Why George Clooney Once Told Barbara Walters He Would ‘Never Marry Again’

Barbara Walters has interviewed famous figures from politics, sports, and entertainment over the course of her 50+ years in journalism. Creating the weekday talk show The View in 1997 while still conducting high-profile sit-downs in prime time, Walters has rubbed elbows with countless celebrities. When she had the opportunity to speak with then-notorious bachelor George Clooney well before he met his wife Amal, Walters revealed an interesting comment from the actor on marriage.

eorge Clooney and Barbara Walters attend Walter Cronkite Hosts a Private Screening of Warner Independent Pictures' 'Good Night, And Good Luck'
George Clooney and Barbara Walters | Scott Rudd/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Barbara Walters asked George Clooney a very direct question

In her 2008 memoir Audition, Walters recalled interviewing Clooney right before the release of his film From Dusk Till Dawn. The actor had become a household name thanks to his role as Doug Ross on NBC’s hit drama ER.

“I don’t have to tell you why I like George,” Walters wrote. “He is open and very funny to talk with, but also thoughtful and committed to the values in which he believes. … The first time I interviewed him was in 1995. After years of struggling for success in a series of television flops, he had landed his big break in the medical series ER.

Clooney had been married to actor Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993. Walters decided to ask him if he envisioned heading down the aisle again in his future. His response took her by surprise.

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“Knowing he was divorced and a bachelor, I asked if he wanted to remarry,” Walters explained. “Most of the time, when I ask this rather prosaic question, the answer is, ‘Yes, when I find the right person.’ This is usually followed by a poignant expression of a desire to have children. Not George, who said he would never marry again.”

George Clooney didn’t think he was ‘good at’ marriage

Looking back, Clooney’s answer to Walters’ question is quite ironic considering he ended up tying the knot with Amal Alamuddin in 2014 and the two now have twins – Alexander and Ella. Still, the Oceans 11 star didn’t consider himself marriage material after his divorce from Balsam.

“When I asked why [he wouldn’t get married again], he said simply that he was not good at it,” Walters revealed. “Nor did he want children.”

Apparently, a lot changes over the course of 25 years, where Clooney recently described falling head over heels for Alamuddin and didn’t waste time on making a trip to the altar.

“The truth was I met this amazing woman and she took my breath away, and she was brilliant and funny and beautiful and kind and I was sort of swept off my feet,” he told Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett during an appearance on their “SmartLess” podcast this week. “We got engaged after a few months and got married within the first year that we met. (It) surprised me more than anybody else in the world.”

Barbara Walters had a follow-up interview with George Clooney pre-Amal

When Walters had another sit-down with the Oscar winner in 2006, she broached the subject of marriage once again.

“I asked then if the women he took out ever expected or hoped he would marry them,” Walters wrote, “and if so what did he tell them.”

Clooney ended up thanking Walters for sparing him of having to make any sort of explanation on his confirmed bachelor status at the time.

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“‘You know what’s funny?'” he asked Walters. “‘It is because of you that I don’t have to. It’s already out there. So you’ve done all the work for me, and I thank you for that.'”

Clearly, Clooney didn’t have a crystal ball at the time and had no idea that he’d be a happily married man in years to come.