George Clooney Named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive

11/15/2006 at 07:45 AM EST

George Clooney Named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive
Brad Pitt, you've got company.

George Clooney has been named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive for 2006 – joining his pal Pitt as a two-time honoree.

"Brad's going to be upset," the 45-year-old Oscar winner tells PEOPLE in its special issue.

Then again, after the year Clooney's had, his buddy will understand. Hollywood's consummate gentleman kicked things off with an Academy Award (winning Best Supporting Actor for Syriana,) and Clooney further cemented his reputation for social activism, working on behalf of causes to help the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.

And through it all, he's kept his sense of humor intact. "There's a lot of pressure," he says of the Sexiest Man Alive honor. "There are all the events you have to show up for. The sash you have to wear … is embarrassing."

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Clooney sounds off on romance rumors, his thoughts on marriage and kids – and what it's like to date a woman while photographers are tailing you.

On whether he'll ever have children:
"I think it's the most responsible thing you can do, to have kids. It's not something to be taken lightly. I don't have that gene that people have to replicate. But everything in my life has changed over time."

On his vow to "never marry again" – and whether he's changed his mind:
"The truth is, I haven't softened my position on anything, but it's not something I deal with on a regular basis. Who knows? I've been married (in the early '90s, to actress Talia Balsam). It's not something I'm looking out for. The truth is, I'm really happy."

On what he finds attractive:
"Everybody says this, but sense of humor is No. 1 for me. It's certainly what's most attractive. It's not the first thing you notice at 21, but it's the first thing you notice now. You also have to have a sense of humor about my life. It certainly has had an effect on relationships, but I would bet less of an effect than my own issues or insecurities. You can't really blame outside forces for things not working out. You have to take some responsibility."

On being in the tabloids:
"I usually don't notice anymore. The funniest thing is that recently a story came out that I was with some girl from Deal or No Deal whom I had never even met."

On his favorite on-set pranks:
"There were so many. It's a constant battle of evil, rotten things."

On being named Sexiest Man Alive for a second time:
"This one's going to be hard for Brad (Pitt) since he's been Sexiest Man Alive twice. He's enjoyed that mantle. I'd say 'Sexiest Man Alive' to him and he'd go, 'Two-time.' So that's been taken away. We used to call him Two Time. So Brad's going to be upset."

For more from PEOPLE's exclusive interview with Sexiest Man Alive George Clooney, pick up the latest issue, on newsstands Friday.

Check out PEOPLE.com's complete Sexiest Man Alive coverage – with photos, videos, polls and our GuyWatch blog.

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