George Clooney Thought He Wouldn't Survive Motorcycle Crash: 'I Was Waiting for Switch to Turn Off'

The Catch-22 actor was riding a motorcycle when he collided with a car who came into his lane in Italy last summer

George Clooney didn’t think he’d survive for a brief, but terrifying moment, after the motorcycle crash he was involved with last summer.

This week, the Catch-22 actor appeared on The Hollywood Reporter‘s First Look, where he opened up about the scary incident in July 2018 that he miraculously walked away from without any serious injuries.

“I hit him at 70 miles per hour, so it was bad,” the Oscar winner, 58, revealed to the outlet, noting that the near-death experience led him to quit riding. “I split my helmet in half. It knocked me out of my shoes, it hit hard.”

Right after the crash, Clooney said he believed he might die from the collision, especially since his head took most of the impact.

“It was bad and I was waiting for the switch to turn off because I broke his windshield with my head,” Clooney recalled. “I thought, ‘Okay, well, that’s my neck.'”

The father of two jokingly added: “If you get nine lives, I’ve got all of them used up, so I can let go of motorcycle riding for a while.”

The moment wasn’t only traumatic for Clooney. His fellow producer Grant Heslov also recalled holding Clooney in his arms after the crash and making a pact to never ride again if his friend survived.

“I made a deal as I was holding him waiting for the ambulance,” Heslov explained. “I said to myself, ‘If he lives, I’ll never ride a motorcycle again.'”

It turns out Heslov has stuck to his word since that day, as both he and Clooney have now given up riding completely.

“It got both Grant and I — after 40 years of riding together — off of motorcycles for good,” Clooney shared.

American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to George Clooney - Roaming Inside
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

Last July, Clooney was traveling on his motorcycle in Italy when a car cut into his lane and crashed into him, flinging him into the air.

Police told NBC’s Claudio Lavanga at the time that the accident occurred around 8:15 a.m. local time when a driver of a car allegedly did not “respect the right of way,” cutting across the star’s path and hitting him.

Video of the crash showed the impact that threw Clooney high into the air before landing on the ground nearby.

The actor was rushed to the emergency room of John Paul II hospital after complaining of “a slight trauma to the pelvis and bruises to one leg and an arm,” according to La Nuova. He also reportedly underwent an MRI but was later released without serious injury.

Although the crash happened while he was filming the Hulu series,Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter that the incident did not delay production. “I was back at work four days later,” he shared.

George Clooney
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This isn’t the first time as of late that Clooney has opened up about the crash.

At a Catch-22 panel in New York City earlier this month, Clooney revealed that his wife Amal, 41, banned him from riding two-wheel vehicles again, and then Heslov’s wife followed suit.

“I’m not allowed to ride motorcycles,” Clooney told the audience at the DGA Theater. “I got into a really bad accident. I hit a guy at 70 miles an hour on my bike. Got launched. And so that’s, I’m off of bikes. Grant’s off. We screwed up and our wives were like, ‘You can never get on a bike again.’”

Amal Clooney (left) and George Clooney
Ian West/PA Images via Getty

About a week later, Clooney appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and revealed more details about his thought process after the collision.

“I got launched, and I crushed his windshield in with my head and then I went flying up in the air afterward,” the Oceans Eleven star recalled on DeGeneres’ talk show May 9.

“I actually thought that was it,” he added. “Do that 100 times, 99 [of those] times I wouldn’t be around [after]. So I used up nine lives, and then my wife and I said, ‘Ok, I’m off two wheels.’”

Clooney stars alongside Kyle Chandler and Christopher Abbott in Catch-22, which premiered on Hulu May 17.

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