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George Clooney seems to have it all — a successful movie career, an Oscar, good looks, a parade of beautiful girlfriends.
But life hasn’t always been easy for the actor-director, who is on the big screen in The Ides of March, which he also helmed, and next appears in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.
In 2005, while filming Syriana — the movie that earned him his Oscar — Clooney suffered a spinal injury while performing a stunt that left him in so much pain he considered ending his life.
“I was at a point where I thought, ‘I can’t exist like this. I can’t actually live,'” the actor told Rolling Stone. “I was lying in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm, unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like you’re having a stroke, and for a short three-week period, I started to think, ‘I may have to do something drastic about this.'”
Clooney added that he even thought of what would be the best way to do it.
“You start to think in terms of, you don’t want to leave a mess, so go in the garage, go in the car, start the engine,” he said. “It seems like the nicest way to do it, but I never thought I’d get there. See, I was in a place where I was trying to figure out how to survive.”
Clooney then turned to alcohol to help alleviate the pain and has since had surgery, which has helped, he still suffers from occasional headaches related to the accident.
Meanwhile, Clooney has high hopes for Descendants, in which he plays an indifferent husband and father of two girls whose life is turned upside-down when his wife has a boating accident.
“If it’s not nominated for best picture, I’ll be shocked,” he said. “It’s that good.”
The Fox Searchlight movie opens Nov. 16.