George Clooney has revealed his three-year-old twins Ella and Alexander are already fluent in Italian, thanks to the efforts of his wife, Amal.
The Hollywood star, 59, and his human rights lawyer wife, 42, have been spending much of the COVID-19 pandemic at their Los Angeles compound – and he admits there’s a huge contrast in the lessons they’ve taught their offspring.
While Amal is teaching the twins languages, the actor has been training them to do revolting pranks ‘to dumb them down’.
Making an appearance on this Friday’s instalment of The Graham Norton Show, the actor said: ‘They are clearly my wife’s children – they are three and speak fluent Italian and they are way ahead.
Talented toddlers: George Clooney revealed during an appearance on this Friday’s Graham Norton Show that his three-year-old twins Ella and Alexander are already fluent in Italian
‘My wife is a genius and they are brilliant kids, and it is my job to dumb them down and put a bit of actor into them, so I teach them horrible things
‘When I hear the shriek from my wife, I know I have succeeded. I taught them to put Nutella in their nappies and to go upstairs, take off the nappy and eat it!’
Throughout his career in Hollywood, George became well known for playing pranks on his friends and colleagues, often pulling off hilarious stunts on movie sets.
However, with the slowdown of the industry amid varying global lockdowns, the Kentucky native has been basking in the joys of family life.
Lessons: The Hollywood actor credited wife Amal with arming the twins with their academic talents, while he has taught them to become the ultimate pranksters. Pictured in 2018
Speaking of the ups and downs of the pandemic, he told the titular host as he appeared via a video link: ‘It is all things that are lousy in that I miss my parents and I miss seeing family and friends
‘I’ve got three-year- old twins so I do a lot of changing of diapers, wash dishes and do the laundry all day long. But I do get to put them to bed at night and wake them up every morning. There is something very special about that.’
Appearing on the show to promote his new end-of-times movie The Midnight Sky, the Hollywood heartthrob spoke about the reality of ageing in his industry.
When asked his gnarly old character in the film, he said: ‘I was doing an interview the other day and they were saying, “You used to be in all these movies like Out of Sight and Oceans 11, and is this now what you want to do with your career?”
Prankster: Throughout his career in Hollywood, George became well known for playing pranks on his friends and colleagues, often pulling off hilarious stunts on movie sets. Seen in 2017
‘I was like, “No. I don’t want to play the old guy, it’s called ageing and there is nothing I can do and about it, and if I could go back to 1998 I would!
‘”As I am directing and casting it, I had Ethan Peck play as my younger self – he’s 6’3”, great looking and I’m like, “Screw it, I’m hiring that guy!”‘
He appeared on The Graham Norton Show alongside a host of stars, including actors Viola Davis, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Vanessa Kirby, Daisy May Cooper, and singers Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.
Also getting beamed into the studio from her Los Angeles home, Oscar-winning actress Viola, 55, spoke about her new film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Live from Los Angeles: Also getting beamed into the studio from her Los Angeles home, Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis, 55, spoke about her new film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Discussing her physical transformation for the role, she said: ‘The boobs are all mine, but I also had a lot of padding. I told the costume designer, “I want to look like Aretha Franklin, that’s the body I want.”
‘The padding had such an effect on me – when I put it on I felt liberated, I felt way more sexy than I am, and I also felt way more ownership of my body. I was surprised, but I loved it.’
Viola appears in the film alongside Chadwick Boseman, who tragically passed away earlier this year following a secret battle with colon cancer.
On working with him in what was to be his final screen appearance, she said: ‘When I found out he was gone, I lost it. I was so surprised because I had worked with him.
Final role: She spoke about starring in the film alongside the late Chadwick Boseman (left), who tragically lost his secret battle with colon cancer earlier this year
‘I saw him thin and tired, but there are a lot of thin, tired actors in our business – it’s an exhausting profession.
‘But I cannot see his life as tragic because of his integrity and authenticity – he had those in great supply. He was a character actor in the body of a leading man.’
