In a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 56-year-old actor and director recounted first meeting his human rights lawyer wife near Lake Como in July 2013 when she was passing through the Italian destination on her way to Cannes with a mutual friend.
“I thought she was beautiful, and I thought she was funny and obviously smart,” George said — joking that Amal “probably thought I was old.”
Though there was an attraction, romance wasn’t immediate. The two would end up talking for weeks afterwards before they would see one another again. “She sent some pictures from when she was here, and we were writing each other, emailing, talking, mostly about what was going on in each other’s lives,” George explained. “And over a period of time it became clear we were more than just friends.”
In October 2013, George invited Amal to visit him in London where he was supervising the recording of the score for his 2014 directorial outing Monuments Men at Abbey Road Studios. The historic location proved to be a great location for the couple’s first official date.
“That was a good first date,” George remembered.
Not only would the evening give George time to get to know Amal better, it would also give him a chance to see how Amal would manage the onslaught of press attention in the future.
“We went for dinner,” George said. “[Amal] said, ‘Let’s go to this place.’ It was one of those places that was incredibly hip and chic. And when we came out, there were 50 paparazzi there. But she handled it like a champ.”
“Pretty quickly, things escalated once I was in London.,” George added.
When it came to proposing, George had a big night planned — making Amal dinner during a romantic evening at home on April 28, 2014.
“I’m the cook in the family,” George said, smiling. “Believe me, Amal makes reservations. I did pasta of some form, not that impressive.”
Over champagne after dinner, George asked Amal to get a lighter from the drawer to light a candle. When she reached for it, she pulled out a ring instead.
“I did all the stuff, got down on my knee and did all the things you’re supposed to do,” George said. “I had a playlist with my Rosemary songs on it [his late aunt was the singer Rosemary Clooney], and I was waiting for this song, ‘Why Shouldn’t I?’ ‘Why shouldn’t I take a chance when romance passes by? / Why shouldn’t I know of love?’ It’s a really good song about why can’t I be in love?”
“It played, and she’s like, ‘Holy s—!’ ” George continued. “And she just kept staring at the ring, going, ‘Oh, my God.’ It was 20 minutes of me on my knee, waiting for her to say yes, because she was so shocked.”
Amal eventually said yes — but only when “Goody, Goody” came on, “which isn’t very romantic — it’s kind of mean: ‘So you met someone who set you back on your heels, goody, goody,’ ” he said.
The two would tie the knot in September of that year, exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy.
Soon after getting married, the couple felt a strong desire to start a family together — a surprise, it turns out, even to them.
“It had never been part of my DNA,” George said. “We didn’t plan on it. We never talked about it until after we were married, which is funny. There was an assumption that we didn’t want them. And then, after the wedding, we just felt we’d gotten very lucky, both of us, and we should share whatever good luck we’ve got. It would seem self-centered to just have that belong to us.”
But learning that they were expecting twins came quite as a shock for the couple. George said Amal got pregnant without the help of any fertility drugs.
“[The doctor] goes, ‘Well, there’s one.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ And then he goes, ‘And there’s the second one.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ ” George recapped. “We just sat there, staring at that piece of paper they give you, and I kept thinking there was a mistake.”
George and Amal, 39, welcomed twins Ella and Alexander on June 6. Born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, Alexander arrived first, at 12:54 p.m., followed by Ella at 12:56 p.m.
“It was wild,” he said. “You know, everything is conceptual until it’s real. It’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be parents, yeah.’ And all of a sudden you go: ‘Holy s—. I’m a parent!’ ”
In that moment, George said his entire life changed.
“The first thing you think is, ‘I hope I don’t screw this up.’ I mean, look, we are all responsible for things in life, and Amal and I are responsible for each other in a way — we look out for one another and we care about one another,” he continued. “But you are really responsible for two kids. I want them to be happy. I want them to have a sense of humor. I want them to be interested in things. I want them to be compassionate about other people’s plights. Because that’s the thing, you know? You have to have some sort of empathy.”
While George gives Amal most of the credit when it comes to caring for the twins, he prides himself for his diaper changing abilities. “I’m a very good diaper guy, which I didn’t expect.”
As for more kids in the future? Geroge and Amal said their family is complete.
“I’m 39,” Amal told THR. “I already had them quite late.”