During a December 2020 interview with The Guardian, George Clooney revealed that he and his wife, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, whom he wed in 2014, have been strictly quarantining in the confines of their Hollywood Hills mansion ever since the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States. Accompanied by their twins, Ella and Alexander, born in 2017, the pair haven’t left their home much during these nine months (although, as The Guardian observes, a home with “three bedrooms, three carports, office-turned-nursery and tennis court” is bound to ameliorate cabin fever some). Clooney, for one, isn’t complaining about the close quarters shared with his family.
“I’m very lucky. I ended up having a successful career. I wound up living in a home with some space in it. We can walk around outside,” he told The Guardian. Furthermore, he disclosed that his one-on-one dinner conversations with Amal during this time have been “fascinating.”
Talk about a perfect-sounding relationship. So who brought these two lovebirds together? As it turns out, there is a surprising public figure to whom he may owe his domestic bliss (and children).
Wait, how was Boris Johnson involved?
During the first weeks of his courtship with Amal (then Alamuddin) in February 2014, according to The Guardian, George Clooney was on a European press tour for The Monuments Men, a film he directed and co-written about soldiers tasked with saving valuable works of art from the hands of Nazis at the end of World War II. One of the pieces retrieved and ever since kept at the British Museum in London was the Parthenon Marbles of Greece. At the Berlin Film Festival, Clooney replied to a Greek reporter that Britain should return said Marbles to their home country. “Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were returned… That would be a very fair and very nice thing. I think it is the right thing to do,” Clooney remarked in a relatively innocuous comment, per The Guardian.
According to Clooney, U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson heard this statement and apparently found it a bit offensive. “Someone urgently needs to restore George Clooney’s marbles,” Johnson said about the quote, according to The Telegraph. “This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London’s cultural treasures. He should stuff the Hollywood script and stick to history.”
The Hollywood icon recalled to The Guardian with amusement, “That was when your current prime minister compared me to Adolf Hitler. “It still makes me laugh. Bit of a stretch. But he said my comments about the Marbles made me an art thief like Hitler was an art thief.”
Amal & George Clooney bonded over Boris Johnson's remark
Long story short, Amal Clooney, a high-profile lawyer and global human rights advocate, had been coincidentally hired to speak on Greece’s behalf for the return of the Marbles. The same day Boris Johnson’s Adolf Hitler comparisons were made public, George Clooney had been set for a dinner date with his then-still new girlfriend. Clooney told The Guardian their conversation that night set the tone for all those “fascinating” dinner discussions during 2020’s lock-down with his wife.
“She goes to me, ‘Y’know I’ve worked on that case? So listen. Here’s a lot of stuff you should say.’ She told me about Unesco rulings. Gave me all this info,” Clooney fondly told The Guardian about their date that night. He couldn’t be happier with the results of their conversation. “I was just loaded with facts. Fantastic,” Clooney said of the next time he spoke on the matter of the Marbles. “I should send [Johnson] a him a thank you note? I’ll send him a note. A thank you note. And a comb,” the Ocean’s 11 star wryly told The Guardian.
As with many love stories, it is often the least expected things (or persons) that can solidify a couple’s bond, isn’t it?
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