George Clooney says no one was as surprised as he was when he married Amal in 2014.
The actor and director had famously sworn off remarrying, but when he met the human rights attorney, everything changed in an instant, he said on the Smartless podcast.
“The truth was I met this amazing woman and she took my breath away,” Clooney told co-hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. “She was brilliant and funny and beautiful and kind. I was sort of swept off my feet.”
He said, “We got engaged after a few months and got married within the first year that we met. It surprised me more than probably anybody else in the world — and everybody else was pretty surprised.”
Clooney shared that his wife has been watching old ER re-runs lately — “and it’s getting me in a lot of trouble because I had forgotten all of the terrible things [my character Doug Ross] was doing picking up on women and things.”
When Bateman said it would be funny if Amal started to get starstruck around him based on the appeal of Clooney’s character, a role that really turned him into a star, and Clooney quipped, “Yeah, that’s not my wife.”
Talking about their 3-and-a-half-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander, he jokingly called them “monsters,” saying everything in their house “gets destroyed in a second.”
Clooney, on location in Boston with his family where he’s directing The Tender Bar, went on to talk about his son developing his sense of humor — and taking after dad in the prank department. The toddler recently put peanut butter on his shoe and pretended to have stepped in dog waste, making Clooney proud.
Clooney joked about being an older dad at 59 —”I’m like Tony Randall,” he said of the late Odd Couple star who had his first child at 77— but said fatherhood has taught him “that all the things that seemed important aren’t.”
He continued, “Someone like Amal walks into your life, kids show up magically and everything changes.”
Clooney was asked if he worries that their kids will feel pressure having two highly successful parents.
“All kidding aside, I was friends with Gregory Peck. I was friends with Paul Newman,” Clooney replied. “They had sons who lost their lives, quite honestly, from trying to live probably under the pressure of having someone famous as their father.” (Jonathan Peck died in 1975; Scott Newman died in 1978.)
Clooney continued, “I think there’s an advantage for me. I’m a lot older than they were. My son’s isn’t ever going to feel competitive with me. I’ll be gumming my bread by the time he’d feel competitive with me. So that kind of goes out the window a little bit.”
He said Amal, 43, is the true shining star in the family, saying, “My wife is such an accomplished human being on so many levels. The work she does and how hard she works at it. It will always be something that will be difficult for either of our kids to live up to in a much more important way.”
Clooney said instead they’ll guide their children to be good citizens — and ones that care about humanity.
“It’s our job to make sure that they care about people and that they challenge people in power — and look out for people who don’t have power,” he said. “Those are the things I was raised with.”
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