Clint Eastwood Was Allowed To Skirt Canada’s Laws To Film ‘Unforgiven’: Here’s Why

by Tia Bailey

Actor-director-producer Clint Eastwood is a legend. From his iconic performances in Western shows and films to directing over 30 films, it’s hard to believe that he would have to jump through hoops to get what he wants. However, he had to do exactly that while shooting the film “Unforgiven.”

“Unforgiven” premiered in 1992, and Clint Eastwood both starred and directed the film. The actor/director filmed the movie in Canada, which, given his big crew, was surprising. However, it was really thanks to cinematographer Jack N. Green that they were able to film in the country.

Canada’s filmmaking unions prevented Eastwood from filming there. When asked why, Green responded, “Never, because he can’t bring his family,” according to an Esquire article from 2012.

Eastwood called his crew his “family,” and doesn’t film unless they are there. Green told Esquire that the officials from Canada gave them a deal: “Anyone who could prove that they’d worked with Eastwood on more than five films could come up to Canada and get around the union’s work rules.”

Luckily, all 50-60 people in Eastwood’s “family” qualified, and they were all able to get into Canada to film the movie.

It is no secret that Eastwood cares for his crew, especially after this situation. According to Esquire, “Indeed, the question of exactly what constitutes a Clint Movie turns out to have an easy answer: A Clint Movie is a movie shot by Clint Eastwood’s crew. He gives them more freedom than most other filmmakers give their crews, and they give him greater constancy.”

Clint Eastwood Didn’t Go “Unforgiven” After Fighting for His Crew

They also reported that he is lenient with their schedules so that they can see their families, and he waits in line with them for the food truck. In return, his crew reciprocates his kindness, and that is why his sets run so smoothly. Standing up for his whole crew and not filming somewhere unless they could all be there proved how much he valued them.

Eastwood likes everything to be just right on his set. According to an article from, “he prefers to work quickly.” Because of this, everyone he hires – from crew to actors – must be able to work efficiently and quickly. However, he makes their hard work known with returned respect.

The 92-year-old actor-director-producer has over 60 films under his belt. Even decades after his rise to fame, people still talk about his old and new projects.

A 2018 film of Eastwood’s, “The Mule,” received a lot of attention. The film was even talked about on Saturday Night Live. In a Weekend Update bit, comedian John Mulaney and comedian/SNL cast member Pete Davidson detailed their experience seeing “The Mule,” and what a trip it was.

Between his talent and his kindness to his cast and crew, Hollywood admires Clint Eastwood greatly.