Ruth Eastwood and her son Clinton
Clinton Eastwood Junior was born at St. Francis Hospital, San Francisco on May 31st 1930. The Young Eastwood was attracting attention from the very moment he was born, weighing in at Eleven pounds, Six ounces; he certainly became a star with the nurses. ‘I always said he was famous from the day he was born, he was special from the start’ said his mother Ruth. She remembers him as a daring toddler, always a dear and charming boy whom she fell in love with immediately. A bond between mother and son that remained solid until her passing in 2006.
By the time Clint had reached his early teens, the family had settled in Oakland. His father had found a stable job with the Container Corporation of America, and for the first time in his life, Clint felt some sense of stability, regularly attended Piedmont Junior High School. It was while here he made some lifelong friends including Don Kincade.
A taste of things to come
It was through Don that Clint would meet his first wife Maggie Johnson, both Clint and Don still remain friends to this day. Another classroom buddy whom he would remain close friends with was Fritz Manes. Fritz went on to play an important part of Clint’s production company Malpaso, producing a great deal of successful projects in the Eighties. By the time he attended Oakland Technical High School, Clint was tall, good looking and never had a problem attracting the attention of young girls.
Like every other teenager, it was at high school where Clint fell hopelessly for a girl. Joan was a red headed beauty and certainly one of the most popular girls in the class. Although Clint was crazy about this girl, she never made any outwardly show of interest toward Clint. Other girls of course followed, but for Clint simply just talking to girls was somewhat of a painful and uncomfortable experience. By nature he was ultimately a loner and asking a pretty classmate out on a date just didn’t come naturally, he was simply too introverted.
Clint in a car
Clint as a teenager
In a 1974 interview, Clint told Playboy Magazine, ‘I remember in Junior High School in Oakland, I had a teacher decide we were going to put on a one-act play, and she made up her mind I was going to be the lead. It was really disastrous. I wanted to go out for Athletics; doing plays was not considered the thing to do at that stage in life- especially not presenting them before the entire senior high school, which is what she made us do. We muffed a lot of lines.’ His mother Ruth was surprised that Clint ended up as an actor at all. She was pleased in one way, that her son had been volunteered for the school play. Maybe this was a way of drawing him out of his natural shyness. ‘They’ll murder us if we let them down’ Clint told Harry on the phone. ‘Yeah, I guess it would be easier all round if we just did it,’ replied Harry. Clint would later explain that it went better than they had thought it would. His mouth dried as soon as he stepped on stage. He gazed upon the audience including Miss Jones who had picked Clint for the play, then the laughs started echoing from the audience, but strangely enough the laughs had come at the right place. The kids were actually laughing along with him and not at him. ‘I guess it was the time I realised you can act extroverted without really being so, and that being self confident didn’t mean people took an instant dislike to you or laugh at you.’ Remembers Clint, ‘I was only fifteen, but that was the day I grew up.’ They somehow got through it and Clint even conceded that he quite enjoyed the experience, but nevertheless concluded, ‘I made up my mind then that I would never get involved with anything to do with acting again.’
Clint was naturally the athletic type, reaching his 6ft 4-inch frame by the time he was at high school. At one point it looked as if a career in basketball was the natural path to follow. His immediate love was for cars, jazz and girls; they were the focal points of the teenager’s dreams. Clint was enjoying a great independence that perhaps most kids his age never really had. His father even managed to scrape together $25 to buy Clint his first car. By the time Clint had reached 15, he decided to take off by himself and return in time for the next school term. He threw together a couple of bags, kissed his family farewell, jumped into his car and headed off to the great state of California. Clint had no well laid out plan as to where to go in California, it was the open road and he’d stop where he fancied stopping. Continuing on his journey, he eventually stumbled across a farm up by Yreka where he was to spend the rest of the summer. Bailing hay was hard work and the young Clint could barely summon enough strength to crawl into his bunk of a night.
At Oakland Technical High School, Clint continued to maintain steady progress in his studies, while doing his best to avoid the continued attempts by his teacher to involve him in more school plays. He was now into his 16th year and attained his full height of 6ft 4 inches, and naturally he was somewhat forced into the schools basketball team. As far as Clint could remember ‘There was one guy taller than me at six-five.’
