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George Clooney Turned Down $35 Million Paycheck for a Single Day’s Work

Clooney could've been an even richer man had he done an airline commercial that would've required just one day's work.

George Clooney attends the "The Tender Bar" Premiere during the 65th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall in London, Britain, 10 October 2021. (Photo by Maciek Musialek/NurPhoto via AP)

George Clooney

Associated Press

Academy Award winner George Clooney is surely one of the wealthiest men on the planet. Or at least, in 2018, he was named the highest-paid actor in the world, in any case. At a net worth of more than $500 million, the “Up in the Air” star and now “Tender Bar” director isn’t hurting for cash. Which is why, as he revealed in a new interview in The Guardian, the “Syriana” Oscar winner was able to turn down a hefty paycheck to the tune of $35 million due to a moral conflict.

“I was offered $35 million for one day’s work for an airline commercial, but I talked to Amal [Clooney, the human rights lawyer he married in 2014] about it and we decided it’s not worth it,” Clooney said. “It was [associated with] a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times, and so I thought: ‘Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.’”

Clooney also talked about why he doesn’t star in as many movies as he used to, instead preferring to direct films like Amazon Studios’ “The Tender Bar.” “In general, there just aren’t that many great parts — and, look, I don’t have to act. My wife and I had this conversation when I turned 60 this summer. I said, ‘I can still bounce around pretty good, and we both love what we do. But we gotta make sure we don’t book ourselves silly.’ So, part of it is just us making sure we live our lives,” he said.

Based on the memoir by writer J.R. Moehringer, Clooney’s latest movie as a director stars Ben Affleck as a kind-hearted uncle who becomes a father figure to a young boy in a 1970s-set family drama. With a theatrical release on December 17, Amazon could have a bona fide family holiday hit on its hands. “The whole country, for the last five years, has been engaged in hate and anger, and I’ve been part of it at times. I’ve been angry, and this was such a kind story. It’s such a gentle film, and I wanted to be part of that, and I thought maybe an audience would want to be part of a gentle experience,” Clooney said.

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