Clint Eastwood

EMy A to Z theme is You Ain’t Dead Yet.  I’m studying people who succeeded later in life.  My E is for Clint Eastwood.  I didn’t pick him for him starting acting in his mid-20’s but for his struggle to find a place for himself as a director at 41.

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Interesting Facts:

–  Eastwood heard lots of no, you aren’t talented enough, etc. in his career but he kept going and eventually his flaws became his trademarks.

–  Eastwood was offered the role of James Bond following Sean Connery’s reign but he declined because he believed the character should be played by an English actor.  Smart man.

–  While in most his movies he is smoking, Eastwood is not a smoker.  He practices healthy eating and daily transcendental meditation.

– I’m a western fan.  I was raised on them by a John Wayne loving mom.  My favorite with Eastwood are Two Mules for Sister Sara and The Outlaw Josey Wales.

– In 2014, he saved a choking man’s life at a cocktail reception.

– Eastwood is a pianist and composer.  He composed the film scores  of Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Grace is Gone, Changeling, Hereafter and more!  I did not know any of this.

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Route to Success:

– Began as a contract player for Universal but was dropped after a year and a half.  While walking down the hall at CBS talking with a friend, a man came out looked him over and soon he was cast as Rowdy in Rawhide for a run of 7 years.

–  During a Rawhide hiatus, Eastwood went to Italy to do a western for little money.  It was his start in the spaghetti western genre.  I’ve seen A Fistful of Dollars and it is odd like I find most Italian movies.  Not horrible but doesn’t leave you with a happy, life is awesome feeling.

–  His film directing debut was Play Misty for Me in 1971 at the age of 41.  He finished shooting 4 days ahead of schedule and $50,000 under budget.  This would continue to be a part of his directing style.  He likes to shoot scenes once and keep down costs.

–  He is one of the few actors who has gone on to have a long and commercially viable directing career.  With 2 Oscar wins and 5 Oscar nominations for directing under his belt, I don’t see him riding off silently into the sunset any time soon.

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Director Eastwood with actor William Holden on set of Breezy(1973).

 Take Away:

Phyllis Diller said in an interview something to the effect “Don’t listen to advice. Most of it will be negative and if they knew how to do it, they would be doing it.” This came to mind as I read about several of the obstacles Eastwood faced.  He stayed true to himself and succeeded.  Listen to your gut and not others.

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