George Clooney in The Midnight Sky

George Clooney is one of the most interesting people in Hollywood. Sometimes you hear him speak in interviews and you forget just how many things the actor, director and producer has done throughout his prolific life. Between starring in a medical soap, playing the most made-fun-of Batman, winning Oscars and once being the proud owner of a pig for 20 years it seems his magic trick hat just doesn’t empty. Though Clooney has given up one longtime pastime recently: basketball.

But, in true Clooney fashion, there’s a suave story and jaw-dropping name drop to go along with it. While speaking at the Critics’ Choice Association press conference for his Netflix film The Midnight Sky, which CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell attended, George Clooney talked about why he’s moved away from the sport. In his words:

I stopped hooping three years ago. I was having dinner with President Obama, who I used to play with, and he said he’d stopped playing ball a couple of years ago. It’s nuts because I’d always said… I was 55, and I’d say, ‘I’m going to be playing until I’m 80!’ I played like a 25 year old. But it was one last, like, roll my ankle, get my tooth chipped, get my eye socket cracked with an elbow, and I was like, ‘You know? I’ve had enough. I’ll play tennis, and just switch it up.’

George Clooney’s relationship with basketball goes way back, before he got into acting, he was on his high school’s basketball team. Throughout his life, Clooney has enjoyed doing the sport for fun, also notably dissing a game he had with Leonardo DiCaprio years previously. We’ve seen the Clooney and Obama pictures, which also included the original Spider-Man Tobey Maguire and Avengers star Don Cheadle early in the Obama administration. But it sounds like the team isn’t getting back together anytime soon.

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As George Clooney explains, he thought basketball would be an important part of his life into his old age, but time changes things. He followed in the footsteps of President Obama years back and decided to give up the sport for tennis, which involves a lot less high contact and intensity. It sounds like it was a round of gnarly injuries that really made Clooney decide he’d had enough.

It’s wild to realize George Clooney is nearing 60, with the milestone round number hitting his door in May 2021. Clooney has had an incredible life, but now he’s a real family man with wife Amal and his twins, three-year-old Alexander and Ella. The actor doesn’t make as many movies as he used to, but he’s still very much in the game with his new movie The Midnight Sky, coming to Netflix next week.

George Clooney directed and stars in the sci-fi epic based on a book, about a scientist named Augustine, who is one of the last people on Earth following a cataclysmic event. The movie also stars Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo and Kyle Chandler. The movie has received mixed reviews from critics, but you can decide for yourself when The Midnight Sky comes out on December 23.

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