It’s always a good day when Amal Clooney is in the news. George’s better half graces the cover of Vogue ahead of May’s Met ball (which she will co-chair) and in the issue, the human rights lawyer lets us inside the couple’s private world.
Here are seven of our favorite moments from Amal’s sit-down:
George and Amal’s meet-cute story is somewhat normal
The couple first met in 2013, when the lawyer went with a friend to the actor’s house on Lake Como in Italy. George and Amal hit it off (as friends), staying in touch over email. Apparently, Clooney sent her notes pretending to be his late dog Einstein, who claimed to be trapped in different places and in need of legal counsel.
Who could resist that charm? A few months into their friendship, it was clear there was something more between them.
“It felt like the most natural thing in the world,” Amal recalls. “Before that experience, I always hoped there could be love that was overwhelming and didn’t require any weighing or decision-making.”
She continues, “It’s the one thing in life that I think is the biggest determinant of happiness, and it’s the thing you have the least control over. Are you going to meet this person? I was 35 when I met him. It wasn’t obvious that it was going to happen for me. And I wasn’t willing or excited about the idea of getting married or having a family in the absence of that.”
George, who was in his 50s, had a similar feeling. He had been married once before to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993. “If you know anything about my crazy life, you know that I’d pretty much committed to the idea of never marrying again,” he tells Vogue. “But I started dating Amal, and I immediately knew that something was very different.”
It was when the couple went on a safari in Africa that Clooney knew he wanted to pop the question — thanks to some giraffes.
“Some giraffes walked up to her,” he explains. “They just came out of the blue. I took a picture of her, and she was smiling. I said to my buddy Ben, ‘You know, I think I should ask her to marry me.’ And Ben said, ‘I think that’s a good idea.’”
Amal understands the life she chose by marrying George. “We definitely do more things in our home to ensure privacy in a context where we can’t otherwise get it,” she explains. “But that whole side — invasions of privacy and paparazzi, all of that — has happened because of something so happy and so important in my life.”
Talk about a good perspective.
The Clooneys (somewhat) roughed it on their honeymoon
Although initial reports claimed the newlyweds jetted off for an uber-expensive vacation in the Seychelles after their wedding in Italy in 2014, that wasn’t the case. The pair actually hid out in their newly purchased home in the United Kingdom, set on a tiny island in the Thames called Sonning Eye. They spent their honeymoon camping out in the unfurnished rooms. The home has since been furnished, and it’s the couple’s primary residence.
About some of those furnishings…
It sounds like George and Amal have a mix of normal and not normal decorations. In the “only celebrities would have this” category, the couple has framed shots of them shaking hands with President Barack Obama and meeting the Pope, but they level that out with lots of wedding pics and family photos. They have vintage books, coffee table books, a framed antique map of Berkshire, a ship in a bottle, and a gold monogram sculpture (G and A).
Then there are their cherished paintings — a lot are of George’s beloved cocker spaniel, Einstein (posing as a physics professor at a chalkboard), and the head of a giraffe (Amal apparently loves them). The Clooneys had insurance appraisers come by a while back and gave an estimate on their art.
“They were like, ‘It’s barely worth getting a policy,’” Amal says, mimicking their disapproving voice. “They were very judgmental.”
They can’t cleanse
This makes us feel so much better. In 2015, George and Amal attempted to go on a healthy-eating cleanse and it didn’t go so well. “It was hard to give up the glass of wine in the evening, but even harder to give up the espresso first thing in the morning,” Amal explains. “We’re like, ‘Aren’t we supposed to be feeling amazing?’” They pulled the plug on Day 11 of 21.
George knows he married up
Amal already had a well-respected name and distinguished career as a London barrister in international human rights law when she met the actor. Her international law practice has not slowed down since she tied the knot with one of the world’s most famous actors.
“She’s the professional, and I’m the amateur,” George acknowledges. He knows a thing or two about humanitarian work himself. “I get to see someone at the absolute top of their game doing their job better than anybody I’ve ever seen.”
He adds, “Of course she was beautiful, but I also thought she was fascinating, and I thought she was brilliant. Her life was incredibly exciting — the clients she was taking on and the superhuman work that she was doing. I was taken with her from the moment I saw her.”
Geoffrey Robertson, a co-founder of the firm Doughty Street Chambers, where Amal works, says she’s “been a leading intellectual thinker on the concept of fairness — in a trial where you don’t have a jury and where, sometimes, you don’t have a defendant. … That set her apart even before she met George.”
During the interview, Amal had Iraqi refugee and human rights activist Nadia Murad at her home. The 25-year-old Yazidi student is taking on ISIS, with Amal’s help.
“Not many people stepped up to help as she did,” Murad says of Amal. “I was surprised that someone like her — a successful lawyer with a strong record — would help us. We’re a very small community.”
Much of Amal’s work also centers on the mistreatment of women, and she’s a big supporter of the #MeToo movement. “I think because of the brave women who have come forward to tell their stories, the future workplace will be safer for my daughter than it was for people of my generation,” she exclaims. “We’re in a situation where a predator feels less safe and a professional woman feels more safe, and that’s where we need to be.”
The twins resemble their parents
In June 2017, Amal gave birth to twins, Ella and Alexander, whom George refers to as “the knuckleheads.” Alexander looks exactly like George, according to the Vogue interviewer, while Ella looks more like her mother.
Amal says “quality time” is in the morning. “Between six and eight in the morning we get to have them in our bed — I don’t schedule any calls before eight,” she says. “When I was nursing, it was much more complicated, because there are two. I had all manner of weird cushions and pillows and machines.”
George recently left their kids for the first time since their birth, and the separation has bothered him more than he had expected, according to Amal.
It can irk Amal when people talk more about her clothes than her work
Still, the lawyer is at peace with her love of fashion. It is possible to be brilliant and look good while trying to better the world, after all. “I hate the idea that you somehow, as a human being, have to be put in a box,” she says. “There’s no reason why lawyers can’t be fun — or actresses can’t be serious.”
Amal is a really fun lawyer. “All my family, we are party animals,” her mother told Vogue. “Amal partied hard and worked hard.”
That sounds like our kind of girl!
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