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

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - COM­PILED BY KIRSTIN BUICK

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.

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