It’s been just a few months since George Clooney’s highly praised performance in “The Descendants” earned him a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination. But it’s likely that Clooney doesn’t think about that at all now: He’s got so many other things going on.
Although Clooney, who turns 51 on May 6, has been involved in a number of political and human-rights issues this spring, he’s also pursuing a venture closer to home. He and Julia Roberts, who costarred with him in “Ocean’s Eleven,” have filed a joint lawsuit against two companies for fraudulently using the stars’ names and pictures to sell entertainment systems.
And that’s probably one of the only times you’ve heard about Clooney standing up for himself rather than other people. Earlier this year, he was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington as he and others, including his father Nick Clooney, called on the government of Sudan to stop the violence against its own people and allow humanitarian aid into the war-torn area between Sudan and South Sudan. The actor also testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the horrific conditions in Sudan and its Darfur region.
What’s more, he spoke with President Barack Obama for 15 minutes in the Oval Office about the issue. It’s not really known what the president said in reply, but there isn’t much doubt that he listened carefully. At a time when Obama, approaching a reelection campaign, seems increasingly embattled, Clooney’s stepped up as a major Hollywood fund raiser.
Next week, the actor will be hosting a dinner called “Obama, Clooney And You” at his house. Each of the 150 guests is paying $40,000 each for the privilege. And thousands of less affluent Obama supporters, who paid as little as $3 each in a raffle for two of the dinner tickets, raised a few more million dollars for the Obama Victory Fund. "Right now we've raised about $10 million for the fundraiser,” Clooney told “The Wall Street Journal, “which is about double anything that's ever been done before."
Outside of national and international affairs, Clooney’s been doing his bit for state politics as well, taking part in a benefit reading to fight the gay-marriage measure Prop 8 in California. The March reading of the play “8” raised more than $2 million.
Despite all that serious stuff, though, Clooney knows how to unwind. In fact, he once said, “Run for office? No. I've slept with too many women, I've done too many drugs, and I've been to too many parties.” Clooney has been with his current girlfriend, former professional wrestler Stacy Keibler, since July 2011 following a bitter breakup with model Elisabetta Canalis.
And though he’s sworn he’ll never get married, Clooney doesn’t exactly seem to be a swinging bachelor these days, either. And that’s OK with him. Ultimately, politics just might mean more than romance. “As you get older,” he told an interviewer, “you have to be comfortable with where you are in life and career, and I'm very comfortable with what I'm doing.”