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May 18, 2016 01:00 PM

Everyone in Hollywood seems to be friends with everyone else, but for Julia Roberts and George Clooney, the affection is real.

“What a relief we’re not Hollywood friends,” said Roberts and she and her Money Monster costar sat down with PEOPLE recently in Cannes. “I just said to him an hour ago, ‘Thank God we really do like each other, or we’d be in hell.’ ”

Where they are is at the glitzy film festival in the South of France talking about their fourth film together (besides the Ocean’s movies, Clooney directed Roberts in 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), and a friendship that’s spanned 15 years.

“We met on Ocean’s,” explained Clooney. “We had actually never met before. People just thought we had.” Added Roberts, “He and [director Steven Soderbergh] called me to a little meeting, I think to see if they liked me.” That little meeting turned into a longstanding friendship with their lives intertwining personally and professionally.

VIDEO: The Song You Need to Play to Get George Clooney to Dance

“She stayed at my house in Italy when she was first pregnant,” recalled Clooney. “She brought all those monsters [twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, 11, and Henry, 8]) back to the house when they were actual human beings and we’ve had a blast with them.”

The affection naturally extends to the spouses as well. “Danny [Moder] and I are great friends and love each other. What’s fun is it’s really like a family,” Clooney said. “It makes it easy. It’s really fun to go, ‘Hey, let’s do this movie together.’ ”

George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Money Monster
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“What he’s saying is we’ve just stitched our lives closer together,” said Roberts. “All these people that come into our lives; my husband, my children, his wife [Amal Clooney]. We just keep stitching our lives closer together.”

Read more about Clooney and Roberts in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

You’d think watching the changes in each other’s lives must be deeply satisfying for them, right? “It’s actually irritating as s— because when we started out, I had dark hair,” deadpanned Clooney. “Now, she looks exactly the same and people are like, ‘Look at her, she looks exactly the same,’ and they’re like, ‘Look at George. He’s aging well.’ ”

Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster, is now in theaters.

Reporting by J.D. HEYMAN

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