The conversation later turned to Viola’s upcoming portrayal of Michelle Obama in the new series First Ladies.
She said: ‘I wish someone had taken me aside and said, “Really think about this”, because people love her, they feel like they know her and own her, and they don’t want anything negative to touch her.
Co-stars: Meanwhile, Michael Sheen and David Tennant used their appearance on The Graham Norton Show to chat about the second series of Staged
Festive: David looked festive for his appearance on the show, donning a white fluffy sweater
‘As an actor you’re like, “Now, where’s the mess? Where’s the complexity?” How am I going to do that with her?”
Meanwhile, Michael Sheen and David Tennant used their appearance on The Graham Norton Show to chat about the second series of Staged.
Asked about how close their on-screen personas are to the real them, Michael responded: ‘I’d say David is not like the David Tennant in the show and I would say I probably am like the Michael Sheen.’
David disagreed, saying: ‘No. I think the versions of us were inspired by elements of us and then exaggerated.’
Close to real life? On their screen personas, Michael said, ‘I’d say David is not like the David Tennant in the show and I would say I probably am l probably am like the Michael Sheen’
Exaggerated elements: David disagreed, saying, ‘No. I think the versions of us were inspired by elements of us and then exaggerated’
Michael added: ‘The writer didn’t know either of us when we started, and we still haven’t actually met him. We brought stuff to it and as he got to know us slowly, I became more horrible.’ David interjected, ‘And I became more pathetic!’
Asked about the new series and any developments, David said: ‘The first one reflected that time when everyone was locked in and you couldn’t leave, and you at least knew the rules.
‘The second series exists in a world that we are all living in and reflects all the confusion there is about what we can do.’
Michael added, ‘We are constantly on the verge of going somewhere, but never quite get there.’
During her appearance on the show, The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby discussed her Oscar-tipped film Pieces of a Woman, and the opening 30-minute birthing scene.
Film: During her appearance on the show, The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby discussed her Oscar-tipped film Pieces of a Woman, and the opening 30-minute birthing scene
Handing over the reins: She also discussed handing over her role as Princess Margaret to Helena Bonham Carter for the past two seasons on The Crown
She said: ‘I had no idea how the hell to act it as I’ve not given birth, but I did shadow an obstetrician and there was a woman about to give birth.
‘The midwife asked her if I could watch and I thought, “There is no way she is going to let some random actress watch her give birth”, but she said yes, and I was so grateful.
‘She was in the flow of this magnificent moment and at one point she looked at me and I couldn’t think of anything to do so I blew her a kiss. I felt like such an idiot! I was in awe and I could never have acted without her.’
Asked about The Crown and handing over the role of Princess Margaret to someone else, she said: ‘It was only ever going to be for two seasons and Helena [Bonham Carter] is so amazing in the role. We text each other and call each other Marg.’
Meanwhile, Daisy May Cooper talked about her comedy This Country hitting screens in America, saying: ‘Apparently so. I’m getting some money for it, but I’ve nothing to do with it.
Stateside: Daisy May Cooper talked about her comedy This Country hitting screens in America
Hollywood encounter: She said, ‘It was amazing that we had Paul Feig come over to Cirencester and we sat in a pub and he said he would really like to direct it. It was so bizarre’
‘It was amazing that we had Paul Feig come over to Cirencester and we sat in a pub and he said he would really like to direct it. It was so bizarre. It’s got Stiffler [Sean William Scott] playing the vicar, which is a bit mad!’
Asked about the journey to success for the show, she said: ‘It was absolutely horrendous. I laugh about it now, but it was awful, and we had to make it work – our backs were against the wall and we had no plan B, so we just had to do it.
‘We never thought about it not working because that would have been so depressing.’
Michael Ball and Alfie Boe provided the musical entertainment on the night, performing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat about their new album.
The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday 18th December 10.45pm. Also available on BBC iPlayer.
Performance: (L-R) Michael Ball and Alfie Boe provided the musical entertainment on the night, performing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas live in the studio
Latest music release: They then joined host Graham Norton for a chat about their new album