George Clooney's latest film was a grueling experience. The 59-year-old actor stars in Midnight Sky, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama, for which he had lost over 20-plus pounds. Clooney, however, was hospitalized with pancreatitis just four days before he was set to start filming after he suffered severe stomach pains, ET has learned.
The film, shot in Iceland and directed by Clooney, sees him as a lone scientist trying to contact a crew of astronauts who are returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe. Clooney -- who made a full recovery -- told the UK's Mirror, "I think I was trying too hard to lose the weight quickly and probably wasn’t taking care of myself.”
"It took a few weeks to get better and as a director, it’s not so easy because you need energy," he added. "We were out on this glacier in Finland, which made it a lot harder work. But it certainly helped with the character."
"I had lost about 25 pounds for this, so I was pretty weak," the father-of-two revealed. "I did not need a fitness trainer. At that point I was trying to stay at that spot, which is not eating and it's a lot harder the older you get, to do those things, to transform yourself in a way."
"So it gets tricky," he said. "It gets really easy to put weight on and a lot harder to take it off."
Clooney also opened up about how the film’s story made him think about the legacy he’s leaving to his children, and the ways fatherhood might evolve for him as he gets older. Clooney shares 3-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander, with his wife, Amal Clooney.
"When you are having children, it makes you [think] infinitely even more [about] what we are leaving them, what legacy we are leaving them, if we are going to deny science, if we are going to have a world of divisiveness and anger and hatred, not just in this country, but all around the world, and what those elements can lead to if they are allowed to fester," he expressed. "I certainly am aware of it when I am telling the story... It gets sort of put on steroids when you have kids."
The Midnight Sky will begin streaming on Netflix Dec. 23. The film will be available in select theaters beginning this month. Hear more of what Clooney shared with ET about his experience in the video below.