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George Clooney so badly stricken with Covid he was forced to direct new film from bed

George Clooney ended up so sick when he contracted Covid that he was forced to direct his latest film from bed.

The 62-year-old actor made part of The Boys in the Boat, which was filmed last year but is due out later this month, on his iPad while bedbound after he fell ill with the virus – with his producer partner Grant Heslov lending a hand from the set.

Clooney told People magazine: “I was really sick. It was my first time getting Covid.

“I’m on an iPad hacking away from my bedroom. Grant was sitting on the camera and they’d hold up the iPad to Cal and I’d go, ‘Ah, go fast.’ I’d rasp out ‘Faster’ whatever that was.”

“We only had to do it for a week.”

A string of other staff on the film – including star Joel Edgerton, 49 – were also hit with the virus.

George Clooney, who has been open about his health woes, with his wife Amal (Getty Images)
George Clooney, who has been open about his health woes, with his wife Amal (Getty Images)

Clooney added: “He went down first, by the way, in fairness. So if we’re looking for ground zero… .”

The actor and director believes an intimate dinner with cast members from the movie, which tells the story of the University of Washington’s rowing team of underdogs making it to the 1936 Olympics, helped spread the virus even though they were all “tested and vaccinated”.

He said: “We all landed in London. We’re going to shoot the next day. And so we have a tiny dinner for the crew.

“Meaning the rowers, our kids, and (stars) Hadley (Robinson) and Courtney (Henggeler) and (Edgerton) and me.

“That’s it. A tiny room. And out of that tiny room, let’s say there were 18 people there, 17 people got Covid.”

But actor Callum Turner, 33, managed to avoid getting the virus, and told People: “Yeah, everyone one by one went down around me. It was only me and Grant that didn’t get it for some reason.

“It was funny. George on his iPhone directing in his dressing gown from somewhere.”Clooney has been open about a series of health issues he’s battled since his youth.He was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy when he was younger and in 2020 was rushed to hospital with excruciating stomach pains, pains which turned out to be pancreatitis.