In 2017, Clooney’s pal Rande Gerber told MSNBC how the actor surprised his pals by giving them a million dollars — in cash — in a suitcase. While speaking with the magazine, the 59-year-old explained his reasoning behind the generous gesture.
Clooney’s movie Gravity was about to come out in 2013, "and because they didn’t want to pay us, they gave us percentages of the movie, ‘cause they thought it was gonna be a flop, and that ended up being a very good deal," he said.
At the time, he didn’t have a family — Clooney now shares twins Ella and Alexander with wife Amal — and figured he may never have kids. "I thought, what I do have are these guys who’ve all, over a period of 35 years, helped me in one way or another," he shared. "I’ve slept on their couches when I was broke. They loaned me money when I was broke. They helped me when I needed help over the years. And I’ve helped them over the years. We’re all good friends. And I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close."
The dad of two got a van that said "Florist" on it, drove downtown, got in an elevator with the van and went to a vault, where he loaded the vehicle up with cash. Clooney didn’t tell anyone what he was doing except his assistant "and a couple of security guys that were sh**ting themselves."
"And we brought it up, and I bought 14 Tumi bags, and then I packed in a million bucks, cash, which isn’t as much as you think it is, weight-wise, into these Tumi bags," he said.
The next day, all his friends came over and realized they were in for a real treat. "And I just held up a man and I just pointed to all the places that I got to go in the world and all the things I’ve gotten to see because of them,” he revealed. “And I said, ‘How do you repay people like that?’ And I said, ‘Oh, well: How about a million bucks?’ And the fun part about it was: That was the 27th, the 28th of September. A year later, on the 27th of September, just by happenstance, was the day I got married.
"You know, it’s funny," he continued. "I remember talking to one really rich asshole who I ran into in a hotel in Vegas — certainly a lot richer than I am. And I remember the story about the cash had come out, and he was like, 'Why would you do that?’ And I was like, 'Why wouldn’t you do that, you schmuck?'"