Clint Eastwood’s Only Musical Was One of the Worst Experiences of His Career: Here’s Why

by Samantha Whidden
clint-eastwoods-only-musical-was-one-of-the-worst-experiences-of-his-career-heres-why

While he is a well-rounded actor and a staple in the western film genre, there is one role that Clint Eastwood has some regrets about. Believe it or not, it was a musical.

During an interview with Empire, Clint Eastwood spoke about the first and only time he was in a musical. This was 1969’s “Paint Your Wagon.” Directed by Joshua Logan, “Paint Your Wagon” is about two unlikely prospector partners that share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town. Clint Eastwood starred in the musical alongside Lee Marvin and Jean Seberg. 

Needless to say, the Wester icon’s foray into the musical genre was disliked by Eastwood fans and critics alike. This was due to the fact that many thought the singing role just wasn’t for him. “I was crazy enough to try anything,” Eastwood told Empire about the musical. “I’ve always been interested in music. My father was a singer. And I had some knowledge of it. Although what I was doing in that picture was not singing.”

Clint Eastwood’s role in the musical was more like talking in a singsongy way as the tunes by Alan Jay Lerner “glided through” the air. The script also went through numerous rewrites which almost caused Eastwood to quit the project. “I was away shooting ‘Where Eagles Dare,’ and they flew over (Alan Jay Lerner and director Joshua Logan) and talked me back.”

Clint Eastwood then shared that after the rewrites, the musical was much lighter. “it just didn’t have the dynamics that the original script did. And that was another long shoot…”

Clint Eastwood went on to add that the film took six months to finish. It also went completely over budget. “That was not as pleasant an experience as I was used to.”

Clint Eastwood Opens Up About His Famous Role in ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’

As he continued his chat with Empire, Clint Eastwood also opened up about one of his famous roles, which was in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”

Speaking about teaming up with director Sergio Leone for the 1966 film, Clint Eastwood stated, “Sergio was terrific for me. I was this young man, having done three years on ‘Rawhide,’ with an Italian director who spoke no English. I thought it was insanity and that insanity was intriguing to me.”

Clint Eastwood then shared that he and Leone were big fans of John Ford. “But his approach was so different. He had no restrictions, he’d kind of go off and do what he wanted. Even if it was somehow satirical. It was certainly different from me.”

“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” only took 10 weeks in production. Although it was a long experience for him, Clint Eastwood appreciated the results. “I think everybody likes to delve into them.”

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