Clint Eastwood Says He Was a ‘Nervous Wreck’ the First Time He Ever Acted

by Halle Ames

Clint Eastwood may be one of the most iconic directors and actors of all time, but he proves to be human like the rest of us mere mortals.

The 90-year-old might seem cool, calm, and collected on screen. However, Clint Eastwood admits in an interview that he was a “nervous wreck” the first time he was on set.

During a Q&A at AFI Fest, Clint Eastwood shared the story of a nervous boy in his twenties in Hollywood. The actor’s first appearance was in Revenge of the Creature, the sequel to The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Although Eastwood wasn’t a major character, the nerves weren’t any less real.

Clint Eastwood describes the one line of the scene he had in the 1955 movie, Revenge of the Creature.

“It was one line in Revenge of the Creature,” Eastwood said. “They brought me down, the producer brought me down and wanted a scene in the picture where I had to come into a lab to talk to John Agar. I’m supposed to discover two missing rats, and they have to be in my pocket.”

Clint Eastwood Gets Backlash

However, Clint Eastwood recalls the scene and the backlash he received from the director for it. Come on! How bad can one person screw up a single line? Especially when it is Clint Eastwood!

“At that time, the producer loved it, and the director hated it. The director stood there and just chewed out, put me down, something awful. And I was a nervous wreck anyway at the time. So that was my first experience and probably my last for a couple of months.”

The sci-fi movie wasn’t Universal’s biggest monster hit, with only a 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Clint Eastwood became a contract actor in the studio.

The agreement also put Eastwood’s name on the map, landing him a spot on the Screen Actors Guild. Although, Eastwood was released shortly after.

“My SAG card was paid for by the studio because I had a contract with Universal where I got $70 a week pro-rated over a short period of time. They threw my ass out, which was a good thing for me and a good thing for them. I remember they thought, ‘Hey, a tall good looking guy, he’s probably going to take my job.'”

Clint Eastwood has directed over 40 movies while acting in at least 63 in his 65-year career in Hollywood. In addition, Eastwood has won five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, five People’s Choice Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild.

If only the young Clint knew what awaited him in his career.