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After years without a lead role in film, George Clooney has made his return with The Midnight Sky. The actor has since opened up about what it was like to return to film, and what has been keeping him occupied in its stead. He’s also delved into the creation of his new film, and how it relates to regret — something Amal Clooney and his daughter both experienced when they saw his beard for the film. And apparently they weren’t alone. 

George Clooney returns with ‘The Midnight Sky’

George Clooney recently starred in 'The Midnight Sky'
George Clooney | Getty Images/Getty Images for Hollywood Foreign Press Association

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The Midnight Sky is George Clooney’s first leading role in several years. For Clooney, it’s probably a welcome distraction from quarantine, which he explained to Associated Press has been mundane. 

“I’m kind of doing what everyone’s doing. Washing dishes and doing laundry and mopping floors. Mostly I just wish I was able to see my mom and dad, and that kind of thing. They’re social creatures and it’s not as much fun when they can’t be out with their old friends,” he told the publication.

COVID-19 did affect Clooney’s editing process, however. It seems the production was slowed down as communication became more challenging. But Clooney says that also lead to a moment of clarity.

“And so bit by bit it became really clear, and we focused on it while editing. It’s really a story about our inability to be home and to be close to people and to communicate, and suddenly that became the part that we leaned into about the story,” he told Yahoo.

His role’s relationship with regret was also a deciding factor in George Clooney’s decision to work on The Midnight Sky.

“What I always saw in this what the idea of what regret can do to you. I always thought what he’s really dying of is not cancer but regret. It’s killing him. I know people who are older — older than me, even — who live with real regret. It’s deep in them. When you get older, it’s a cancer. Everyone has regrets. You hope you don’t have the ones that last a lifetime,” he explained.

What’s been keeping the actor busy?

George Clooney
George Clooney | Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva / AFP / Finland OUT

Naturally, George Clooney has plenty on his plate aside from The Midnight Sky. In fact, the actor’s family life and humanitarian work has been keeping him occupied lately. 

“For the last 15-20 years, I’ve spent about half of my day working on things other than the movie business because I have interests in other issues around the world,” he told AP.

“I was working on other things — Amal and I have a foundation that I work on, we try to chase down war criminals and that kind of thing,” Clooney explained to Yahoo. 

“I also have twins, quite honestly. I’ve been spending a lot of time with them,” he added.

Amal Clooney hated George Clooney’s beard

George Clooney
George Clooney | BFI via Getty Images

True Blood

While George Clooney clearly enjoys spending plenty of time with Amal Clooney and their kids, Amal was apparently not thrilled to be spending time with his beard. The actor grew some impressive facial hair for The Midnight Sky.

“My wife was really, really ready for it to come off. My daughter was ready for it to come off,” he told Yahoo.

“My son loved it. Because he would hide things in it, like a toy car. Literally I’d get to work [and pull things out of my beard]. Like a popsicle stick in my beard,” he added.

Kyle Chandler also called the beard George Clooney grew for The Midnight Sky “horrifying.”