What a moment! George Clooney was caught by surprise when his pal Julia Roberts took the stage at the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors in a dress covered with his pictures.
Us Weekly got an exclusive first look at the moment the 61-year-old, who was honored at the soiree, noticed the fashionable tribute during the ceremony on December 4. The full show will air on CBS on Wednesday, December 28, at 8 p.m. ET.
“Wow!” Clooney mouthed as Roberts, 55, walked toward the microphone in her custom Moschino gown. “What? This old thing?” the Pretty Woman star said in response as audience members erupted into cheers and applause.
The floor-length number, which she paired with a cropped blazer, was adorned with gold frames that included a cast photo of the Kentucky native from ER, a 1986 portrait from the Facts of Life as well as an image of the moment he won the Cecil B. Demille Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 72nd Golden Globes in 2015.
“I’m here for Gladys Knight, can’t you tell?” Roberts joked in reference to the “Missing You” singer, 78, and fellow 2022 honoree.
Roberts, who has been close with Clooney for years, went on to praise the Oscar winner, calling him “the renaissance man”
“One who has wide interests and excels in many fields,” the Runaway Bride star said, adding: “Now, to be a renaissance man, it is said one must possess these six characteristics: to be knowledgeable, artistic, physical, intelligent, social and cool.”
Clooney, for his part, looked dapper in a black tuxedo. His wife, Amal Clooney, was also present and looked glamorous in a crystal-adorned frock by Valentino. The attorney, 44, styled the off-the-shoulder design with metallic silver pointed toe pumps, voluminous curls and a bold red lip.
In addition to George, the Kennedy Center Honors celebrated Amy Grant, U2’s Bono, The Edge, Tania León, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.
Roberts’ sweet speech isn’t the first time she’s raved over the Out of Sight actor.
During a joint appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in October to promote their latest movie, Ticket to Paradise, Roberts opened up about their friendship after the two met on the set of Ocean’s Eleven, which premiere in 2001.
“We became, like, instant friends,” the Eat, Pray, Love star said as George quipped: “Yes.”
She continued: “You know, you just meet people and sometimes you think, ‘I really don’t like that person’ and then there’s some people who you go, ‘OK, I may know this person until the end of time.’”