George Clooney certainly doesn’t need an introduction. When we hear the dashing actor-director’s name, his countless film credits – and celebrity friends! – instantly come to mind. That’s why we couldn’t wait to see him sit down with his pal David Letterman for the host’s new Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
The 56-year-old star is just the second guest to appear on the show (he follows former U.S. President Barack Obama, who starred in the inaugural episode). George’s revealing conversation with the former late-night personality, 70, covers everything from growing up in Kentucky to meeting and marrying his incredibly accomplished wife, Amal Clooney, 40, in 2014. Here’s what we learned about the charismatic new dad from his latest interview.
The onetime Hollywood bachelor met his future wife at his home in Italy. “I didn’t leave the house,” he says. “It was the wildest thing. A mutual friend of ours said, ‘I’m stopping by, can I bring my friend?’” Before she arrived, George says his agent called him and predicted he’d marry Amal. She also ended up meeting the star’s parents, Nick and Nina Clooney, who happened to be visiting.
“We stayed up all night talking,” says George of that first meeting. “I got her email address because she was going to send me some pictures of my parents. We started writing and I didn’t know if she wanted to go out with me, I just thought we were buddies.”
George admitted he used his dog, Einstein, to help win over Amal. He’d write her letters that were seemingly from his pet. “I would write letters to her from Einstein saying, ‘I’m being held hostage and I need a lawyer to get me out of the room.’”
According to George, it was tough to plan a dream date that could measure up to his wife’s impressive work. While working on a movie score, he invited Amal to join him at historic London recording studio Abbey Road. “[It’s] a cool thing, you’ve got a 150-piece orchestra and I thought, ‘If you’re ever going to impress somebody…’” When he invited her, she was in a meeting with an organization with alleged ties to terrorism. Considering the impact of his wife’s work – in the interview he describes her as the first to bring ISIS to court – George says: “So she left this meeting… and we’re here just doing a dumb movie score.”
The eventual Oscar winner got his start appearing alongside his dad on The Nick Clooney Show. He remembers dressing up as the Easter Bunny and getting interviewed by his dad on camera just in time for Easter. He’d also share the spotlight with his father at his parents’ cocktail parties. “I remember my dad would tell a risqué joke and at eight [years old], I’d say the punch line and everyone would laugh.”
TWO STRIKES, HE’S OUT
“I was a good baseball player. I really thought that was going to be my future,” says George, who tried out for the Cincinnati Reds two years in a row. When the host suggests that the star’s athletic past might impress Amal, George thinks otherwise. “She really doesn’t even understand what baseball is, so it wouldn’t work with her.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Nick wasn’t the only Clooney family member with experience being in the public eye. George says he wasn’t close with his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, but was aware of her fame. While acting as her driver, the actor-director says he “got an education.” Meanwhile, it was his cousin, the late actor Miguel Ferrer, who got him his first part as an extra on a film set.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
George inherited his willingness to give back from his father. He recalls spending Christmas mornings as a kid visiting a family in need and giving their children presents. “Before we could open any presents or anything, we’d drive an hour to some stranger’s home. I remember going in and cleaning their kitchen,” says George. Looking back, he says, “It informs how you’re going to continue on.”
DOING THEIR PART
It’s clear that George’s entire family is passionate about human rights. In addition to their sit-down interview, David also visits the actor’s parents in Kentucky, where he meets Hazim Avdal, an Iraqi refugee they’ve sponsored. Amal appears via Facetime to share her first impressions of Hazim, and how touched she was by his story.
MOM KNOWS BEST
Since welcoming twins Ella and Alexander in June, George has been in awe of his wife. “She is this remarkable human being and now mother, which is something I suppose you should assume she would be wonderful at as well,” he says. “When you see it in person, it makes you feel incredibly proud.”
IT TAKES TWO
While he hopes his twins will be protective of one another as they grow up, these days, George says one concern is getting them to sleep in sync. “One wakes the other one,” he tells David, with a laugh.
FINDING TRUE LOVE
“I met someone who I would absolutely trade my life for,” says George of meeting Amal. “I met someone that her life meant more to me than my life, and I’d never had that experience before. I’ve had some lovely people in my life, but this was different.”
CHEERS TO CASAMIGOS
Before George and his good friend Rande Gerber started their tequila business, Casamigos, they were neighbours in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The pals had adjoining houses and started looking at local tequilas they could sip while they were on holiday. After two years spent sampling different varieties, George says, “We got one and made Christmas presents for our friends.” Soon, their business was born.
While he’s devoted much of his time lately to producing and directing, the star says you may not have seen the last of him on screen. He tells David: “If I find a great part, I’ll do it.“