George Clooney: I was waiting for my switch to turn off after motorbike crash

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  • George Clooney
    George Clooney
    American actor
  • Amal Clooney
    Amal Clooney
    British-Lebanese barrister

George Clooney has said he was “waiting for my switch to turn off” after he was in a motorcycle crash that could have killed him.

The actor was taken to hospital after he was hit by a car in Sardinia in 2018, while he was on the Italian island filming Catch 22, a TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s book of the same name.

The crash happened when a Mercedes turned in front of him and Clooney was thrown from the bike, slamming into the windscreen.

The driver called Italian law enforcement, who sent the municipal police, an ambulance and the fire department, and while he was on the ground he realised a crowd was gathering and people were filming him on their phones.

He told the Sunday Times: “I was waiting for my switch to turn off. I’m fine now.

“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.

“I’m a pretty positive guy, but that told me, clearly, that you really are here just for their entertainment.”

He added: “You want to take every one and shake them.”

Clooney celebrated his 60th birthday in May, when his wife Amal organised a party for close friends. He is currently promoting his new film The Tender Bar, which he directed.

He said: “Turning 60 is a bummer. But it’s that or dead.

“I said to Amal, knock on wood, I’m healthy. I still play basketball with the younger gang. I feel good.

“But in 20 years I’m 80 – and 80 is a real number.

“I said the next 20 years are halcyon and we need to celebrate that, we should focus on the work we do being just the stuff we have to, that we feel in our chest.”

The Tender Bar, which is based on a book of the same name by J.R. Moehringer, tells the story of a boy who seeks father figures at a bar run by his uncle.

Last month, he appeared on the red carpet for the event at the Royal Festival alongside Amal Clooney. 

It will be in cinemas on December 22 before being made available on Amazon Prime Video.

Watch: George Clooney reflects on near-fatal motorcycle crash

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