Ahead of being honored by the Kennedy Center on Sunday, the 61-year-old leading man and director recalled having seen an image of “this old gray-haired guy from the back” at the premiere of his movie Ticket to Paradise. He wondered who it could possibly be, before realizing that it was him.
It was a change from Clooney’s first roles in the 1980s, when his good looks were front and center as he appeared as a recurring character on popular sitcoms The Facts of Life and Roseanne.
Clooney directed, co-wrote and co-starred in that 2005 film, which is set in the early days of broadcast TV as CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow works to expose Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s lies during his infamous hunt for communists. The movie, only Clooney’s second to direct, was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture, best actor and best original screenplay.
He wants to spend more time with his wife Amal, 44, and their 5-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander, while he’s young enough to enjoy it.
He said that, for a while, he mistakenly thought that he needed to work more to have a full life.
In the case of the former, he noted that the late Paul Newman did what he aspires to do.
Besides headlining Ticket to Paradise, the romantic comedy in which he and friend Julia Roberts played a divorced couple, in October, he’s directing the upcoming drama The Boys in the Boat, which recounts the underdog story of the rowing team at the University of Washington winning the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.