George Clooney Was Offered $35 Million For One Day’s Work With An Airline. He Said No.

George Clooney defined having more than enough money as being able to say ‘no’ when offered $35 million for a day’s work filming a commercial for an airline. He decided it ‘wasn’t worth it’ because the airline was from a country that “although it’s an ally, is questionable at times” and so he “thought: ‘Well, if it takes a minute’s sleep away from me, it’s not worth it.'”

The interviewer asked him whether he’d ever thought, “I have enough money now.”

“Well, yeah. I was offered $35 million for one day’s work for an airline commercial,” he said, adding that he consulted with Amal, his wife, “and we decided it’s not worth it.”

He doesn’t share which airline it is, which country, or even when this was but I’m going to guess the country is the United Arab Emirates, and suggesting that the airline would likely have been Emirates or Etihad… probably about six years ago. (Qatar Airways criticized celebrity ads at the time.) That’s when:

  • Emirates did adwork featuring Jennifer Aniston

  • Etihad did adwork featuring Nicole Kidman

Of course it’s possible I’ve got this wrong, because Turkey might fall into this same category of country and Turkish Airlines went with Kevin Costner.

Of course Clooney isn’t beyond doing commercials. He’s made over $40 million advertising Nespresso

He actually has done an airline commercial. It took a lot more than just one day to film. And he wasn’t even paid anything extra. All American Airlines had to do was provide the locations for Up In The Air.

(HT: Paul H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. When I read the news, I thought: “Emirates, Ethiad or Turkish”? I would have assume it to be EK or TK.

  2. Can understand him standing on principle. Of course when you made what he did as an actor, sold his tequila company for $700 million (split among his partners and investors) and are worth an estimated $500 million it is a lot easier to turn down $35 million if you have any concerns

  3. Perhaps, Clooney should have taken the money and donated it to a charity that could have put it to good use helping people who need help. $35 million could have done a lot of good and all it would’ve cost him is a minute’s sleep.

  4. What a moron to turn down $35 million for doing basically nothing. Why not just make the commercial and give the proceeds to a cause you approve of? You can do a lot of good with that much money.

  5. While Emirates picked Aniston, Etihad’s countering ad went three levels up in class with Kidman.

  6. Luke Vadar. If you want a cheap laugh at Etihad misfiring using a high profile female to flog their premium wares Google the Danni Minogue promo. Mind shockingly awful

  7. This is obscene. If it was truly just one day of work, this guy is a fool. These ME countries have absolutely nothing of value and have done nothing of value for the world except having oil which brilliant White Men told them how to extract and sold them tools and equipment. Clooney could have brought back 35 million dollars to the U.S. or Europe and used it productively to create jobs here (he could buy a mid range yacht) or invested in green energy production. If these slobs are throwing money at you, take it.

    He could have called out the countries with abusive laws which target tourists after he took $35 million from them.

  8. Neo-Nazi-loving much, Amy Fischer?

    Over 1600 years ago, there was oil extraction going on in China. Over 1000 years ago, there was oil extraction going on around present-day Azerbaijan.

  9. To those who think he is a fool, perhaps he thought that lending his name to a murderous regime would cause significantly more damage than $35mm donated to a good cause? I would assume there would be a non-disparagement clause included in the contract as well so he wouldn’t just be able to speak out after.

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