“I thought she was beautiful and I thought she was funny and obviously smart,” the Ocean’s Eleven actor, 57, told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, September 6, of meeting the Lebanese beauty, 39, in Lake Como in July 2013. “Then 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, and over a period of time it became clear we were more than just friends.”
The A-list couple, who are parents to twins Alexander and Ella, 3 months, had their first date later that year in London. “That was a good first date. Then we went for dinner,” the Up in the Air star recalled. “She 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. And pretty quickly, things escalated once I was in London.”
After a whirlwind romance and spontaneous vacations, the couple returned to Los Angeles. “I had a picture of her, looking back, smiling at these giraffes,” the Oscar winner said of a photo he took of his then-girlfriend during a safari in Kenya. “And I said, ‘I think I’m going to ask her to marry me.’”
Clooney acted on “a full leap of faith” before proposing to the barrister. “It was 20 minutes of me on my knee, waiting for her to say yes, because she was so shocked,” he continued. “My only doubt was if she thought maybe it was too soon. But there was no doubt that we were the right couple and that we were the right team. And we were a team from right off the bat. Immediately, we felt we were just happy and we have been happy ever since.”
The pair wed in a private ceremony in Venice in September 2014. “[Being married] changes you in every way that every person who’s fallen madly in love changes,” the screenwriter gushed. “Suddenly, the other person’s life becomes more important than your own. That’s not unique to us; that’s [unique to] all people who are lucky enough to find the perfect partner. I’m sorry I was 50-something when it happened, but only because I could have spent more time with her.”
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