You’d be hard-pressed to find a more qualified person in Hollywood than Clint Eastwood to speak about success. The man has been acting since the 1950s and just led another movie this year at the age of 91. His 72 official acting credits tell us everything we need to know about an enduring, successful career. But how did he achieve that? He shared one of the secrets in a joint interview with his son, Scott.
Scott Eastwood has followed in his dad’s footsteps by forging an acting career of his own. In 2016, the pair sat down to do their first-ever joint interview with Esquire. In it, Scott touched on the subject of creating in his own identity. He didn’t seem too concerned about being in his dad’s shadow. At least, his comments didn’t indicate as much.
“I just do what he does: Keep moving forward. You can’t look back or think about that kind of stuff too much. You just keep making movies; hopefully, you make some good ones. Probably gonna make some bad ones along the way,” said Scott.
It’s a good approach. Keep moving forward, have a short memory when it comes to the missteps. Clint Eastwood added his own answer to Scott’s response.
“Well, he’s smart. He’s 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,” said Clint.
There it is. It’s a simple secret but a valuable one nonetheless. The beauty of it is that it applies to everything, not just a legendary Hollywood acting career. The more you do, the more you learn about yourself. That outlook has undoubtedly served Clint Eastwood well.
The Fundamental Difference Between Clint Eastwood and John Wayne in Westerns
Clint Eastwood and John Wayne—two of the most iconic Western stars of all time—had plenty in common. They were also completely different people, all the way down to what they’d allow themselves to do while in character.
In an interview Eastwood did with Inside the Actors Studio, he told a story that highlights these differences perfectly. Don Siegel, the director of the John Wayne classic The Shootist, was directing Wayne as if he was Eastwood.
“And he says ‘yeah, yeah you shoot him, just shoot him, get rid of him because you got four other guys.’ And he says ‘I don’t shoot anyone in the back.’ And Don made a terrible error, he said ‘Clint Eastwood would have shot him in the back.’ And he said, he said Wayne turned blue. And so he said, ‘I don’t care what that kid would have done, I don’t shoot people in the back,'” Eastwood told James Lipton.