If the female mind still seems like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma to you, you're in good company: Even George Clooney, king of charisma, has trouble reading women. In a preview for the next episode of David Letterman's Netflix talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, which hits the streaming service on February 9, the Oscar winner describes how he met his wife, Amal Clooney, in 2013. And though the story has a well-publicized happy ending—the duo married in Venice in September 2014 and welcomed twins Ella and Alexander last June—Clooney shared that, after their first meeting, he thought the human rights lawyer had friend-zoned him.
Another shocking tidbit from the 56-year-old's story? He didn't even have to leave the house to meet Amal. "A mutual friend of ours said, 'I'm stopping by and can I bring my friend?' And I was like, 'Of course.' [Then] I got a call from my agent, who called me and said, 'I met this woman who's coming to your house who you're gonna marry,'" Clooney said. "And the funniest thing was my mom and dad were visiting, so my parents were there, and we just talked and we stayed up all night talking." He said that he got Amal's email address before she left so she could send him some photos she took that night, but even then, he didn't know where they stood. "We started writing and I didn't really have a—I didn't really know if she wanted to go out with me," he said. "I just thought, you know, we were buddies."
As Letterman so aptly put it to the two-time Sexiest Man Alive, "Who would, George? Let's be frank: Who really would want to go out with you?"
Luckily for him, Clooney figured it all out and tied the knot with Amal about a year later, but not before fumbling his way through the proposal. During a 2016 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he shared the story of the "horrible moment." "Everything was planned out, and I've cooked dinner," he said. "I've got it all set up, timed out, and the song is coming [but] she gets up to go wash the dishes, which she's never done. And I'm like, 'What are you doing?' and she comes back in. And finally, I blew out the candle and I said, 'I think the lighter's in the box behind you.' And she reaches around and she pulls out the box, and I've got just the ring sitting in there, and she pulls it out, and she looks at it, and she's like, 'It's a ring,' like, as if somebody had left it there some other time." Finally, after Clooney gave a 25-minute-long speech (they timed it), Amal put all the pieces together and, obviously, said yes. Here's hoping the rest of their marriage is a little bit easier for the Clooneys to figure out.