His results remained steady and adequate but nothing spectacular certainly nothing that warranted serious university tuition. In between semesters he continued to explore California and beyond. His family was happy with this and respected his wishes. Why wouldn’t they, he’d already demonstrated both an independence and a mature intelligence. By 1947, if Clint could have chosen a career in show business it may very well had been as a musician, he had become pretty good on trumpet, and particularly good on piano. In fact, he found himself playing piano at the Omar Club on Broadway in Oakland, there was never any money to show for his efforts but the young man was given free meals and all the beer he could swallow in return for tinkering at the ivories. Fritz Manes recalls, ‘everyone started gathering around and listening and having a great time. Then whenever we came back, they tried to get Clint to play and people would come in and ask for him. And he’d walk in and say, ‘Well, we’ll get to it later,’ but he always did because he wanted to, and he would play for hours, literally for hours.’
17 years old Clint
The Family was once again on the move, this time settling in Seattle. Graduating from Oakland Tech at the age of 18 Clint once again decided to go it alone. It was a pretty uneventful period in his life, if he wasn’t busting his back digging either ditches or swimming pools he’d be working the furnaces from Midnight to 7.00am for the Bethlehem Steelworks up near Oakland, ‘My job was general maintenance around the big blast furnaces, and the heat got so intense you felt as if your skin would peel right off your body. I didn’t like the work, even though the pay was good. I was working the graveyard shift, from midnight until nine in the morning. I had my days free, but I was too tired to enjoy them.’ Clint had always dreamt about the prospect of lumber jacking and always wanted to experience it for himself. So it was perhaps inevitable that he headed for Springfield, Oregon by way of the Willamette River. Upon his arrival Clint eventually found work and was hired at the Weyerhaeuser Company mills. He’d only worked there a matter of weeks and soon became aware that lumber jacking could be a dangerous business.
Clint had worked the mills for around a year but decided he’d rather move back to Seattle before a second winter set in. Aged 19, Clint returned home to take on a series of pretty non-eventful jobs, including truck driving for the Color shake organisation. During an excursion to the state of Texas he found employment in Renton as a lifeguard. Deciding to put his natural athleticisms to good use, he was also required to teach as a swimming instructor. He would later of course state that the most beneficial part of the job was enjoying the natural beauties that would visit the pool in their bathing suits! Clint remembers fondly, ‘Believe me, those jobs were hard to get.’
Inside though, he still remained pretty uncertain as to what he really wanted in life. He has since looked back at that time of his life with such self-inflicting terms as ‘a bum’ or ‘ a screw up’ yet, despite this, he remained clear, he wanted to be himself, and to earn his own way in life. After much deliberating, Clint finally came to the conclusion that he was going to continue with his music studies at Seattle University. No sooner had he become comfortable with his position and perhaps ultimately his plans for the future, the American government decided to intervene, and for the time being at least, Clint’s Plans would definitely be put on hold.
In 1951, Clint was drafted by Army during the Korean War. His basic training was done at Fort Ord on the Monterey Bay, California. Clint was supposed to be sent for war in Korea. When he was on trip home to Seattle to meet parents and girlfriend, on the ride back the plane developed engine trouble and was forced to make water landing off San Francisco. Causing him to swim over a mile. Due to this he has appointed as a swimming instructor instead of being sent to Korea. During his duty at Ft. Ord, Clint met ther with fellow soldiers and actors Martin Milner, David Janssen, and Richard Long.
Clint loved this work; he even lived down by the pool in a hut, as opposed to the regulation barracks. ‘I was a private with a swimming pool, wearing Khakis and a sweatshirt, and a year and a half later I was a Corporal.’ It was while Clint was stationed in the area, that he fell in love with Carmel in particular and its surrounding beauty. Along with Clint’s army pay of around $70 a month, he decided to take a part time job outside of the base. Lasting some four months, he worked as a packer for the Spreckles Sugar Company based in nearby Salinas valley. ‘It was hard work, but they paid me $1.70 an hour’ he said. It was only a matter of time before the army caught on to his extracurricular excursions and the job came to a grinding halt. Not one to be beaten, Clint soon found another form of extra work, this time remaining firmly within the guidelines of the Army rule book, he found himself working as a bouncer at the NCO club on the army base. The pay was never going to match the sugar job, but it had its compensations, it was a whole lot easier and Clint could swallow half a dozen beers during a night of work, not bad.
