If anybody can be described as iconic, it’s George Clooney.
He’s more than earned the title over the years, as a celebrated actor, director, activist, tequila entrepreneur, and overall very handsome man.
But in GQ’s Icon of the Year interview, Clooney proved once again what makes him an icon — from name dropping pals like Barack Obama and Joe Biden (both of whom he talks to “all the time”), to fawning over his incredible wife Amal Clooney, to casually giving away $14 million to his best buds. (Oh, yeah, that rumor is CONFIRMED!)
Read on for some of the highlights from the wide-ranging profile:
On his near-fatal motorcycle crash:
Back in 2018, the ER alum was in a VERY scary motorcycle accident that could have left him dead or paralyzed — if not for his miraculous landing. He told the outlet:
“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.”
Clooney, who has since been banned from riding by his wife, remembered thinking he would never see his children again. But as he lay on the ground “really screaming,” passersby stopped and — instead of calling for an ambulance — began to take pictures and videos of the celebrity in pain. He described:
“It’s a funny thing. I’m not a cynical guy, and I really tend to look at life and try to find the good in everything. But I’ll never forget the moment that what I thought might be my last few moments was for everyone else a piece of entertainment.”
On his relationship with Amal:
One major takeaway from the profile is how much the Ocean’s Eleven star enjoys his domesticity. Of ending his days as the world’s most eligible bachelor, he recalled:
“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.’ … 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 his celeb feuds & Chrissy Teigen:
The 59-year-old revealed an Arya Stark-esque list of enemies, which includes Donald Trump and Russell Crowe, of whom he remembered:
“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**k did that come from?’”
Though he hasn’t put any of his enemies on blast on social media, he enjoys watching those who do. He said:
“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.’”
Ha! He’s right about that!
On stepping back from acting:
Though Clooney still acts (particularly in his own projects, like the upcoming Midnight Sky), in recent years he’s stepped behind the camera more often than in front of it. He expressed not wanting “to be 60 and worry about what some casting director or some young producer or studio executive thinks about me anymore.”
“You watch movies. You get your screeners at the end of the year, you start going through them. It’s hard to find 10 films that you go, ‘Wow, I get it, man. This is great.’ There are moments in films, lots of ’em, but a full film that you just go, ‘Wow, this is great’? It’s not like there are that many out there. It’s not like Michael Clayton comes around every day or O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Out of Sight. You know, Up in the Air or The Descendants. There aren’t that many. That’s one every couple of years. And I’d like to work a little more than that, and I also — look, it’s less about being bored about something and much more about loving the other elements. You know?”
On giving his friends $1 million each:
One of Clooney’s wildest stories involved giving 14 of his closest friends $1 million dollars EACH. After the unexpected financial success of Gravity in 2013, he had money to burn — but no family to spend it on yet.
The rumor for years has been that he paid back those who helped him out before the fame — with cold hard cash!
George confirmed the rumor fully, explaining:
“I thought, what I do have are these guys who’ve all, over a period of 35 years, helped me in one way or another. I’ve slept on their couches when I was broke. They loaned me money when I was broke. They helped me when I needed help over the years. And I’ve helped them over the years. We’re all good friends. And I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close, and I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will. So why the f**k am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”
Not only did he carry a MILLION in cash — he carried all of it at once, so he could make the payments in one magical day! After hauling his $14 million in a nondescript florist van, he gathered his pals:
“And I just held up a map and I just pointed to all the places I got to go in the world and all the things I’ve gotten to see because of them. And I said, ‘How do you repay people like that?’ And I said, ‘Oh, well: How about a million bucks?’ And the fun part about it was: That was the 27th, the 28th of September. A year later, on the 27th of September, just by happenstance, was the day I got married.”
If that’s not iconic behavior, we don’t know what is!
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