Felicity Jones found out she was pregnant ahead of filming, and welcomed her first child with husband Charles Guard in September

By Claudia Harmata
January 13, 2021 02:39 PM
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Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty; Dia Dipasupil/Getty

George Clooney is explaining why he incorporated Felicity Jones' pregnancy into his 2020 film, Midnight Sky.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 59-year-old actor revealed that he originally tried to shoot the sci-fi drama around Jones' pregnancy, though it proved to be unsuccessful.

"We're in Iceland on a glacier and I got a call from Felicity and she says, 'Well, I'm pregnant,' " Clooney recalled. "I knew how to answer that, which is, 'Congratulations.' But if you saw my face, I'm like, 'Holy s---.' "

"We started to try to shoot around it, which is always a mistake, because you can't shoot around it," he added. "People know when you're hiding things."

Clooney — who starred in and directed the movie — eventually realized Jones' pregnancy would provide a richer and more authentic storyline.

"So we just looked at it and said, 'Look, they've been in space for two years, people have sex. It's like going on location.' I just thought, like Fran [McDormand] in Fargo, women every single day are pregnant, going to work and doing their job, and why not in space and why not just deal with it?" he explained.

Credit: Philippe Antonello/NETFLIX

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In the film, Jones, 37, stars as Sully Rembshire, one of the astronauts aboard the Aether that are headed home from a mission to scout Jupiter's habitable moon K-23 for the future of the human race. What they don't know, is that Earth has become uninhabitable in the time they've been gone.

Clooney's character, Augustine Lofthouse, treks across the Arctic to send them a warning to turn around and return to K-23.

Midnight Sky premiered in December, four months after PEOPLE confirmed Jones had given birth to her first child with husband Charles Guard.

PEOPLE exclusively confirmed Jones' pregnancy in December 2019, shortly after she stepped out in New York City for the premiere of her film The Aeronauts.

Jones and Guard, a film director, tied the knot in July 2018 after dating for about three years.