Amal & George in baby heaven
Parenthood suits power couple George and Amal Clooney who’ve been holed up while getting to know their pigeon pair
HE USED to be one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, a practical joker of note and a lad about town living it up with his posse of pals. Everything he did was in the pursuit of his own pleasure and he was, by his own admission, rather self-centred.
But life is rather different these days for George Clooney (56). Gone are his days as the dashing Hollywood heart-throb – in fact, these days he barely acts at all.
His life now revolves around family and in a matter of months the silver-haired superstar has done a complete 180, thanks to two tiny people called Ella and Alexander. The twins he had with wife Amal (39) are the centre of his universe – and for the first time he’s opened up about what being a father means to him.
“It’s never been part of my DNA,” he told The Hollywood Reporter magazine. “The first thing you think is, ‘I hope I don’t screw this up.’ But I’m a very good diaper guy, which I didn’t know I would be.”
The house is filled with the warm sounds of babies, he added. “You should see when my friends show up and see me change a diaper, the laughter that comes from them. I go, ‘I know, I know’. I’ve given them so much s**t for so many years I deserve every bit of it.”
Being a parent has a way of bringing you down to earth, he said. “I have to clean the barf off my tux. It used to be my barf but now it’s the twins’ barf. So it all works out.”
The award-winning actor-director revealed he and his legal eagle wife had never even discussed having kids until after they were married.
“There was an assumption that we didn’t want them,” he said. “And then, after the wedding, Amal and I were talking and we just felt we’d gotten very lucky, both of us, and we should share whatever good luck we’ve got. It would seem selfcentred to just have that belong to us.”
So they decided to take the plunge and Amal fell pregnant – without fertility drugs, which she was widely rumoured to have used.
George has also reflected on how much his life has changed since becoming a dad, saying reality didn’t bite until the moment the babies were born.
“I suppose the realest moment is just the minute they came out,” he says. “None of it’s real until all of a sudden they’re standing there covered in slime and crying. You’re like, wait a minute, what’s that? We were just two and now we’re four.
“Everything changes pretty quickly.”
AS ALWAYS, George – who, after a short-lived marriage in his twenties, vowed he’d never tie the knot again – has been full of praise for his gorgeous wife. “She’s like an Olympic athlete. She’s doing so beautifully.”
The ultra-private couple have been holed up in their lakeside mansion, Villa Oleandra on the banks of Lake Como in Italy, since the birth of their twins.
After releasing a simple statement expressing their joy at the birth of their son and daughter, they’ve mostly kept to themselves, retreating to the confines of the lavish hideaway George bought in 2002 and which is now reportedly worth $100 million (R1,3 billion).
The past few months have been “an overwhelmingly joyous time” for both of them, Amal’s mother, Baria Alamuddin, told American magazine People.
“Seeing these two angels, these stunningly beautiful babies cuddled together, and seeing the joy on Amal and George’s faces, is one of those deep, beautiful feelings you can’t express in words,” the doting grandmother said soon after the birth of the twins.
Amal and George took to their new roles naturally, Baria added. “You just look at them and you feel like they’ve been a mother and father for their whole lives.”
George’s dad, Nick, seemed to agree – although he added his son wasn’t as at ease in his new role as his wife was. “Amal looked
great. George looked more harried.”
Nick also divulged his granddaughter and grandson were full of energy and both had dark hair. “They’re both very active,” he said.
George and Amal have been highly protective of their babies, shielding them from public view in their lavish Italian hidy-hole.
So they were enraged when a French tabloid managed to sneak pics of the babies at home. George and Amal vowed to sue the publication which, George said, had violated their privacy and compromised the safety of their precious twins.
“Photographers scaled our fence, climbed our tree and illegally took pictures of our infants inside our home,” the couple said in a statement after the pictures were published.
“Make no mistake, the photographers, the agency and the magazine will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The safety of our children demands it.”
The magazine hit back with a statement of their own. “People love George Clooney and have been following his life story for years now. The birth of their twins, Ella and Alexander, has also been commented on a lot, by themselves and their families. Those pictures do not endanger Mr Clooney, his wife or their kids.”
THE pictures were shot from far away and Ella and Alexander’s features were impossible to discern – which means we’ve yet to see what the Clooney kids look like. They’re bound to be beautiful though – how could they not be with two of the most genetically blessed people on the planet as their parents?
George is hoping they’ve inherited their mother’s brains. Before the twins arrived, high-flying human rights lawyer Amal was making headlines with her high-profile cases – most notably her representation of the victims of Yazidi genocide, including former Isis sex slave and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad.
Amal’s work in this case is groundbreaking – it’s the first time anyone has tried to prosecute the militant group.
