be public record.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Alisonfan on Fri May 15 2015, 12:04

Do not stress this.George never to tell same story twice as same.I think he is making it up a bit more as he goes along from show to show and interview to interview. To see how much ppl will swallow. Dumb ppl got nothing before at time of engagment, we fans say Ahh he want to be PRIVATE and less from rep Stan, but now steam train can't shut him up.And he say Venice was a surprise, He forgot announcement in Florence, duh! And in case you missed AG flag on boat duh. Weird.What to happen to my loverboy George? Weird!

Must be not Amal got him, Aliens did.Hahaha

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by annemarie on Fri May 15 2015, 12:12

Getty has lots of pictures of George arriving and leaving Letterman.

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by amaretti on Fri May 15 2015, 17:10

So romantic . He pursued her for months . Very Happy Hug1

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Re: Daily mail interview

Post by Nicky80 on Fri May 15 2015, 20:28

I am 54 and have very healthy, happy parents

This is good to know that his parents still feeling good.

and he said he will be back in his London home by September. Como is waiting hehe

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Re: Daily mail interview

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