Elisabetta Canalis Calls George Clooney 'Better Than Plastic Surgery'

08/10/2010 at 06:35 PM EDT

Elisabetta Canalis Calls George Clooney 'Better Than Plastic Surgery'
Elisabetta Canalis and George Clooney
Amy Sancetta/AP
The secret's out – the fountain of youth, according to Elisabetta Canalis, is a happy relationship.

"He's better than plastic surgery!" George Clooney's girlfriend, 31, tells Entertainment Tonight about the actor, someone she credits with helping her to feel like she's 18 all over again.

The couple, who have been dating since last year, are going strong, and the former Italian TV presenter is excited to be following up her role on the TNT series Leverage.

"I'm happy to be here. It's a privilege for me," the bilingual beauty (she speaks Italian and English but is also learning Spanish) says about playing an intelligence agent, known only as "The Italian," who blackmails Timothy Hutton's character on the drama. The entire cast is "amazing and they are helping me a lot."

Up next for Canalis is hitting the red carpet with Clooney, 49, for the Aug. 29 Primetime Emmys, where he will receive the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.

"I'm very proud. It's a very important award," she says. "I'll be there with him."

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