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(Credit: Nicolas Genin)

Film

George Clooney opens up about near-fatal motorbike crash

George Clooney returned to the director’s chair last year with a new Netflix project based on a novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Titled The Midnight Sky, the film didn’t exactly receive glowing reviews when it first came out, but it was touted as one of the best films of 2020 and even picked up an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Starring Clooney alongside the likes of Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler, The Midnight Sky chronicles the trials and tribulations of an old scientist who is tasked with the immense responsibility of warning a returning spaceship about the cataclysmic events that have taken place on Earth during its voyages. Although the film is highly flawed, it did make for an enjoyable experience, especially due to the wonderful score by Alexandre Desplat.

In a recent interview with Sunday Times, Clooney spoke at length about something that has bothered him for a long time now. He decided to use the opportunity to comment on a traumatic experience that he had to endure in 2018 following a fatal bike accident which almost led to his death and ended with the actor being hospitalised for serious injuries.

Clooney was on his motorcycle when he accidentally crashed into a pickup truck in Sardinia where he was filming Catch 22. On his way to the set, the vehicle crashed into the bike which left him feeling dejected and depressed. Not just because of the physical impact of the accident but also because of the psychological effects that the accident had on him: “I was waiting for my switch to turn off. I’m fine now,” he said.

The moment that disturbed him the most was when people gathered around him at the site of the accident to take pictures and videos: “If you’re in the public eye, what you realise when you’re on the ground thinking it’s the last minute of your life is that, for some people, it’s just going to be entertainment for their Facebook page.”

It changed his perception forever about the machinations of celebrity culture: “I’m a pretty positive guy, but that told me, clearly, that you really are here just for their entertainment. You want to take every one and shake them.”

Watch the trailer for George Clooney’s 2020 directorial effort The Midnight Sky below.