George Clooney and smart women
by Suzanne Jurva
My Facebook newsfeed blew up when George Clooney announced his engagement to international law attorney and former advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Amal Alamuddin. People were shocked that George would marry after he said he never would again. Many articles pointed out that this woman doesn’t seem like a fit for George, that she was so different than the former candidates George has had on his arm over the years.
But, the dirty little secret about George is that he secretly really likes the smart women. I know because he told me so.
I knew the right smart woman would ultimately win over George.
I am not saying the actresses, models, cocktail waitresses, and wrestler weren’t smart. Science shows that our DNA allows for the genes for brains and the gene for beauty to cohabitant on the same sequence. But, what I am saying is that the previous potential Mrs. Clooneys didn’t lead with their brain like Ms Alamuddin. Ms Alamuddin is wicked smart working on international human rights issues like challenging the imprisonment of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and representing Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden.
George starred in DreamWorks’ first feature film, The Peacemaker. Three powerful men headed the nascent film studio at the time, but it took Mimi Leder, a woman director, at the helm of the project to get the first film out. I was tasked with making sure the film was accurate and as real as possible. This included figuring out how SS-18 ICBMs were dismantled properly in Russia and how a disgruntled high-ranking Russian general could improperly activate them. It also included researching how our good guys George, playing U.S. Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Devoe, and Nicole Kidman, NSA White House nuclear expert Dr. Julia Kelly, could track down nuclear weapons heading for the Iranian border.
My first meeting with George was over the topic of nuclear weapons, the psyche of a former USSR career military man, the current political climate of the former Soviet Union, The Stans (Kurdistan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan, etc.) and the government agency that tracks plutonium. All this research was put towards figuring out how he and Nicole were going to dismantle the warhead and save New York City. ‘Yikes,’ I thought heading ino the meeting, ‘can I do this?’
But an even deeper fear entered. ‘How am I going to talk to George Clooney?’ Would I be able to form a sentence about nukes and geo-politics with George? George must have smelled my fear. Then, it happened. He said the words I needed to hear: “I like smart women.”
Was George flirting with me?
Now, for me to even think that line was said in a flirtatious way, let me back up this a bit. Three weeks prior I gave birth to my second child and I was called out of maternity leave for this important meeting.
Sleep deprivation and raging hormones could easily cause hallucinations about being called into the offices of DreamWorks with hunko George Clooney and being tested about Russian geo-political policy; but, this was my real life.
I packed up the baby, put on a power suit… wait, nothing in the power suit category fit… so I put on a shirt and an ill-fitting jacket and headed off to the meeting. It was the first time I had ventured outside of the house in weeks. I had my to-do list, shook George’s hand, and thought I saw a little twinkle in his eye. Yes, it was a twinkle followed by a side head turn.
That was definitely flirting.
I looked shyly down and then saw it. The baby spit up all over my shoulder and down the front of my jacket. George wasn’t flirting with me, but he was curious as to what was on my jacket and what that smell was. I was mortified but I kept walking, silently telling myself ‘look like a smart woman now.’ Concentrate on walking. Don’t think you are walking out the door of the meeting and into the end of your career, or at least getting booted off the project because George had to wonder if I was smart enough to be trusted with gathering information for his character and the future of his film career with baby spit up all over me. Then, George looked at me again and said, “Remember I like smart women. You got this.”
I got the info he needed. The film obviously was delivered and George went on to be a bigger movie star and fantastic film producer.
It wasn’t until this week that I realized that George wasn’t flirting with me about the smart woman comment either. He was saying that he really does like smart women. And, for that I believe George is a smart man.Tags: Amal Alamuddin, Entertainment industry, Film and TV executive, George Clooney, Hollywood, Mimi Leder, Smart women, Suzanne Jurva, The Peacemaker, Work-life balance