Clint was discharged from Army in 1953. Later Eastwood moved to Southern California, where attended Los Angeles City College, excelled in drama and business administration under the G.I. Bill. In 1955, Clint appeared as an actor in films: "Revenge of the Creature", "Tarantula" and "Francis in the Navy". While he got the first big break in 1959 with long-running TV series, "Rawhide". He had also made the show his own and got the attention of every American.
Later on, he was credited for his roles in several more films, including Ambush at Cimarron Pass, which he has dismissed as "probably the lousiest Western ever made." Around the time the film was released Eastwood described himself as feeling "really depressed" and regards it as the lowest point in his career. He seriously considered quitting the acting profession and returning to school to start doing something with his life. His break came when he won the role of Rowdy Yates in the TV series Rawhide, which ran from 1959 to 1966. As Rowdy Yates (whom Eastwood privately described as "the idiot of the plains"), he became a household name across the United States. He did not make another theatrical film until he was contacted by Sergio Leone in 1964, although he did make several guest appearances on TV, including the western comedy series Maverick, in which he fought James Garner in the "Duel at Sundown" episode.
An executive saw Eastwood on Rawhide and thought he looked like a cowboy, and at 6 ft 4 inches (193 cm) was a strong physical presence. Eastwood was invited to audition for Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964), though he was not the first actor approached to play the main character. A variety of actors, including Charles Bronson, Steve Reeves, Richard Harrison, Henry Fonda, James Coburn and Ty Hardin were considered for the part. The producers established a list of lesser-known American actors, and asked the afforementioned Richard Harrison for advice. Harrison suggested Clint Eastwood, whom he knew could play a cowboy convincingly. Harrison later said: "Maybe my greatest contribution to cinema was not doing Fistful of Dollars, and recommending Clint for the part". The film was to be shot in Spain and would become a benchmark in the development of the spaghetti westerns. Eastwood was instrumental in creating the Man With No Name character's distinctive visual style that would appear throughout the Dollars trilogy. He bought the black jeans from a shop on Hollywood Boulevard, the hat from a Santa Monica wardrobe firm, and the trademark black cigars came from a Beverly Hills shop, though Eastwood himself is a non-smoker. Since the film was an Italian/German/Spanish co-production, there was a major language barrier on the set. Eastwood communicated with the Italian cast and crew mostly through stuntman Benito Stefanelli, who acted as an interpreter for the production. Leone commented, "I like Clint Eastwood because he has only two facial expressions: one with the hat, and one without it".
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
A strong sensibility and understanding of the characters he played helped Eastwood develop the minimalist acting style for which hes famous. It was first appreciated in Europe where he starred in a trilogy of popular spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio Leone in Spain. As the laconic and lethal Man With No Name, Eastwood embodied archetypal violent American whose philosophy in "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964) was "everybody gets rich or dead." The sequels, "For a Few Dollars More" (1965) and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (1966), became classic revisionist Westerns and made Eastwood an international star.
(Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Southeast Asia Pte Ltd)
Promotional film poster for For A Few Dollars More
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For a few Dollars More
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Good the Bad and the Ugly
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1968 turned out to be a really hectic year for him. He founded Malpaso, a production company of his own. It has been involved in every Clint Eastwood movie ever since with good success. The main idea behind the founding of this company was that Clint thought that the big companies were wasting far too much money on everything. He believed that he could produce first-rate films efficiently, with minimum costs. In the 1970s, when the company began to work at full gear, it turned out to be true.
The same year Clint made acquaintance with the director Don Siegel. Since then they have made many movies together, and they have become great personal friends. The first movie that they made together was Coogan's Bluff, a "modernday western". This film is said to be one of the high points in both men's career.
(Copyright 1997 Antti Ivanoff)
Where Eagles Dare, a World War II movie, was Clint's next project. It turned out to be a blockbuster, and after a couple of years after this success he returned to the WW2 theme with the movie Kelly's Heroes.
Copyright 1997 Antti Ivanoff)
Where Eagles Dare
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In 1970 Clint joined forces again with Don Siegel in the western Two Mules for Sister Sara. Sara is quite an extraordinary nun (in fact she is not a nun at all) who gets a mercenary, played by Clint, to protect herself against different kinds of mishaps. The main happening in the film is that the mercenary saves a whole willage, thanks to the persuasion of Sister Sara. I think that this is quite a pleasant western with no special advantages. The real critics did of course not like it at all.
