Clint Eastwood and John Wayne play cowboys so well the role is practically synonymous with the two of them. Nevertheless, Eastwood recognized a key difference between them and it’s a distinct one at that.
In an Inside the Actors Studio interview, it’s discussed how Clint Eastwood’s characters often don’t wait for the other person to draw their weapon or prepare themselves for a shootout. Eastwood jokingly replies “Yeah, it doesn’t make sense. Why would you wait for somebody to do that.” Eastwood pauses briefly to compose himself after chuckling before he continues. “In American westerns, I never could understand that.”
Interestingly, Eastwood then tells a story about how John Wayne approaches cowboys compared to him. “I remember Don Siegel got in trouble when he was doing a film called The Shootist. Some years later, he was working with John Wayne, the villain sneaks around the room and John Wayne comes up behind him. And he says ‘Just shoot him.’ And he said there was a long pause, and he said John Wayne said ‘You mean I shoot him in the back?'”
Wayne was not a fan of this approach. Eastwood continued his story. “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.'”
Clint Eastwood’s Father Did Not Want Him To Get ‘Too Wrapped Up’ In Becoming An Actor
Clint Eastwood’s legendary acting career has spanned decades and helped shape the industry, especially westerns. However, Eastwood revealed his father once told him to not get “too wrapped up” in becoming an actor.
Yahoo! recently published information about an interview Eastwood conducted with the Los Angeles Times. In it, the actor talked about his father and how he tried to keep his son’s expectations in check. “I remember when I told my father I was dropping out of L.A. City College to train to be an actor at Universal with a six-month option. He said, ‘Don’t get too wrapped up in that, it could be really disappointing.’ I said, ‘I think it’s worth a try.’ But I always remember it could have gone the other way.”
According to him, his father frequently jumped from one job to another, leading him to believe his dad worried about acting’s stability. Nonetheless, Eastwood mused about whether his dad would have liked to do the same things he did. “I wonder if my dad would have liked to have been an actor or a singer,” he said. “He had a good voice. He and another fellow would perform at parties, but none of those breaks ever came his way.”