If someone offered to pay you $35 million for a day’s work, what would you do? For most people, that opportunity is too good to pass up, especially as everything they want and need is getting more expensive due to inflation caused by supply chain issues, so they would most likely take it (because, it’s, well $35 million dollars). Other people simply walk away from it because they don’t want the job to be a waste of their precious time. The Batman star George Clooney is one of those people who turned down the big paycheck for that reason and more.
In an interview with The Guardian about directing his new film The Tender Bar, George Clooney was asked whether he feels he has “enough money now” for the time of his life he is stepping into, as he had turned 60 over the summer. He revealed that he turned down $35 million to star in a commercial because he and his wife Amal Clooney decided it just wasn’t worth losing any sleepover. “I was offered $35 million for one’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal about it and we decided it’s not worth it.”
George Clooney added the airline the commercial is based on “was [associated with] a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times, so I thought, ‘Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.'” He didn’t specify which country the airline or the commercial is aligned with. Either way, it’s good to know where his values lie.
Last year, George Clooney starred in and directed the Netflix exclusive film, The Midnight Sky. It’s a sci-fi epic in which he plays a lone scientist who protects a child as he journeys through the Arctic to stop a crew of astronauts from returning to Earth. A global catastrophe wiped out most of the human population and has rendered the planet unlivable. It was his first acting role four years after Hail, Caesar! and Money Monster.
As for why he’s appearing on screen less frequently, George Clooney said that it boils down to the availability of roles — or the apparent lack thereof — and ensuring that he gets to live the most out of life away from the screen and the camera. He even mentioned that he talked with Amal, 43, upon his 60th birthday about rethinking how they pick and choose what they do and how much. He said he loves his job and can still get around remarkably well, but at the same time, he and his wife have to make sure they don’t book too many jobs.
Last month, George Clooney appeared on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast and made a similar statement, telling the host that he and Amal are rethinking how they approach their jobs and talking about prioritizing their family over their careers in the near future, especially at his age. He elaborated that they’re both working a lot and that they have to make sure they cut down on their screen time and going on locations. “Sixty is a number but I’ve done all the physicals, knock on wood, in good shape. I feel healthy,” he said. “Sixty, you can kind of beat the devil a little bit, 80 you can’t and that’s 20 years from now. Twenty years happens in a flash, and faster as you get older.”
George Clooney’s upcoming directorial film The Tender Bar, starring Ben Affleck, opens in select theaters on December 17. It will premiere nationwide on December 22, and stream on Prime Video on January 7, 2022.