Clint Eastwood Is ‘Intimidating as Hell’ on Set, According to Tom Hanks

by Samantha Whidden

He worked alongside Clint Eastwood on the 2016 film “Sully,” and following the production’s wrap, Tom Hanks really got candid about what it was like to work with the veteran actor and director. 

Express reports that during an interview on The Graham Norton Show, Tom Hanks stated that Clint Eastwood was intimidating as hell. “You certainly don’t want one of those Eastwood looks. He treats his actors like horses. Because when he did the Sixties series ‘Rawhide,’ the director would shout ‘Action!’ And all the horses bolted.”

Hanks then spoke about what Clint Eastwood was like when he was in charge of the set. “He says in a really quiet soft voice, ‘All right, go ahead.’ And instead of shouting ‘Cut!’ He says, ‘That’s enough of that.’ It’s intimidating as hell!”

Hanks went on to say that even the real Mr. Sullenberger criticized Clint Eastwood for his “lack of punctuation” when he was 20 minutes late to the set. “Sully was very particular about how we portrayed the procedure and the emotions. He pulled out this dog-eared, stapled, and donated script that he had read. “Post-its, stapled index cards all over it – I’m sure his wife had even written ‘No’ across it in lipstick! We went through every page and every moment, every beat had been commented on. He had opinions.”

Hanks then added that when Clint Eastwood said “stop” it meant he wouldn’t make the actor do the part again. “But mostly that’s enough of that. And you’re thinking, ‘Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence!’”

Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood Interviewed Together After the Premiere of ‘Sully’

Following the premiere of “Sully,” Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood spoke to the Los Angeles Times about their acting experiences.

“I’ve worked with many directors, as Tom has,” Clint Eastwood stated. “I was always annoyed by too much explaining. I had one well-known director who kept saying, ‘Now Clint, this is what…’ and I’d say, ‘I know. I read the script. I’m the one who cast you as the director. Let me show you and you’ll correct me if I’m wrong.’”

Clint Eastwood further described acting as an “animal thing,” and not an intellectual thing once the actor gets past all the BS. “I’ve been to all the classes and heard of all the different techniques. It’s a fun profession. But you have to take it for what it is; you’re not curing cancer.”

Meanwhile, Tom Hanks chimed in and said in the early days actors have a tendency to intellectualize. However, they’re just really trying to sound smart and score the ladies. He then discussed the differences between being an actor and a director. “All directors should have to act and all actors should have to direct, so that they can understand all these key things that come into play with whether you can meet your day.”