Clint Eastwood Nearly Passed on ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’: Here’s Why

by Samantha Whidden
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His iconic 1966 western film “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” was a huge success and has continued to be very well-known even nearly six decades later. However, the star of the film, Clint Eastwood, did not seem to think that the movie would not be as successful as it was. He reportedly almost passed on it. 

ScreenRant reveals that Clint Eastwood played “The Man With No Name” for two pretty successful films with Sergio Leone. However, he wasn’t completely sold on the director’s plans for “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.”

Clint Eastwood wasn’t a fan of how Leone was looking to split the story between three titular characters. Although Eastwood’s character is considered the star of the film; he would also have to compete with Eli Wallach’s Tuco and Lee Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes for the spotlight. This caused Eastwood to consider parting ways with Leone. Leone almost thought about a potential replacement for Eastwood. 

It was reported that Charles Bronson was on the shortlist to play Clint Eastwood’s role in “Fistful of Dollars” and Leone’s key choice to take over the character. This was only if Eastwood decided to not return. Luckily for Leone and the western film, there was a salary negotiation with Clint Eastwood. This ensured that the actor would return as The Man With No Name for one last time. He received $250,000 for his role in the film. 

According to IMDb, “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is about a bounty hunting scam who joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Clint Eastwood Isn’t Slowing Down Even in His 90s 

Meanwhile, despite being over the age of 90, Clint Eastwood doesn’t seem to have any plans to retire from acting anytime soon. During a 2021 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eastwood declared that he’s not even thinking about retiring. “If I’m not the same guy, I  don’t want to know anything about it. I might not like the new guy. I might think, ‘What am I doing with this idiot?”

While speaking about the roles he can now play, Clint Eastwood declared, “I don’t look like I did at 20. So what? That just means there are more interesting guys you can play.”

In regards to his approach to acting, Clint Eastwood said, “I never thought of acting as an intellectual spot. You don’t want to overthink something You want it to be emotional. If you think about it too much, you can take it apart to the point where you don’t like it anymore. If you think about it four different ways, you forget what dragged you into it in the first place. It’s like somebody throwing a fast pitch across the plate. Just swing at it. Step in and go.”

Outsider.com