(Copyright 1997 Antti Ivanoff)
Clint Eastwood stands before a screen projecting a scene from his 1971 film "Dirty Harry" at the Steven J. Ross Theater on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. Warner Bros. is releasing a boxed set of the Dirty Harry films, in which Eastwood portrayed San Francisco police Inspector Harry Callahan. "Who's that young fella?" cracked Eastwood, gazing up at the screen.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Clint Eastwood in a scene from "Dirty Harry," the first film in the series. In it, Harry Callahan tracks a serial killer known as Scorpio (played by Andy Robinson), who puts the inspector to the test.
(Los Angeles Times)
Andy Robinson as the psychotic Scorpio in "Dirty Harry." World War II hero and actor Audie Murphy was reportedly approached to play the role, but he died in a plane crash before a formal offer was delivered.
(Los Angeles Times)
Inspector Callahan clings to a luggage rack atop a school bus as the crazed killer Scorpio, behind the wheel of the bus, holds young students hostage while careening wildly through the streets in "Dirty Harry." “All the movies you make, all these roles you take, and there are certain ones that people really hold on to," said Eastwood. "Harry is the one I hear about the most from the people on the street.”
(Los Angeles Times)
Scorpio (Andy Robinson) plans his next move on the school bus in "Dirty Harry." “It was police thriller, a cowboy western and a horror film, it was all of them yoked together,” Robinson said. “And because of the times it was released in, it became the film that people argued about. Is it fascist? Is it ripe with irony? After that movie I was turned away at auditions for quite a while. A lot of people in Hollywood were angry.”
(Los Angeles Times)
los Angeles Times
Inspector Callahan pulls his famed .44 Magnum on Scorpio during their final showdown in "Dirty Harry." “People are disappointed when they walk up to me and ask to see the gun and I tell them that 'Well, I don’t really carry guns,' ” Eastwood says.
(Los Angeles Times)
The role,circa 1971, was, of course, Harry Callahan, the San Francisco cop with good aim and bad attitude, who opened fire in "Dirty Harry," a movie that ushered in the modern American cinema of vengeance. He kept reloading for four sequels over 17 years, amassing a body count that began in the Nixon era and lasted into the twilight of the Reagan years. His darkly whispered one-liners (". . . You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" "Go ahead, make my day") were long ago drained of any real danger by stand-up comics, politicians and bumper stickers. It's easy to imagine Eastwood the auteur treating the character like a bad 1970s fashion choice.
The role of Callahan was "a real turning point" for him -- and American popular culture. There's also a sentimental aura around the first film: It was directed by the late Don Siegel, Eastwood's mentor and friend, and brought the actor back to his hometown of San Francisco. He also knows that, for good or bad, in the minds of movie fans he will forever carry Callahan's .44 Magnum.
"People are disappointed when they walk up to me and ask to see the gun and I tell them that, well, I don't really carry guns," he said with a chuckle. Eastwood was wearing sneakers and the relaxed posture of someone with complete confidence -- he might scowl on-screen, but in person he is more like the serene character he played in "The Bridges of Madison County."
"All the movies you make, all these roles you take, and there are certain ones that people really hold on to. Harry is the one I hear about the most from the people on the street."
The actor already was a screen tough guy thanks to the spaghetti westerns he made with Sergio Leone and his role as a maverick cop in Siegel's "Coogan's Bluff." But something encoded in "Dirty Harry" set it apart and painted a target on it.
Andy Robinson, who played the Scorpio killer in "Dirty Harry," said the movie cut through because of its grim hero and bundled appeal. "It was police thriller, a cowboy western and a horror film, it was all of them yoked together," Robinson said. "And because of the times it was released in, it became the film that people argued about. Is it fascist? Is it ripe with irony? After that movie I was turned away at auditions for quite a while. A lot of people in Hollywood were angry."
Although Pauline Kael of the New Yorker praised the film's styling as "trim, brutal and exciting," she also called it "a remarkably single-minded attack on liberal values, with each prejudicial detail in place -- a kind of hard-hat 'The Fountainhead.' " Critic Roger Ebert wrote, "The movie's moral position is fascist. No doubt about it."
The reception was more enthusiastic on Main Street. The Warner Bros. franchise would gross $228 million in U.S. theatrical release -- big box office for the era -- and become a staple on TV and at video stores. "Clint should have been typecast forever," Robinson said. "But he is bigger than Dirty Harry, which is saying a lot."
"At the time in the press, there was a lot of attention to the rights of the accused, and that's not bad or wrong, but nobody thought too much about the rights of the public or the rights of the victim, that's not what the attention was on," Eastwood said. "All of a sudden here was a picture about the rights of all the victims, and I think it really resonated with people who were frustrated."
