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George Clooney goes from 'Sexiest Man Alive' to AARP cover star: 'I'm the old guy now?'

Elise Brisco, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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George Clooney carries many titles: award-winning actor, tequila creator, People's 2006 "Sexiest Man Alive" and now AARP cover star.

The three-time Golden Globe winning actor is featured on the February/March issue of the magazine dedicated to the 50+ crowd, a feat he actively avoided for almost 10 years. Clooney turns 60 in May.

In the cover story, the magazine notes that he declined offers to cover AARP and once considered doing it as a joke when he was 50.

"I wanted to do a funny bit, which would be Sexiest Man Still Alive. I would have done some funny picture, like with a walker," he told the magazine.

"Now that I'm about to turn 60, it's not as funny," he adds as the recipient of AARP's Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award.

Clooney tells AARP some of the things he's learned as he enjoys his last year of his 50s. These wisdoms include his insistence on writing letters instead of texting, his advice to put the phone down and his philosophy on the afterlife.

"It’s very hard for me to say, once you’re finished with this chassis that we’re in, you’re just done," Clooney says. "My version of it is that you’re taking that one one-hundredth of a pound of energy that disappears when you die and you’re jamming it right into the hearts of all the other people you’ve been close to."

But while the actor is still here, he is finally accepting his age and trading some of his youthful activities like motorcycle riding (an activity he stopped after being involved in a serious collision in 2018) for safer ones like sewing clothes for his 3-year-old twins Ella and Alexander, he tells the magazine.

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In December, Clooney talked with USA TODAY's Brian Truitt on how having young kids has altered his life.

"I'm scrappy, always have been. And then suddenly, you have these kids and you realize you're so ill-equipped," Clooney said. "You're doing all that stuff that you kind of thought you might not be doing."

Recently, he directed and starred in "The Midnight Sky," where Clooney plays an astronomer stationed in an observatory in the Arctic. His character, Augustine Lofthouse, is an older man with a thick, white beard. The hair color is closer in the direction of the actor's growing maturity.

"The Midnight Sky" (Dec. 23, Netflix): George Clooney directs and stars in the sci-fi drama as an Arctic scientist with a terminal illness taking care of a young girl (Caoilinn Springall) and trying to keep astronauts from returning to a mysterious global catastrophe on Earth.
"The Midnight Sky" (Dec. 23, Netflix): George Clooney directs and stars in the sci-fi drama as an Arctic scientist with a terminal illness taking care of a young girl (Caoilinn Springall) and trying to keep astronauts from returning to a mysterious global catastrophe on Earth.

Post-production of "Midnight Sky" started in March just as pandemic concerns and stay-at-home orders were beginning to grow. Clooney recalls in the AARP interview a time when he had a moment of self-awareness as older crew members were told to work from home.

"They said, ‘If you're under 50, you're fine,'" Clooney says. "And I was, like, 'Wait a minute? I'm the old guy now?'"

Though it seems the next 10 years are what the actor is really worried about.

"Seventy will be more of a shot to the throat," Clooney tells AARP. "I'm telling you, 70 will (expletive) me up."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: AARP finally gets George Clooney, almost 60, for magazine cover