Today’s open was about Wife Guys and Scaachi Koul’s piece for Buzzfeed about the recent fall of Wife Guys. One of the most famous celebrity Wife Guys used to be Hollywood’s most high-profile bachelor-playboy, a man who’d declared he’d never get married and have kids… and then got married and had TWINS. George Clooney, of course.
Since George married Amal, he’s performed the part of Wife Guy better than almost everyone else – with an assist from the culture. I mean, I think we’ve all heard or read the joke, right? It always a variation on this:
“International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney attended the event with husband George.”
And George encourages it, this is how he speaks about himself now. He’s not the notable one in the marriage, she is.
The Clooneys are in New York right now because tonight they are co-hosting the inaugural Albie Awards honouring Justice Albie Sachs (after whom the awards are named); Filipino journalist Maria Ressa; iAct, an organisation supporting survivors of genocide in refugee camps; Viasna, the Belarusian human rights group; and Dr Josephine Kulea of the Samburu Girls Foundation. Here are the Clooneys talking to Gayle King about the award recipients and their work with The Clooney Foundation for Justice.
But in order to get attention on their causes and real sh-t, the Clooneys understand that they must leverage their celebrity appeal. George has told the story about his dad and Elizabeth Taylor many times before and he repeats it here: his father, Nick, was frustrated because an important global news story was being overshadowed by some headline about Elizabeth Taylor so he suggested that he and his dad go to Sudan together, with his dad doing the reporting and, as George put it, “I’ll be Elizabeth Taylor”. In Amal he’s found a partner who can do the serious legal business but who can also do the Elizabeth Taylor-ing with him.
I say this because the interview on CBS Mornings with Gayle wasn’t just about their activism. George and Amal get that this is an exchange. So they talked about their personal lives too. And this is rare – the Clooneys on camera, together, side by side, chatting about their relationship.
As you can see from the body language, the Clooneys are unapologetically corny, reaching for each other's hands often during the interview. This is their love language, and we’ve observed it on the red carpet too – they’re affectionate and tactile in almost an old-fashioned way.
And apparently they never argue which Amal acknowledges that even their friends and family are annoyed by. Which softens the skepticism because they’re at least somewhat aware of how unrealistic this is after eight years of marriage. But that too plays into the Wife Guy thing for George because when your wife is arguing human rights cases in the highest courts on the planet, how are you ever going to win an argument? I think he’s joked in the past about that too.
But George isn’t just a Wife Guy to his real wife, he’s also a Wife Guy to his Work Wife, Julia Roberts. He’s doing double duty promotion right now because their movie, Ticket To Paradise, opens in a few weeks in North America and their junket interviews are now making the rounds. Julia refers to herself as the “fifth Clooney”:
"I'm the fifth Clooney." Something we'd all like to say, right? ðŸ¤©— BBC The One Show (@BBCTheOneShow) September 20, 2022
Don't miss tonight's EXCLUSIVE #TheOneShow interview with George Clooney and Julia Roberts from 7pm on @BBCOne and @BBCiPlayer ðŸ‘€ðŸ¿ pic.twitter.com/W7lrmpeKOH
They do have a professional spouses dynamic, don’t they? Amal and George don’t fight but Julia and George totally do:
Attached - The Clooneys at HISTORYTalks 2022 in Washington, DC earlier this week and George out in New York yesterday.