George Clooney on his life in Berkshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 June 2020
Credit: Newscom / Alamy Stock Photo
George and Amal Clooney have often put their money where their concerns are and recently they donated nearly a million pounds to various global organisations fighting the coronavirus, including the NHS. We are proud to call them neighbours.
George Clooney has never been anything less than quality in his looks, his speech and his work. So when he wanted a home to share with his family
it is no surprise that he would choose somewhere that reflected his whole approach to life.
Where else would he pick other than beautiful Sonning?
“It was love at first sight,” said George. “It needed some tender, loving care but I knew it would be a wonderful family home for us and it is on such a marvellous spot, a beautiful part of the Thames surrounded by countryside right by Sonning, which is a delight in itself and yet we would be only 40 miles from London. I couldn’t resist it.”
In fact, George paid £10 million and spent even more on making it the perfect home for his wife, Amal and their twins, Ella and Alexander. George wanted the best and he got it – another success for one of the world’s most popuar actors.
But he is also generous with his money. The couple have recently donated more than £807,000 to the coronavirus relief effort. It it thought they have donated money to the NHS, the relief effort in Italy and the Lebanese Food Bank, as well as Los Angeles film and motion picture agencies.
George rose to fame when he appeared in ER, which pulled in huge viewing figures all over the world.
“It is definitely fair to say that ER was my big break and if it was not for being in ER I probably would not have had the success I have enjoyed since. Anyone in this crazy industry will tell you that you need breaks and when ER came along I certainly got one,” he said. “I am still amazed at the response – the letters, cards and even some proposals. Mind you, most of that mail was addressed to my character, Doug Ross, so I’m not sure if it was really me they liked.”
George’s sense of fun is almost as legendary as himself and he certainly never takes himself too seriously. He does take his work seriously though, especially behind the cameras.
“I have always been fascinated by the creation of movies,” he said. “When I first became an actor I was at least as much interested in how the whole thing worked as being in front of the cameras. I have always liked to know how things worked and the more I learned about production, the more absorbed I became.”
Away from the red carpets, film sets and awards, George is one of the most down-to-earth international stars of all time. “I’ve always tried to keep on being myself and if someone stops for an autograph or a photo I try to oblige – I see it as a compliment that they want to have their picture taken with me,” he said. “Without people taking an interest in you, as far as this business is concerned, you are nothing. It’s a shame that fame comes before talent but that is the main thing that keeps people coming to cinemas and watching TV.”
George has been both actor and director as well as producer of his latest film, Good Morning, Midnight, which hits our screens later this year. He has also been actor and in charge of production of his TV mini-series, Catch-22.
“I was a big fan of Joseph Heller’s novel and felt that we just had to do a TV series,” said George. “It is the same with Good Morning, Midnight. The book was written by Lily Brooks-Dalton and really lends itself to becoming a movie, so here we are.”
While waiting for the film to be screened and considering his next role, George is enjoying his family life in Berkshire. “The twins are growing and the older they get the more fun they become,” he said. “I am a happy man.”
What a house
The Clooney’s family home is not just a house, it is a manor set in four acres on an island at Sonning and what a place it is. The basic structure is enhanced by the most tasteful of improvements both inside and out.
As a barrister, Amal has her own office, as immaculate as the rest of the property, which maintains its supreme English manor house look while including a private cinema, a beautiful formal dining room with seating for 10 around the lengthy table residing under an immaculate crystal chandelier.
The master bathroom is exquisite with its marble floor and walls. Outside there is a circular bulding, which can only be described as a spa and party zone.
It is a beautiful home and exactly that – a family home, not just a showpiece. “It’s where I hang my hat,” said George. “We also have a boat house and a motorboat, which we take out on thre river now and then. It’s great fun and this is a lovely part of the world for messing about on the river...”