(By Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, June 1, 2008)
Hign plains Drifter
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High Plains Drifter is a 1973 Western film with a hint of supernatural horror directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film was influenced by the work of Eastwood's two major collaborators Sergio Leone and Don Siegel (Eastwood has noted that the graveyard set featured in the film's finale had tombstones reading "Sergio Leone" and "Don Siegel," intended as a comical "dedication" to both then-living directors).
High Plains Drifter was filmed on location on the shores of Mono Lake, California. The screenplay was written by Ernest Tidyman and an uncredited Dean Riesner, with Tidyman authoring the novelization. Dee Barton provided the film's eerie musical score
Magnum Force 1974 Mini lobby set
Magnum Force is the first in a series of sequels to the 1971 film Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood returning as maverick cop Harry Callahan. The film was released in 1973 and directed by Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in TV's Rawhide and the feature film Hang 'Em High. The screenplay was written by John Milius (who provided an uncredited rewrite for the original film) and Michael Cimino. This film features early appearances by David Soul, Tim Matheson and Robert Urich as the vigilante traffic cops.
Carmine Ricca (Richard Devon), a known organized-crime kingpin, drives away from a court case where he was declared not guilty for a massacre. Soon after, a motorcycle traffic cop stops Ricca’s car and begins to write out a ticket for the driver, saying he had "crossed the double-line". Suddenly, the cop pulls his service revolver, a .357 Magnum, shoots all four men in the car, then calmly drives off.
As the late seventies approached Eastwood found more solid work in the shoot 'em up action flick The Gauntlet (1977), the hugely successful comedy Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and the fact-based thriller Escape from Alcatraz (1979). As the eighties approached, his career got a fresh new start with the blockbuster sequel Any Which Way You Can (1980), but this film, along with many others, were panned by critics. In the early eighties, Eastwood made credible movies such as Firefox (1982), but it was the fourth sequel to 'Dirty Harry', Sudden Impact (1983) (the highest grossing film of the series) that made him a viable star for the eighties. In the mid-eighties Clint made some solid movies but nothing really stuck out. Tightrope (1984), Pale Rider (1985), and Heartbreak Ridge (1986) were hits but did not become classics. Eastwood's fifth and final "Dirty Harry" movie, The Dead Pool (1988), was a commercial but not critical success . About this time with outright bombs like Pink Cadillac (1989) and White Hunter Black Heart (1990). He followed this by co-starring with 'Charlie Sheen' (qv in the cop adventure The Rookie (1990), which turned out to be another disappointment. It was fairly obvious Eastwood's star was declining as it never had before.
But Eastwood surprised yet again. First with his western, Unforgiven (1992), which garnered him an Oscar for director, and nomination for best actor. Then he took on the secret service in In the Line of Fire (1993). Next up was The Bridges of Madison County (1995), a popular love story with Meryl Streep, but it soon became apparent he was going backwards after his brief revival. The quality of his films over the next few years was up and down, with the well-received Absolute Power (1997) and Space Cowboys (2000), and the badly received True Crime (1999) and Blood Work (2002).
However, Eastwood rose to prominence once again, giving what is arguably his finest screen performance to date opposite Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman in the boxing drama Million Dollar Baby (2004). A major critical and commercial success, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as earning Eastwood a nomination for Best Actor and a win for Best Director. He continued to direct, but stayed away from acting for 4 years until he starred in Gran Torino (2008).
After starring in hit films for five consecutive decades, Clint Eastwood has proved himself to be the longest-running movie star. Although he is aging now, he continues to thrive and will undoubtedly continue to surprise audiences.
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The production company behind Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winner "Million Dollar Baby" went back to the ring with a project about a Latino boxer. The Ruddy Morgan Organization developed late author F.X. Toole's "Pound for Pound," which revolves around a trainer whose life is spinning out of control and the young pugilist who comes into his life. HarperCollins published the book in 2006.
The book was the last work of Toole (the pen name of Jerry Boyd), whose "Rope Burns" series of short stories served as the basis of "Million Dollar Baby." He died in 2002. "'Pound for Pound' is a sprawling, muscular, heart-wrenching story of men for whom life has not been easy and the younger men they help on their road to glory," Ruddy Morgan principal Al Ruddy said. "This magnificent novel combines a powerful punch with a brilliant ending and no doubt will have the same impact as 'Million Dollar Baby."'