“We know there’s a military campaign going on where Isis is being taken on on the battlefield,” Amal said in March, soon after delivering an impassioned speech to the UN Security Council in New York. “What we want is to see Isis members also in a courtroom.” George is clearly super-supportive of his wife’s crusade – and he’s keen to get involved in any way he can. He’s even opened up his residence in his hometown in Kentucky to a Yazidi refugee from Iraq, who’s now a student at the University of Chicago.
“He survived and came to America. He got through all the checks, and once he got through those, it was like, ‘Listen, we’ve got your back. You want to get an education? You want to move your life forward? This is something that we can do’.”
With major cases such as these on the go, Amal hasn’t indicated when she’ll go back to work. Her actor-director husband, on the other hand, seems content
‘[Alexander] just sits and he eats. [Ella is] very elegant and all eyes’
to let her fly and give his work a backseat.
While a film he directed – the thriller Suburbicon, which stars Hollywood heavyweights Julianne Moore and Matt Damon – is due to debut in October, George has been candid that for him the bright lights of Hollywood have lost a bit of their allure.
“I’m in an interesting place in my life,” he says. “I’m acting almost never – for a lot of reasons, mostly because I don’t have any great interest in it and haven’t read anything [good enough].
“If somebody showed up with [1982 courtroom drama] The Verdict, I’d jump, but it’s not all that often you get those kinds of scripts. And if you’re not going to get those there’s no real point at this stage in my career.”
DESPITE the fact the twins are their whole universe now, the power couple are managing to make a few cameo appearances in the outside world – as they did at the recent Venice Film Festival.
Amal looked gorgeous, as always, in a polka-dot dress by Italian designer Ermanno Scervino, which she paired with classic black stiletto heels and a pop of red lipstick for her first appearance at the event. In another, she was ethereal in a lavender chiffon Versace gown.
Just three months after giving birth to her pigeon pair, Amal was her super-svelte self in both her sensational outfits.
While she didn’t seem to gain an extra ounce during her pregnancy, reports have claimed the new mom has adhered to a strict healthy eating and exercise plan since giving birth.
Apparently it’s all down to the Beirutborn beauty’s special Mediterranean fish diet, which sees her munching on salmon and mackerel twice a day, an insider says.
“Breakfast is usually seaweed soup and sometimes a boiled egg, and for lunch and dinner Amal has fish and chickpeas plus hummus on a wholegrain cracker.”
The hotshot lawyer is also meticulous about working out. “She walks for an hour each day, along with 20 minutes of weightlifting every second day and 30 minutes of Pilates on the other days.”
She has yet to utter a public word about her babies but George couldn’t resist opening up a little when asked about the tots in an interview for his new movie.
“They start out with a personality right off the bat,” he said. “Alexander is a thug already,” he added, turning to his longtime on-screen cohort Matt Damon.
“You saw him. He’s a moose! Literally, he just sits and he eats.”
Matt, who has four kids of his own, agreed. “He looks like he could be a bouncer right now, at some place in Hollywood.”
Little Ella, on the other hand, already seems to be taking after her stylish mom. “She’s very elegant and all eyes,” George said. “She looks like Amal, thank God.”
Then it was back to business. Suburbicon, which explores the dark racial tensions of ’50s suburbia, is set to hit screens in October and the Oscar winner says the film is particularly poignant in Donald Trump’s America.
“It’s a pretty angry film,” he said. “There’s a lot of anger out there. I think that’s reflected in the film. I found it interesting to talk about building walls and scapegoating minorities.
“I think that’s always an interesting topic but particularly when I was hearing these conversations on the campaign trail.
“I thought, it’s always good to look back and remember that nothing is really new, and every time we’re shocked we forget that we’ve had this behaviour time and time and time again.”
Which is all very sobering. But when are we finally going to see the babies?
FAR LEFT: All eyes were on Amal in her lilac Versace gown at the recent Venice Film Festival, where George’s latest film, Suburbicon, premiered. ABOVE LEFT and ABOVE RIGHT: The Clooneys were recently spotted leaving the Cipriani Hotel in Venice to board a boat on the city’s famous waterways with Ella and Alexander in tow – but the protective parents didn’t manage to keep their tots away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi (LEFT). RIGHT: The couple were all smiles on a night out at Harry’s Bar in Cernobbio for which Amal donned an exquisite shimmering floor-length dress.
ABOVE LEFT and ABOVE RIGHT: George and his gorgeous wife were as loved up as ever as they enjoyed a dinner date in Bellagio, Italy, last month. LEFT: Amal showed off her slender figure in a flattering black-andwhite striped jumpsuit as they headed out for another adults-only dinner.
The glamorous couple were snapped strolling to dinner hand in hand.
LEFT: In a speech she gave in New York, Amal urged Iraq and other nations not to let Isis get away with genocide. ABOVE: George on the set of Suburbicon, which he directed. The film will hit South African screens in November.