'Very good time' in Clooney's life
Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney has revealed he is "optimistic" about his future.
While the Oscar-winning star, who married barrister Amal Alamuddin in Venice last September, dodged questions relating to his personal life at the London press conference for his new film Tomorrowland, he said he has never been happier about life.
" I've always been optimistic, by the way. Actually, I've had a very lucky life overall. I've been able to do a lot of things I've never really imagined I would do but it's a very good time in my life," the 54-year-old said.
"I'm having a wonderful time and I'm a very lucky man to have met someone as special as my wife so I'm very happy, very optimistic."
The couple have bought a house together in Berkshire, which is currently being refurbished, and the actor offered a rare update when he said: "I'm working on my house as we speak."
Clooney, who serves as one of the United Nations messengers of peace, said his optimism carries throughout his humanitarian work.
" I go to Sudan and Darfur and it's a very difficult time in a lot of these places, certainly in sub-Saharan Africa and all over the Middle East," he said.
"You'll see these things and feel completely inundated if you watch the news - and you should watch the news - but it can't just be that. There has to be some positive in it. Understanding the endeavours that I've taken up, we know we'll never completely succeed in."
He added: "I'll be long dead before they are solved. But participating is part of the game so I've always believed in that, and that was part of what attracted me to the film."
Former ER star Clooney, who plays inventor Frank Walker in Tomorrowland, made a joke about his age as he takes on Hugh Laurie's villainous alter-ego David Nix in the fight scenes.
"I trained for minutes because I had to fight another old TV doctor with a cane," he said, referring to Laurie's portrayal of Doctor Gregory House in medical drama House MD.
"I was just getting beaten the whole time. I think that was our great stunt."
Clooney - who has won Oscars for his roles in political thrillers Syriana and Argo - continued: "I've got to that point in my career. It's funny because when I was in my 30s, I was able to punch somebody and walk away with an explosion behind you, but now I just get the hell beaten (out of me).
"I get punched in the face, I get down and cry. So I didn't have to do a lot of training, I mostly just get beaten up a lot. That was kind of fun for me, I enjoyed it," he quipped.
He said he agreed to star in the film alongside director Brad Bird and writer-producer Damon Lindelof as soon as he read the script, despite his role described as a "55-year-old angry, bitter has-been".
"I really wanted to work with Brad and Damon," he explained. "The minute I got the script, I wanted to do it. I love the idea of doing an original film, I think it's very brave, and I love the themes in it."
Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Kathryn Hahn also star in Tomorrowland, which opens in cinemas on May 22.