George Clooney Explains Why He Turned Down $35 Million for One Day of Work
By Paige Gawley
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George Clooney is opening up about turning down millions. In an interview with The Guardian, the 60-year-old actor revealed why he passed on $35 million for one day of work.
"I was offered $35 million for one day’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to [my wife] Amal [Clooney] about it and we decided it’s not worth it," he explains. "It was [associated with] a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times, and so I thought: 'Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.'"
Clooney and his human rights lawyer wife tied the knot in 2014, after the actor had spent years living the bachelor lifestyle.
"I’d been dating for quite a while," he says of life before his better half. "But she’s a very impressive person! She’s beautiful, smart, funny and we fell in love right away and got married after six months. And now we’re having such a great time."
Years after their wedding, the pair welcomed twins, Alexander and Ella, in 2017. The now-4-year-old tots' names were purposefully old-fashioned, Clooney says.
"We talked about it from the beginning and said: 'Their lives are going to be unusual, right? There’s no denying that. So let’s give them a head start by giving them normal names,'" Clooney explains.
Clooney notes that his kids "are so different," so much so "it's like night and day."
"Alexander loves to laugh and Ella’s very serious, always making sure everybody plays by the rules," he says. "They really are born with their personalities!"
Those are personalities that the Clooneys get to see firsthand often, as they don't have several full-time nannies, as one might expect.
"We don’t, because it’s so important to Amal [to be involved]," he says. "We have a nanny four days a week and the rest of the time it’s just us. And during lockdown it was just us -- for a full year! I felt like my mother in 1964, doing dishes and six loads of laundry a day."
As they grow, Clooney knows that his kids will face a lot of pressure thanks to the careers of their parents, something he hopes to mitigate.
"The pressures on a son of a famous man are a lot. But I have an advantage, which is that I’m considerably older, so the competitive juices will be different," he says. "I’ll be 75 when my son will be in any way compared to me, so it won’t be the same vibe."
"Also," Clooney continues, "it is very important to Amal and me that they grow up knowing that their own path is the only way, and they have nothing to live up to but their own expectations."
As for his career path, Clooney says he doesn't feel pressure to act, and is careful not to overbook himself.
"In general, there just aren’t that many great parts -- and, look, I don’t have to act," he says. "My wife and I had this conversation when I turned 60 this summer. I said: 'I can still bounce around pretty good, and we both love what we do. But we gotta make sure we don’t book ourselves silly.' So, part of it is just us making sure we live our lives."
He is, however, directing, including the upcoming Ben Affleck-led film The Tender Bar.
"The whole country, for the last five years, has been engaged in hate and anger, and I’ve been part of it at times," he says while discussing the movie. "I’ve been angry, and this was such a kind story. It’s such a gentle film, and I wanted to be part of that, and I thought maybe an audience would want to be part of a gentle experience."