On Friday’s episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, George Clooney told the harrowing story of how he proposed to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. It took about 20 minutes for him to get it all out even though he had planned for it far ahead of time.
“It was a disaster, I planned it out, I planned the whole thing out,” George said. The issue was that he’d left the ring he planned to propose with in a kitchen drawer for Amal to find. But when she saw it, she assumed it belonged to another woman.
“I was going to give her the ring right at this song ‘Why Shouldn’t I,’” George explained, referencing a song by his late aunt Rosemary Clooney. “I got the ring in the drawer and the song starts and I told her there was a lighter can you get it — we had a candle on but I blew it out so she could get the lighter.”
He continued, “She sees the ring in the drawer and pulls it out. She says, ‘There’s a ring there,’ like somebody left a ring there years earlier….And I am like on my knee like… and now the song is playing and – we know exactly how long [the proposal]took because of the playlist. She didn’t say yes till ‘Goody Goody,’… but that was supposed to be later when we were dancing…She kept saying ‘Oh my God, oh my God.’”
Eventually, George begged Amal to have mercy on his old bones because he couldn’t kneel and wait for her answer anymore.
“She said, ‘Oh yes,’ and then she said, ‘Yes,’ thank God. So I pulled it off!” George concluded.
The couple were married in 2014 and have two children, five-year-old twins Alexander and Ella.
George also told Barrymore about the first time he met Amal through a friend at Lake Como, an area in Italy where the actor and lawyer still spend a great deal of time. He said he was immediately blown away by her.
“The funniest thing is Bryan Lourd my agent called me, he had just met Amal at some other thing and she was like, ‘Yeah I am going to go to Como with a friend of mine,’ and he called me up and he said, ‘There’s a girl coming to your house that you are going to marry,’” George laughed.
“I was like, ‘You’re an idiot. You know that’s not going to happen,’” George continued. The actor was known for his storied dating history at the time and was considered a passionate bachelor. “And then in comes Amal and we stayed up all night talking and I started writing her a bunch of letters.”
“Like on pen and paper,” Barrymore clarified.
“Yep, we still write letters,” said George. “Leave them on the pillow.”
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.