George Clooney reveals why he turned down a $35 million payday: ‘It’s not worth it’

As the saying goes, everyone has their price. The one possible exception? George Clooney. In a new interview with The Guardian, the actor and filmmaker — whose latest directorial effort, The Tender Bar, premieres in theaters on Dec. 17 — reveals that he turned down a major payday that would have gotten an automatic “Yes,” from almost anyone else.

“I was offered $35 million for one day’s work for an airline commercial,” said Clooney, who has been part of lucrative ad campaigns in the past. For two decades, he’s been front and center in print and TV commercials for Nespresso coffee, a gig that’s reportedly worth $40 million. But in this particular case, Clooney found himself hesitant to fly commercial.

And after talking it over with his wife, esteemed human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, the 60-year-old star turned the high-priced offer down. “We decided it’s not worth it,” he explained. “It was [associated with] a country that, although it’s an ally, is questionable at times, and so I thought: ‘Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.'”

As it is, Clooney is already quite well-off thanks to his dual jobs in the film and tequila industries. In 2017, he sold his tequila company, Casamigos, in a massive near billion-dollar deal. He also regularly appears on the annual lists of highest-paid celebrities, with Business Insider estimating that he earned nearly $28,000 for every hour of his time in 2018.

Despite those eye-popping paydays, Clooney continues to project a down-to-earth demeanor. In his interview with The Guardian, he notes that the Clooney household only has a part-time nanny to care for their young twins. “We have a nanny four days a week and the rest of the time it’s just us. And during lockdown it was just us — for a full year! I felt like my mother in 1964, doing dishes and six loads of laundry a day.”