In the virtual conversation, George, 59, who directed and starred in the Netflix sci-fi film The Midnight Sky, spoke warmly of family life, including his habit of writing letters to Amal, 42, and why they named their three-year-old twin children Alexander and Ella.
“I didn’t want, like, weird-ass names for our kids,” he told the outlet. “They're already going to have enough trouble. It’s hard being the son of somebody famous and successful.” He explained, “Paul Newman’s son killed himself. Gregory Peck’s son killed himself. Bing Crosby had two sons kill themselves. I have an advantage because I’m so much older that by the time my son would feel competitive, I’ll literally be gumming bread.”
George became a father in 2017, news the couple announced humorously. “...Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days.” It seemed like a wink at the actor’s age and his bachelor rep — although he was once married to actress Talia Balsam (from 1989 to 1993), and dated women including Renée Zellweger and Elisabetta Canalis, George famously avoided long-term commitment. Well, until Amal came along in 2013.
“I was like, ‘I’m never getting married. ‘I'm not gonna have kids,’” George told GQ in November. “I’m gonna work, I’ve got great friends, my life is full, I’m doing well. And I didn’t know how un-full it was until I met Amal. And then everything changed. And I was like, ‘Oh, actually, this has been a huge empty space.’”
The actor popped the question in April 2014, less than one year after meeting the human rights lawyer through a mutual friend. And he adjusted to fatherhood with similar ease, calling it “fulfilling.”
Makes family memories is so important, said George, that during yearly weekend getaways with Amal (presumably taken before the coronavirus pandemic), they wrote their children detailed letters about their journey.
The couple also swaps letters every few months. “Even in lockdown, I'll write a letter and slip it on her desk, or she'll write a letter and leave it under the pillow,” George told AARP. “I'm a big believer in letters. I have letters from Paul Newman, Walter Cronkite, Gregory Peck. I have them framed. I put them in the house. If it were a text, it would feel different. Maybe that's a generational thing, and maybe it won't be that way 20 years from now, but for me, somebody sat down and wrote it.”
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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