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George Clooney recalls proposing to wife Amal: 'I was on my knee for like 20 minutes'

Megan Johnson
·3-min read
Actor George Clooney opened up to CBS Sunday Morning about how he found himself happily married with two children. (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Actor George Clooney opened up to CBS Sunday Morning about how he found himself happily married with two children. (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

George Clooney has come a long way from die-hard bachelor to devoted family man.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning to promote his new Netflix film, The Midnight Sky, Clooney, 59, reflected on how marrying his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, and becoming a parent to two young children overhauled every aspect of his life.

“There is no question that having Amal in my life changed everything for me, no question about that," Clooney told CBS correspondent Tracy Smith. "It was the first time that everything that she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything about me.”

Read more: George Clooney thought he’d broken his neck in motorcycle crash

The couple married in Italy in 2014, and went on to have two children, 3-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella. But Clooney, who was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993, claims the couple’s whirlwind romance and subsequent parenthood weren’t something he predicted would happen.

Amal Clooney and George Clooney attend the Catch 22 - TV Series premiere at the Vue Westfield, Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Amal Clooney and George Clooney attend the Catch 22 - TV Series premiere at the Vue Westfield, Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"And then we had these two knuckleheads, and it is very fulfilling, and it's something I wasn't at all — didn't see coming. So, you know, we never talked about marriage when we were dating,” he shared. “And I asked her outta the blue. Took her a long time to say yes. I was on my knee for like 20 minutes. I finally said, 'Look, I'm gonna throw my hip out.' We told that story to her parents, and they're like, 'There's something wrong with his hip?'"

When the couple went on to plan a family, discovering that they were expecting twins proved to be quite a shock.

Watch: George Clooney opens up on life with family during lockdown

"And we never talked about having kids. And then one day we just said, 'What do you think?' And, you know, then we go to the doctor and, you know, you do the ultrasound and like, 'Hey, you got a baby boy.' I said, 'Baby boy, fantastic!' Then they go, 'And you got another one there.' And I was like … I was up for one, you know? 'Cause, again, I'm old. All of a sudden it's, like, two? And I literally — you know, it's hard to get me to not talk,” joked Clooney. “And I just stood there for like 10 minutes, just staring at this piece of paper going … two … silently. But I'm so glad they have each other, you know?"

Read more: Jennifer Lawrence’s family farm burns down

Like the rest of us, Clooney has been hunkered down at home with his family throughout the quarantine period. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a bit of a challenge.

"It's been a while since I did, you know, 15 loads of laundry in a day and mopped floors and, you know, all these doors over here I stained!” he shared, gesturing to his garage doors. “You know, I always say I felt like my mother in 1964, 'cause she had two kids and no help. And I don't know how she did it now. I have more sympathy for her now than ever."