George Clooney truly suffered for his art in his new film ‘The Midnight Sky.’ After losing almost 30 pounds for his role, he ended up getting rushed to the hospital with pancreatitis.
George Clooney had a lot on his plate when it comes to his new film The Midnight Sky, except for precious little food. The 59-year-old directs himself in the sci-fi thriller, where he plays a cancer stricken astronomer alone in the Arctic after surviving a global apocalypse, trying to warn incoming astronauts about the catastrophe on Earth. George lost 28 pounds for the role and grew a long beard to be believable in the part, but it was the former that landed him in the hospital with a case of pancreatitis.
Just a few days before he was due to fly to Finland to commence shooting, Clooney suffered stomach pains so severe that he was rushed to the hospital and ended up spending “weeks” recovering from what was diagnosed as pancreatitis, which is a severe inflammation of the pancreas. He tells the Mirror U.K. that, “I think I was trying too hard to lose the weight quickly and probably wasn’t taking care of myself.”
While it made his efforts to direct the film more difficult as he didn’t recover right away, it did help with his character Augustine Lofthouse. Not only is he alone in the frozen tundra, the scientist also has cancer in the film. “It took a few weeks to get better and as a director it’s not so easy because you need energy,” he explained to the publication. “We were out on this glacier in Finland, which made it a lot harder work. But it certainly helped with the character. This is bigger than anything I’ve done before and it was like herding cats to get it done. But, you know, it was fun.”
Fortunately not shaving to grow the big, bushy beard he sports in the film didn’t require medical attention, but it was not a hit with wife Amal Clooney, 42, and their three-year-old daughter Ella…though her twin brother Alexander was a fan of it. “I grew a big ugly beard and my son loved it because he’d hide things in it which I wouldn’t know about until I got to work and I’d be like, ‘Oh, there’s a popsicle stuck in my beard,'” he recalled. “But my wife and daughter were really happy when it came off because it was very hard to find a face underneath all that mess.”
The last time Clooney underwent a radical weight change for a movie, he landed an Oscar! He joined the cast of the 2005 thriller Syriana with only a month before production began after another actor dropped out. As a result, he had four weeks to gain 35 pounds for the portly part of CIA operative Bob Barnes.
He ate up to nine meals a day, and was miserable. “The truth is it’s not nearly as fun as it sounds, the idea of putting on that kind of weight, but at the end of the day, in general, that’s what we do for a living. So my job was just to eat as fast as I could, as much as I could…But mostly you just ate until you wanted to throw up, and made sure you didn’t throw up. So that was my job for a month, was eating,” he told The Tech. In the end, the role won Clooney the award for Best Supporting Actor at the 2006 Oscars. Maybe he’ll nab his second acting Oscar with his drastic weight loss for The Midnight Sky.