Many Hollywood stars maintain security details to protect their safety, but George Clooney says his family faces an extra level of danger due to his wife’s legal efforts on behalf of a woman who alleges she was kidnapped by ISIS.
In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, the 58-year-old actor-director admits that wife Amal Clooney’s work bringing charges against the Islamic State to French courts has led him to ramp up security due to the added threat.
The discussion began when Clooney was asked if he regrets his fame. “No, because I have a pretty good life, right?” Clooney responded. “I have a beautiful wife and two beautiful kids, and I get to work on things I want to work on, and, I have to say, most people don’t get to do that, I’m well aware of it.”
He did contend that there are some things about his pre-fame life that he looks back on fondly, prior to his star-making role on hit TV medical drama “ER”.
“There are things I miss, because the kind of fame that hit me was a very different kind of fame than movie stars,” he explained of his “ER” stardom. “I was in 40 million people’s bedrooms, and they could make you talk or not talk with a remote, so they knew me personally.”
That level of fame, he added, is “the kind where going to a ballgame and sitting out with the gang isn’t really possible — it’s distracting for everybody else, and not necessarily fun for me. I miss some of that. My wife and I wanted to walk our kids in Central Park, and that’s just not possible. We tried, but we walk out the door and everybody surrounds them. And there’s a bounty on my kids’ head for a photo, so that’s something that we are very conscious of. Everything changes when you have two kids on how you have to protect them.”
However, when ISIS enters the picture, that brings on a whole other level of security concerns.
“My wife is taking the first case against ISIS to court, so we have plenty of issues — real, proper security issues — that we have to deal with on a fairly daily basis,” said Clooney. “We don’t really want our kids to be targets, so we have to pay attention to that. But, you know, we also live our lives. We don’t hide in corners.”