The critically renowned actor and Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney has appeared in films like Ocean’s Eleven, The Descendants, and Tomorrowland: A World Beyond.

However, Clooney’s health took a serious turn and he was hospitalized for pancreatitis when he was filming for the Netflix movie The Midnight Sky.

Clooney, 60, played an aging scientist with cancer in the sci-fi movie from 2020, which he also directed. He crossed the Arctic Circle to warn off a returning interplanetary starship.

Clooney dropped a lot of weight in order to play the part, but things quickly turned bad when he was brought to the hospital with severe stomach pains that turned out to be pancreatitis.

Production was stopped on the project, which turned out to be one of his biggest to date, so that the star could regain his best health.

In a statement at the time, Clooney said: “As a filmmaker, it’s not so easy because you need energy. It took a few weeks to get better.”

“The fact that we were outside on a glacier in Finland made the process much more difficult. But it undoubtedly enhanced the character.”

“This is much bigger than anything I’ve done previously, and getting it done was like herding cats. But that was enjoyable, you know.”

The actor also stopped shaving and let his facial hair grow in order to fully embody the character, who is based on Lily Brooks-debut Dalton’s novel Good Morning, Midnight.

“I developed a big ugly beard and my son loved it because he’d hide stuff in it,” Clooney continued. “I wouldn’t know about it until I got to work and I’d be like, ‘Oh, there’s a popsicle stuck in my beard.”

But when it finally came off, my wife and daughter were overjoyed since it had been so difficult to identify a face beneath all that mess.

Clooney explicitly attributed his extreme weight loss and lack of self-care as the reasons he believed led to the development of pancreatitis.

“I think I was probably not taking care of myself since I was trying too hard to reduce the weight rapidly.”

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, the sizable gland located below the stomach and next to the small intestine, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

The two primary jobs of the pancreas are to produce the hormone insulin and digestive juices, or enzymes, that aid in food digestion. These enzymes aid in the digestion of food in the intestine.

When these enzymes injure the pancreas, resulting in inflammation and other unpleasant symptoms, pancreatitis develops.

Pancreatitis comes in two primary varieties: acute and chronic. The former happens unexpectedly and is more of a temporary ailment, with the majority of patients recovering after therapy.

The latter is a chronic illness that does not get better or mend; rather, it worsens over time and can cause long-term harm to the pancreas.

Acute pancreatitis patients experience immediate, occasionally unexpected symptoms and pain. These people need to receive medical care immediately. When a person has chronic pancreatitis, symptoms might not show up until after complications. Some people don’t feel any pain at all.

If neither illness is treated, it can result in problems including a bile or pancreatic duct narrowing or blockage, heart, lung, or kidney failure, pancreatic duct leaking, and in extreme circumstances, death.

According to the NIDDK, the following are the most typical causes of both acute and chronic pancreatitis:


heavy drinking

Pancreatic genetic disorders

a few medications.

As briefly indicated above, mild acute pancreatitis usually resolves with rest and medication within a few days. However, if a person’s condition is more severe, treatment options can include include gallbladder removal surgery, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and X-rays to address bile or pancreatic duct narrowing or blockage.