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Marriage and fatherhood have given George Clooney a new perspective on life, work and the world we all share. While his young twins play outside, he talks about outsmarting war criminals, battles with Boris and dinnertime debates with Amal. D ad-chat with George Clooneyfather of two. Clooney rubs at his two-day beard, anxious, fond. He wears a fawn-coloured polo shirt and he has his grey hair cropped short. I think I notice that slightly wild-eyed look of someone still marvelling at the fact of their parenthood, and I ask him, is he a scaredy-cat dad, always trailing behind his children with his arms outstretched in case they fall?
Or is he a let-them-fall-to-learn-about-the-hard-truths-of-the-world sort of dad? Nobody wants to be neglectful of safety.
Not because your parents were bad parents. Clooney, who is always looking for the humour in things, but is ready and eager to be intellectually engaged, is spoken about wistfully by interviewers as the Goldilocks of celebrity conversation. Never too reserved. Never too much. He is a good and open communicator of himself and his story.
His sentences tend to be crisp. If we all got second or third attempts at conversations, we would all sound like George Clooney. Lockdown has necessitated space-sharing and reconfiguration in our flat. Clooney understands.
The Clooneys — his wife Amal is a well-known lawyer and human rights advocate — have spent almost all of the lockdown in the Hollywood home George bought back in the s, when he first became famous in the hospital drama ER.
As Clooney went on to have more and more success, as an actor in movies working most profitably with directors Steven Soderbergh and the Coen Brothersas a director himself seven movies sinceand latterly as a businessman he sold a tequila company in for hundreds of millions of dollarsmore residences have been added. But this one in the Hollywood Hills, with its three bedrooms, three carports, office-turned-nursery and tennis court currently serving as a bicycle speedway, is home.
I ended up having a successful career. I wound up living in a home with some space in it. We can walk around outside. But do we know that? The nearterm needs of children and the longterm prospects for the world: these are the driving themes of a new movie that Clooney has made for Netflix.
The Midnight Skywhich Clooney directs as well as stars in, tells the story of a future world in collapse. There, he has to Edwards Colorado breakstaying up late anyone want to chat after a seven-year-old girl who has been left in his care, while also trekking across the melting ice to get to a satellite station and warn a team of astronauts not to return to their doomed planet. One of the astronauts is pregnant.
Clooney wanted to combine the thrills of the space blockbuster Gravity with the more patient, landbound, quest-based The Revenant. But the melancholy, elegiac, goodbye-to-planet-Earth tone works, and the ending kept me awake for a night. The environment. The wobbly state of global politics. Nothing yet, says Clooney. Go and show it to Mom. Mom, during lockdown, has been working on the case of a journalist from the Philippines, Maria Ressawho was found guilty of libel and faces years in prison.
We talk. It was one of the stranger interactions between politics and showbusiness. Clooney had been on the promotional trail, talking about his new movie and explaining that he saw this apocalypse story, set 30 years in the future, as a playing-forward of current events. Climate crisis. The Hungarian government issued a statement calling Clooney a fool for speaking out of turn.
He groans. The people who are exposing crime and corruption are being put in jail. And the people committing the crimes are free. So — yeah! But to make their world better. Clooney grew up in Kentucky, on the fringes of show business. His aunt, Rosemary, was a well-known singer and actor who appeared in White Christmas with Bing Crosby. His father, Nick, was a radio broadcaster and television anchorman. Make your mistakes. These are the two silliest examples from his back catalogue and I pick them out because they bookend his emergence to fame, which came from playing Dr Doug Ross on the late-Thursday-night hospital drama ER.
It started broadcasting in Pretty soon, something like 40m people were staying up until Opportunities everywhere, the newly famous Clooney made a trio of movies, between andthat shaped so much of what was to come over the next 25 years. Though audiences were most used to seeing him as a saucy hospital doctor, Clooney was oddly plausible in this role.
But not a genre he would revisit more than once. It had worked really well when he played a charming crook in From Dusk Till Dawn. So he did this over and over again. Out of Sight , crook. In Michael Clayton  I was a crook. In andClooney was in a couple more acclaimed movies, Up in the Air and The Descendantsand in he was perfect as a slightly sleazy, ultimately heroic spaceman opposite Sandra Bullock in Gravity.
Up to he was working a lot. Through his most productive professional decades he was mostly single, and obsessive about being busy. In cash. Now Clooney tells me another story, about the very earliest weeks of his relationship with Amal then Alamuddin, in February Innocently enough he now insistsClooney had mentioned a belief that the United Kingdom might return the Parthenon marbles to Greece.
Bit of a stretch. But he said my comments about the Marbles made me an art thief like Hitler was an art thief. Because Amal and I were secretly dating at the time. No one knew.
And I was meeting Amal for dinner that night. So listen. Gave me all this info. That dinner discussing Boris and Hitler set the template, in a way, for the family-table conversations they would be having seven years later, in lockdown. George and Amal against the rakes and the bullies of the world stage. In the nearer term it set them on their way to marriage, in Italy in September Looked at one way, I say to Clooney, you owe everything — your marriage, your kids, your present state of domestic contentment — to Boris Johnson.
A thank you note. And a comb. With Amal, Clooney set up a foundation in with the intention of holding to international figures who have abused human rights. One of the things the foundation does is try to help on financial sanctions for those who profit from war crimes. Clooney really, really likes this bit. People who are supposed to be safeguarding their people and, instead, are profiteering while those people are murdered?
Is she single? And to see that become president, it felt as though the world had gone crazy. After four years of some pretty insane stuff coming out of the United States, there is some normalcy. Clooney rubs his beard and stretches his neck. Outside, riding up and down on their bicycles, his twins could be up to anything by now. It has. I believe that with my whole heart. At last he leans into his camera. He raises an eyebrow.
The Midnight Sky is in select cinemas now, and on Netflix from 23 December. Environment Climate change Wildlife Energy Pollution.
The Observer Film. Tom Lamont. Sun 13 Dec Reuse this content.Edwards Colorado breakstaying up late anyone want to chat
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