'Everything in My Life Has Changed Over Time': How George Clooney Decided He Wanted to Be a Dad
This article originally appeared on People
While some costars have spoken out in the past about how great a father he would be, the renowned actor wasn’t always thinking about parenthood — at least, not for himself.
“I think it’s the most responsible thing you can do, to have kids. It’s not something to be taken lightly,” Clooney told PEOPLE in 2006 for his second Sexiest Man Alive cover story. “I don’t have that gene that people have to replicate. But everything in my life has changed over time.”
Added the Ocean’s 11 star, 55, “It’s not something I sit around saying: ‘I’m never having kids! I’m never getting married!’ That’s not how I live my life. My life is really about work and friends and those kinds of things.”
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Clooney also opened up about how wonderful it was to have so many of his costars on set of the Ocean‘s films.
“Watching [Brad Pitt] and [Matt Damon] with their kids … is really natural,” he said. “I knew they were going to have kids. There was no question they were going to do it. They’re great kids and a lot of fun. They’re immensely happy. It’s amazing.”
Speaking of Pitt’s children, in 2009, Clooney joked to PEOPLE that he was going to “adopt some of” his longtime pal’s children because “I owe him a few.”
“Just having [Jason Schwartzman] here next to me makes me feel like a father,” added the actor at the time, referencing his costar in Fantastic Mr. Fox. “He just got married, so I feel like a grandfather. I’m jumping right into it. I will bring lots of kids to the red carpet.”
RELATED VIDEO: George Clooney Reveals Why He’s in Love with Amal
The former famed bachelor admitted to Esquire in 2012 that even though he doesn’t have experience in fatherhood, he’s had an opportunity to understand what it might be like given his surroundings and profession.
“Somebody asked me, ‘How can you relate to being a father?’ Well, I’m also not running for president, but I played that role in Ides of March,” he said. “I wasn’t an actual lawyer when I did Michael Clayton, and I don’t fire people for a living like I did in Up in the Air. Go down the list. It’s just a job. An acting job is playing pretend.”
“I’ve been a child of somebody’s. I’ve been an uncle. All my friends have kids. I’m around kids. I have an understanding of what it is,” he continued.
“For the most part, the father I play in The Descendants doesn’t resemble any of the fathers that I know. I don’t have friends who have the kind of issues that this guy has. So a lot of it is just the information you get from the screenplay.”
But since tying the knot — he first stepped out with Amal, a 39-year-old human-rights lawyer, in October 2013, and married her in a stunning Italian ceremony the following year — when asked directly about the idea of expanding his family, Clooney has stayed fairly mum.
“I’ve thought about it I suppose, but I haven’t really – it hasn’t been high on my list … I’ve been asked a lot lately because I’ve gotten married and I’m doing a movie with kids in it,” he told CBS This Morning in 2015. “You should see how creative, the way they ask me.”
Clooney has, however, been open about how Amal has transformed his life.
“All I know is that it sort of changed everything in terms of what I thought my future – my future personal future – was going to be,” he told PEOPLE of marriage in 2015. “I’ve always been an optimist about the world. I wasn’t always completely optimistic about how it was going to work out personally for me. But now I am.”
One of the reasons people have likely been prying? Wondering whether the actor’s love for his wife would one day turn into him wanting to expand his family.
“I would just like to say to my bride-to-be, Amal, that I love you very much,” he told his then-fiancée in September 2014 from the stage at the Celebrity Fight Night charity benefit in Tuscany, Italy, “and I can’t wait to be your husband.”