Friday 15 September 2017

I'd Given Up On Being Dad... But Now I've Got Twins And They Make Me Cry Four Times A Day, Says An Exhausted (and VERY honest) George Clooney

George Clooney opens up about fatherhood
Via - Dailymail

On a bright morning at the Toronto Film Festival, George Clooney - in town to promote the new film Suburbicon, his first directorial effort since the ill-fated The Monuments Men in 2014 - has made it all of a yard into the Ritz Carlton Hotel room before he is showing baby photographs. 'Get a load of this!' he urges, beaming from ear to ear as he thrusts his mobile phone into my face. He is thinner than he was and has new-dad shadows under his eyes. But the source of his joy is immediately apparent in the two ridiculously adorable three-month-olds in the picture - a big, bonny boy chuckling mischievously into his open fist and a serene little girl with enormous doe eyes.

‘You can tell the boy from the girl, right?’ he chortles, looking fondly at the picture: it is the first time he has been separated from the two babies since they were born. ‘He’s twice the size she is. He’s a moose and she’s just this little tiny beautiful thing. They’re back in LA right now, and their mom sent these pictures this morning.’
Amal and George arrive at the world premiere of Hail, Caesar! in Los Angeles
Ever the professional film-maker, he squints at the shot. ‘She takes a good picture,’ he nods in quiet approval.
The twins certainly look a happy pair. ‘They don’t cry,’ he says, proudly. ‘I cry more than they do. I cry four times a day right now, because I’m so tired. 
Hey, remember back when you were single, before you didn’t have to worry about keeping people alive?’

He sighs, trying, not especially successfully, to affect wistfulness for the time before his family came along. ‘Wasn’t that great?’ he asks.
He is joking, of course, with the nostalgia act. But later, over a cup of coffee, he agrees that since June 6 this year, when he and his wife Amal, 39, were joined by babies Alexander and Ella, his life has changed in ways he could not have predicted.
‘Although I wasn’t completely unaware of what life would be like,’ he puts in. ‘All my friends have kids and I’m godfather to about 20 of them, so I knew what I was in for. 
The surprise for me was how much more complicated twins is than just the one — it’s not just twice as much work, it’s more than that. And it’s not even so much work for me, because these two knuckleheads don’t even care that I exist right now!
‘All they want to do is eat, so I have nothing to give them except a bottle once in a while (expertly, he crooks his elbow to mimic picking up and feeding an infant) and they’re happy about that, but it’s mostly Amal for them at the moment. I don’t even really understand what’s going on.
‘And I have such admiration for my wife because she’s breastfeeding them and getting about two hours of sleep per interval, and the love they have for her is a sight to see and it’s beautiful.’
George Clooney and Amal Clooney walk the red carpet ahead of the 'Suburbicon' screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival earlier this month
George Clooney and Amal Clooney walk the red carpet ahead of the 'Suburbicon' screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival earlier this month
The other side of the sleepless nights is pure joy. ‘All of this is icing on the cake,’ he says. ‘Look, I’m 56 years old and I didn’t think it was going to happen for me. I thought my life would be focused on my career, not relationships, and I’d sort of accepted that.
‘And then I met Amal and I thought, “Well, I have this incredible relationship, this is wonderful.” And then... all of a sudden we have these two knuckleheads around who make me laugh every day.
‘Really, they’re funny kids. He just eats and eats and sits and goes “uh-uh” and I have never seen anything eat so much in my life.
‘And she’s very delicate and feminine, and she’s all eyes and looks like her mother.
‘I suppose it makes sense that they should be so different, but I hadn’t seen it first hand before and it really makes you realise how much nature is part of who we are.
‘Look, today is the first time since they’ve been born that I’ve been away from them, and my wife’s sending me pictures and I’m sitting here thinking, “God, I wish I was with my kids” — and that’s fun.’
He is not, of course, a young father. ‘I feel like Tony Randall!’ he jokes (of the late U.S. actor who became a first-time father aged 77).
‘Is there a perfect age to become a parent? Look, I left it so late that I’m the last person to talk to about child-raising because I’m no expert. All I can do is play catch-up and hope I’m not on a walker when I’m chasing my grown kids around!’

The idea of George with a Zimmer frame is hard to contemplate.
‘All I know is that I am at last experiencing what most people in the world get to experience, which is the incredible amount of love you gain when you have two children you are responsible for.’
He is also, beneath the jokes, thinking hard about the values with which he will raise the pair.
‘I have always felt a great sense of responsibility to other people in the world, but when you have children of your own, you realise you are responsible for their lives in a way you haven’t been before.
‘And you become conscious that you want to make an example of your own life that they will follow.
‘I want to make sure my children understand they have been given things other children haven’t been by accident of birth.

‘They could just as easily have been born in Syria and their lives would have been completely different.
‘It’s challenging to remind children who have been born into this glass of celebrity and money to have empathy for people who aren’t as fortunate as they are. That’s going to be Amal’s and my job to teach our children, and it’s an important one.’
Although his own father was a television presenter in Kentucky and his beloved Aunt Rosemary was a famous singer, he was certainly not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and says firmly that he never intends to forget that.
‘I grew up in Kentucky, I was a struggling actor for ten years and I have a great understanding of what it’s like to try to make things work.
‘I would buy suits that were too long in the leg, cut the bottoms off and hem them up with a stapler, and use the leftover fabric to make ties for work. I worked cutting tobacco in the fields for three dollars and thirty cents an hour.
‘I sold insurance door to door — cold calls, knock knock, “Hi, do you have whole life insurance? We can turn whole life into term life and you can put the rest of your money into your retirement fund!” Believe me, it’s a terrible job.’

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