Talking honestly is what it’s all about for George Clooney.
The “Out of Sight” actor is one of three stars featured on the new covers of GQ for the magazine’s “Men of the Year” issue, along with Trevor Noah and Megan Thee Stallion.
In the issue, the 59-year-old gets candid about everything from how much “Batman & Robin” sucked, to embracing being a director, and his reaction to the Breonna Taylor case.
“The only way you can honestly talk about things is to include yourself and your shortcomings in those things,” Clooney says. “Like, when I say ‘Batman & Robin’’s a terrible film, I always go, ‘I was terrible in it.’ Because I was. But also because then it allows you the ability to say, ‘Having said I sucked in it, I can also say that none of these other elements worked, either.’ You know?’”
That said, when it comes to facing criticism, Clooney reserves a lot of admiration for Chrissy Teigen and how she deals with trolls online.
“I have much more fun watching Chrissy Teigen,” he says. “Somebody steps into her world and you go, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t do that, dude.’ It’s so much fun. Like somebody who thinks they’re really smart, and you just go, ‘Ugh, dude. You brought a knife to a gunfight.’”
Talking about his gradual move away from acting and toward directing, Clooney says, “I love this business. And I also don’t want to be 60 and worry about what some casting director or some young producer or studio executive thinks about me anymore. I wanted to be involved. Directing is the painter,” he says. “Acting, writing, you know, those are the paints.”
The actor also opens up about becoming a family man in his 50s.
“For 36 years, I was the guy that if some kid popped up and started crying, I’d be like, ‘Are you f**king kidding me?’ And now suddenly I’m the guy with the kid, you know?” he says.
Clooney and his wife Amal have two children together, Alexander and Ella.
“I was like, ‘I’m never getting married. I’m not gonna have kids,’ I’m gonna work, I’ve got great friends, my life is full, I’m doing well. And I didn’t know how un-full it was until I met Amal. And then everything changed,” he says. “And I was like, ‘Oh, actually, this has been a huge empty space…I’d never been in the position where someone else’s life was infinitely more important to me than my own. And then tack on two more individuals, who are small and have to be fed…”
Known for his activism around a number of social and political issues, Clooney also reacts to the lack of indictments handed down in the killing of Breonna Taylor, which saw only one officer charged with endangering others by firing into the walls of neighbouring apartments.
“I can’t believe it,” he says. “There’s not even a manslaughter charge for a woman who was lying in bed and got shot to death.” He rubs his eyes. “Imagine if those were three Black officers and they kicked in the door of a white person’s home and shot and killed the woman, the wife, in bed. Imagine that. F**king ridiculous. You know, it’s just infuriating.”
Adding that while he hopes the protests in his own hometown remain peaceful, Clooney says, “You know, they talk about looting and stuff. Well, there have been an awful lot of Black bodies that have been looted for 400 f**king years.”
Clooney also talks about his widely reported gift of $1 million each to 14 of his friends.
“I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close, and I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will. So why the f**k am I waiting to get hit by a bus?” he says.
“I remember talking to one really rich asshole who I ran into in a hotel in Vegas—certainly a lot richer than I am,” Clooney adds. “And I remember the story had come out, and he was like, ‘Why would you do that?’ And I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t you do that, you schmuck?’”