"Baby" won Oscars for picture, director (Eastwood), actress (Hilary Swank) and supporting actor (Morgan Freeman). It grossed $100.4 million at the domestic box office. Ruddy shared producing credits with Eastwood, screenwriter Paul Haggis and Tom Rosenberg.
(Source: today.reuters.com at celebrity9.com)
Photos from NigelParry For Parade Magazine
What we know about Clint Eastwood, this elusive American icon, is that he drifted through his youth: loner, self-taught jazz pianist, digger of swimming pools, star of spaghetti Westerns. In the 1970s, when he was in his early 40s, he asked to direct, did it for nothing, and invented characters who captured cultural moments: the victim of an obsessed stalker in Play Misty for Me, the vigilante cop “Dirty Harry” Callahan, the anti-war anti-hero of The Outlaw Josey Wales.
Then, in his 50s, Clint turned conservative. “I cruised through the ’80s doing a few odds and ends,” he admits. “They wanted to see me do the old stuff,” mostly safe, lackluster action films. His personal life, though, was anything but staid. He had blown up his nearly 30-year marriage to Maggie Eastwood, with whom he had two children, by taking a lover—Sondra Locke, his co-star in Josey Wales. His relationship with Locke lasted through six films and ended in a palimony suit. Then came Jacelyn Reeves, a former flight attendant with whom he had two more children but whom he never married. He seemed allergic to real intimacy, even on film, making sure most of his characters’ wives were dead before the opening scene.
As he moved into his 60s, Clint made an unorthodox Western, Unforgiven, about an aging gunslinger, that allowed him to turn the image of the outlaw on its head. “I’d always tried to resist playing the supervirility thing,” he tells me. “I liked showing the vulnerability of age.”
With Unforgiven, Clint took home two Oscars—as well as the feisty redhead he cast as a prostitute in that picture. Frances Fisher and Clint never married, but they had a daughter together, and Fisher remains very much part of what he calls, lovingly, “our dysfunctional family.”
By 63, having sired six children by four women, Clint was resigned to riding to the end of the trail solo. Then he was interviewed by a TV reporter named Dina Ruiz. She was 35 years his junior, a beauty of Japanese, European, and African-American descent. Their chemistry was instant.
For the first time, Clint seemed content to be a husband, a father again, and a grandfather. (His oldest daughter, Kimber, gave him a grandson who will carry on the name of Clinton Eastwood.) Friends say his contentment is easily explained: He found someone who loves him instead of Clint Eastwood. With that, Clint began to relax.
“I figured I’d had enough of acting,” he recalls. “Maybe I’d just direct a project occasionally.”
Instead, he became reckless again. He made a dark picture, Mystic River, about haunted men. He followed it with Million-Dollar Baby, playing a character who exposed his own demons—a man who shrinks from intimacy, sobs over an estranged daughter, and endures excruciating loss in letting go of a surrogate child who wants to die.
“I don’t think Clint has a care anymore about how he’s portrayed on film,” says his wife. “He likes now being seen as a grandfather, as vulnerable, as crying over his daughters.”
Clint credits his wife with keeping him creative now. “Dina is a great asset to me,” he says. “She doesn’t have the usual resentment about prior relationships. She’s befriended everyone, so it keeps this dysfunctional family together.” When Frances Fisher was burned in a fire in Canada in 2001, Clint says, he and Dina “flew there right away and brought Frannie back and got her to a burn center.”
The usual trajectory of the American male is the opposite of Clint’s. “Prime time for men is, say, 35 to 45,” he says. “Then they level off and fall off. It’s better to just keep it slow.”
Slow? Clint directed two movies this year—Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, and Gran Torino, opening this month. His character is an aging Korean War veteran. “When I grew up, people said ‘Sam the Jew’ and ‘Joey the Wop,’just like my character, Walt Kowalski,” Clint explains. “Walt worked for 50 years at the Ford plant. He can’t stand change.” But, like Clint, Walt does change, discovering he has more in common with his immigrant neighbors than he does with his own spoiled boomer sons.
For now, though, making movies is still fun, especially since he couldn’t care less what the critics say. “I only want to do movies about characters that interest me, who learn and change, like Walt.”
(Clint Eastwood After 70, By Gail Sheehy, published: 12/07/2008, Copyright 2009 ParadeNet, Inc.)