Why Have Clint Eastwood’s Recent Movies Been Based on True Stories?

by Taylor Cunningham

In recent years, Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood only directed or acted in movies that were based on true stories. And considering that the trend went on for five years, fans may have assumed that it was intentional. But apparently, that wasn’t the case.

The Oscar-winner started adapting true tales to the silver screen back in 2014. The films began with Eastwood’s film American Sniper and continued with a string of real-life stories that included Sully, The 15:17 to Paris, The Mule, and Richard Jewell.

And while it may seem that Clint Eastwood was purposefully sticking to a theme, he wasn’t. As he told Cinemablend in 2019, he chose all of the true stories by pure happenstance.

“The reason is, they come to you as a story. Somebody has been smart enough to chronicle it in some form or another, whether it’s a screenplay or whether it’s a book… But, there’s no particular formula,” he said during a Richard Jewell promo. ” I just go through life and things fall in your lap, and some of them are good. And if they’re not good, you just wait til something happens.”

The coincidence worked in Eastwood’s favor, though. American Sniper ended up winning an Oscar and earned five more nods, including one for Picture of the Year. Sully and Richard Jewell also earned Academy Award nominations as well.

Clint Eastwood’s First Purely Fictional Film Didn’t Perform Well

But ironically, Clint Eastwood ended his true story streak after that Cinemablend interview. And he’s since directed and acted in one more movie titled Cry Macho in 2021.

The fictionalized story follows a man who sneaks across the Mexican border to rescue an abused child. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t perform well with viewers or critics, though. Cry Macho only boats 58% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomato Meter and 64% from the Audience Score.

Nonetheless, the cast and crew loved working with the legendary Western star. And as star Fernanda Urrejola, who plays Leta in the film, told Albuquerque Journal N.M., the movie proves that despite being 91 years old, Clint Eastwood is still a major player in Hollywood.

As the 40-year-old actress shared, he was so full of life, that she wanted to tap into his energy.

“Working with Clint, I wanted to be there,” she admitted. “And the role was so great. My character was full of pain, and she’s on a journey of discovery in the film.”

“Other people his age were hiding, and he was doing three jobs on this production,” Urrejola added. “He was the protagonist in the film, and for me, that was amazing. I wanted to get involved in that energy.”