George Clooney on making fun of himself, fashion sense and life with Amal

By Michele Manelis

George Clooney and his wife Amal at the premiere of "Hail, Caesar!" in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
George Clooney and his wife Amal at the premiere of "Hail, Caesar!" in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

A-list star George Clooney has a bit of fun with MiNDFOOD as he talks about his life, his wife and retaining his sense of humour.

What are some of the old Technicolor movies you liked growing up?

I would watch Spartacus over and over again, as well as Ben Hur. Those films were just so much fun. And The Robe was always on at Easter. It’s funny, people won’t understand this who are under 50 years old, but The Wizard of Oz would always show once a year and you would plan it out for months, The Wizard of Oz is going to be on and we would all watch it. We had a black and white television, so for years I didn’t know that it even changed colour halfway through. And of course, It’s A Wonderful Life got a rebirth on television. But those big sort of epic movies and the big musicals that we look back so fondly on, I missed going to the movies and I was a little too young to see those in the movie theatre, but I sure watched those on television and loved them.

What does your very fashionable wife Amal say about your fashion sense? What is it like when you both get ready for a red carpet event?

She’s never said anything but I would imagine it would be horrifying [for her] that I am still wearing some of the suits that I have always worn. It is a very difficult thing when you are a woman trying to get ready for ceremony because it’s a dress that nobody else has worn and you have to have hair and makeup. For me, I am playing basketball for a half hour until we have to go and so it’s not very fair. But her sense of style is all her own and we happily don’t cross paths on that.

Hopefully you’ll have a bit of fun with this question – which actor would be good to play Donald Trump in a movie?

I don’t know! Listen I wouldn’t dare to scar someone with the idea that they should be playing Donald Trump in a movie (laughs). That would be one of those things where I make that joke and they wake up tomorrow and it’s in the paper and then all they want to do is kill themselves (laughs).

Could you live with a person who has a completely different approach to life?

Oh, I don’t think so; I don’t think any of us would want that, I don’t think anybody would want to have anyone who doesn’t have a sense of humour. I think a sense of humour in general is that there is fearlessness to it, and the fearlessness is to not be afraid to make fun of yourself.

Actor George Clooney
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mark Blinch

At two Golden Globe Awards you were made fun of by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and you took it well

Yes. They destroyed me with two very, very funny jokes. One is floating off in space rather than date someone my own age and the other one is that I am getting this Lifetime Achievement Award while my wife has done all these amazing things. Now, the truth is, they were the two funniest jokes of the night. They were really funny.

Not everyone can tolerate being the butt of the joke

If you don’t have a sense of humour about how you are perceived and what your life is and all of the mistakes you have made, including the good things you have done, then you are not going to enjoy anything because you are going to be constantly guarding this thing that you are so afraid might be exposed. But the truth of the matter is, the worst thing you can try to do is go, ‘Hey, don’t say that about me!’ So I find that it’s always best to try to do it yourself first before somebody else does it. I am a big believer that the secret to a sense of humour is that if you are going to make fun of other people, the first person to make fun of is yourself. If you are going to go after anybody, you have got to go after yourself a little bit, and I think that’s always helpful.

And what about Amal? How important is it for her?

For Amal and I, I think probably number one in our relationship is her sense of humour because she does very serious things and works on very serious subjects, but she is also one of the funnier people you will ever meet. She has got a great sense of humour and I think that some of my humour is wholly inappropriate, which I think is very funny. But I think that humour is just the ability to not be afraid of anything and go, ‘Oh well, if you want to come after me, that is a fair deal. ‘ I think that is the way to do it; you have to make fun of yourself.

Is your house a party house? Do you keep that tradition like it was in your single days?

No, not so much. It’s not with a lot of famous people, it ends up being with a lot of politicians … So it’s less about stars and more about some of the people that she and I are working with in other parts of our lives.

 

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