Clint Eastwood Said This Advice From His Dad ‘Always Resonated’ With Him

by Samantha Whidden

He’s probably been given a lot of advice over the years when it comes to acting and directing, but western icon Clint Eastwood will always remember the one piece of personal advice that his own father gave him. 

During a 2016 interview with Esquire alongside his son Scott, Clint Eastwood opened up about the advice that always resonated with him. “My dad taught me that whatever you do, do it well. Be the best at what you can do for that particular job in life. That always resonated with me.”

While talking about if and when he wants to direct his son, Clint Eastwood shared, “Well, I haven’t done a major project with him yet. But I’ll probably be begging him for one soon enough.”

Clint Eastwood also praised his son for his acting career so far. “He’s now graduated to better roles, and the chicks are all calling and asking where Scott is. They used to ask where I was. Now they’re going, ‘What about Scott?’”

The long-time actor also described his son as being smart and doing a lot of things. “And you learn on every picture. And that’s one of the secrets. With everything you do, learn something new about yourself.”

Clint Eastwood Looks Back on His Acting Career Through the Years 

While continuing to chat with Esquire, Clint Eastwood spoke about the start of his acting career, and the struggles he faced. “When I used to be a contract player in 1954 at Universal, I wasn’t getting any good roles. I was getting one-liners, and then I’d be gone. But I’d hang around. I’d watch guys. And when I had days off, I’d go down and watch other sets while they were shooting.”

Clint Eastwood also recalled being able to watch Joan Crawford and others while hanging out on sets. “Just watch how they worked and how the director handled them. I didn’t know anything about making movies, and there’s a lot to learn.”

After winning his first Oscar for Unforgiven when he was 62-years-old, Clint Eastwood said he was put in “third gear” at that point. He also described that film as being a turning point for his career. “I believed in my gut. Most people intellectualize their instincts away. But when you feel something, you have to go for it.”

Eastwood went on to add that Fistful of Dollars was also a great instinct for him.

“Because here  I was, a guy who’s doing Rawhide. I’m in the saddle every day playing a screwball. And then somebody comes along and says, ‘How would like to go to Italy and Spain. Do an Italian/Spanish/German co-production. With an Italian director who’s only directed one movie?’”