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“I slept on their couches when I was broke”: George Clooney Paid His Friends $14M in Cash From ‘Gravity’ Earnings After Robert Downey Jr. Refused the Role Due to Extreme CGI

“I slept on their couches when I was broke”: George Clooney Paid His Friends $14M in Cash From ‘Gravity’ Earnings After Robert Downey Jr. Refused the Role Due to Extreme CGI

After Robert Downey Jr. left the 2013 film Gravity due to the extreme CGI used in the film, George Clooney took on the responsibility to bring Matt Kowalski onto the big screen. However, one thing neither Clooney nor Downey Jr. knew was how big the 2013 film was going to be. The 2013 film Gravity followed a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, but a disaster strikes and she gets stuck in space with the veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky. Director Alfonso Cuarón planned to cast Robert Downey Jr. and Angelina Jolie as leads in the film.

Gravity (2013)
Gravity (2013)

However, followed by his experience on the set, the Iron Man star backed out of the project, and Jolie was unable to take the role due to her busy schedule. The film turned out to be one of the biggest hits and the ER star came up with an interesting way to spend the profits he earned from the 2013 film.

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George Clooney is Grateful For His Friends

In his interview with GQ in 2020, George Clooney revealed that no one expected the film to be such a huge hit and the makers told them that instead of having a fixed paycheck, they would be paid from the movie’s profit.

Because they didn’t want to pay us, they gave us percentages of the movie, ’cause they thought it was gonna be a flop, and that ended up being a very good deal,” Clooney said. However, contrary to their expectations the film grossed  $723 million worldwide and even went on to have several Academy Awards.

Hollywood star George Clooney
Hollywood star George Clooney

When the Midnight Sky star earned a cut of its profits, he came up with an interesting idea to celebrate the film’s success with his friends. Clooney told GQ in his interview that he started stashing $14 million to surprise his friends. The American star shared that his friends have been very helpful “over a period of 35 years.”

“I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close, and I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will. So why the f*ck am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”

So, he came up with the plan to give his 14 friends $1 million each. When the Out of Sight actor was asked if this was true, he shared how he managed to get $14 million in cash to distribute among his closest friends.

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George Clooney Surprised His Friends With $1 Million

George Clooney shared in his interview that after he decided to give $1 Million each to 14 of his friends, he had to arrange the cash. He revealed that he learned about an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, where he was able to get “giant pallets of cash.”

The actor who's aged like fine wine: George Clooney.
George Clooney

After learning about the place he got an old van that said, “Florist” on it and loaded it up with the cash. The Tomorrowland star then bought 14 Tumi bags and packed them with a million dollars each. The next day he called all 14 of his friends to come over.

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He then showed them a map indicating the places he has been able to visit in the world because of them. He thanked them and said, “How do you repay people like that?”

Oh, well: How about a million bucks?” the Syriana star said. Clooney also shared that it was the same day he got married the next year. “That was the 27th, the 28th of September. A year later, on the 27th of September, just by happenstance, was the day I got married,” George Clooney said in his interview.

George Clooney Nick Fury
George Clooney

He also shared an incident where he told about all this to a “really rich a**hole.” After listening to The Peacemaker star the rich guy asked him, “Why would you do that?” To which Clooney replied, “Why wouldn’t you do that, you schmuck?”

George Clooney is directing The Boys in the Boat. The film is set in the 1930s and follows the University of Washington’s rowing team’s journey to win the gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The Boys in the Boat is expected to release in 2023.

Source: Entertainment

Written by Laxmi Rajput

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.