Clint Eastwood on Donald Trump's victory 'we're all afraid of offending someone'

AS straight-talking as ever at 86, the actor makes GARTH PEARCE’s day, and reveals why he thinks Trump won.


Clint Eastwood believes Donald Trump won the Presidential election is because he speaks his mind

There is no one quite like Clint Eastwood. He’s the tallest major star in Hollywood at 6ft 4in, has one of the best-known catch phrases in “Go ahead, make my day” and at 86 he still shoots from the hip… and lip.

Not for him political correctness or the avoidance of straight talking.

“What is the matter with us these days?” he asks.

“We no longer tell it as it is. We are too frightened to offend someone.”

He hates the current crime wave, loathes bad manners, believes that true heroes do not boast about their achievements and does not like things being over-analysed. Supporters of Hillary Clinton, who lost out to Donald Trump in the race to become American President, should look away now.

“Trump has said some foolish things but would we have wanted to listen to Clinton for the next four years?” he asks.

“Trump says what is on his mind.”

Eastwood also went further in a recent American interview on allegations that President-elect Trump, 70, is racist.

“We see people accusing others of being racist and all kinds of stuff,” he says.

    We no longer tell it as it is. We are too frightened to offend someone

    Clint Eastwood

“When I grew up those things weren’t described as racist. 

Proud dad Clint with children Francesca and Scott who are both actors

“Trump was on to something because – secretly – so many people are getting tired of political correctness and kissing up. That’s the kiss- *** generation we are in right now.”

And Eastwood, who was mayor of his local town of Carmel, California, for two years from 1986, confirms that he chooses his own words carefully.

“I have never been easy with talking about myself or making speeches,” he says.

“I can become another character – no problem. I was a shy kid and not a whole lot has changed.”

He’s mostly behind the camera these days. He has directed Tom Hanks in the movie Sully, about the remarkable pilot who successfully landed a stricken passenger plane on New York’s Hudson River in 2009, saving 155 passengers after a bird strike shut down both engines.

Tom Hanks accepts the Hollywood Actor Award for 'Sully' from director Eastwood


It deals with the post-crash controversy when Sully, pilot Chesley Sullenberger, 65, was questioned by authorities about whether he could have safely returned the jet to the airport “because one of the engines still had some power.”

The film delivers a powerful combination of a strong, contemporary story with Hollywood’s top players.

Hanks, 60, one of the world’s best film actors, has won two Oscars as best actor for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994).

Eastwood himself has won Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture for both the hard-edged Western, Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), about a champion woman boxer.

He proves today that age is no barrier to success. He was brought up in working-class Oakland, California, with a steelworker father and factory worker mother who believed in hard work to beat the Great Depression.

“I’ve had exactly the same beliefs because that’s the only way you are going to appreciate the dough you get,” he tells me.

“One of the reasons I keep working is that I want to keep learning, dealing with new challenges, making a contribution. So when I get offered something like Sully, with a top quality guy like Tom Hanks as the lead, I am going to take it.”

Any meeting with Eastwood – and I have had several stretching back to the late 1970s – delivers most of what you need to know in the first halfhour.

His craggy face is untouched by surgery, his white hair untinted by colour and his attitude is low-key and modest. However, unlike many actors, he really is as tough and as hardy as his image.

Part of his new film was made at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, where Eastwood was based in the mid-1950s, struggling along with uncredited minor roles.

“I just never thought I would make much of a living from acting,” he says.

“I was too introverted. I did not realise at the time just how many actors are quiet people who are introverted. They use acting as a way of getting out of themselves.”

He did consider other careers: “I love jazz but was too lazy to be a musician. I did not learn enough or practise enough. Instead I was doing a lot of jobs like a gas station attendant or working in a steel furnace.”

During a late attempt to get into university to take a music course, he was drafted into the army. Only then, by luck, a film unit from Universal Studios used his army camp for location shots.

He was spotted and advised to contact the studios after his two-year army service, based purely on his large frame and good looks. But even when he was hired he could not afford to give up his day job until he was nearly 30.

“My big problem was that I was always taller than the leading guy – and no one liked that,” he recalls.

He has now been famous for six decades, since playing his breakthrough role of Rowdy Yates in the 1959 television series Rawhide. He was next known for a trilogy of spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, kicking off with A Fistful Of Dollars.

He became Dirty Harry, as cop Harry Callahan, in 1971 and starred in five movies as the character. The snarling and rebellious Callahan, who did not like taking orders or taking prisoners, handed him a big following from the kind of straight-talking men with whom he mostly feels at ease.

The veteran actor's latest film Sully starring Tom Hanks comes out in December

He became world famous for one particular scene in Dirty Harry during a shoot-out with a criminal gang, all of whom he shot dead apart from one who still had a gun near his hand.

Harry says to him: “Did he fire six shots or only five? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well… do you punk?” Eastwood’s directorial debut was 45 years ago, in the memorable Play Misty For Me, in which he also starred.

The theme of the film of a dangerous woman stalker was a forerunner for the 1987 film Fatal Attraction with Michael Douglas being hounded by Glenn Close. But Eastwood’s own personal life has been far from straightforward.

He has been married – and divorced – twice and has a total of seven children with former wives and lovers. His eldest daughter Kimber, with Rawhide stuntwoman Roxanne Tunis, is 52.

His youngest, Morgan, with second wife Dina, is 19. He has steadfastly steered clear of the rounds of movie parties and receptions, even as a young man. Several months can go by without a single reported fact on Eastwood’s well-protected private life.

“That is the way I have always liked it,” he says.

“I try to live a noncelebrity life away from films. One of my main loves has been jazz. I have also liked to play golf and read a lot. And, sometimes, I just like to sit and enjoy the day.

“I would not call it philosophy – that might be a bit strong – but it is very important to think about yourself and life. 
“Too many people in this business just rush from one thing to another. You have to hold back, take stock and then come up with a fresh view of something new.” 
Eastwood, who weighed 11lb 6oz when he was born and was known by nurses as Samson, is a direct descendant of William Bradford, from Austerfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, who arrived in America on the Mayflower in 1620 and died, aged 67, in 1657.
Eastwood is the 13th generation to descend from Bradford, confirmed by the Mayflower Society. 
“I grew up in an era when it was a privilege to go to a movie,” he says.
“It was something you did every weekend in the 1940s and families went together. You would never worry about seeing things you should not see.
“The strongest language in those days was ‘damn’ and ‘hell’. And even that was pushing it. “So am I an old-fashioned guy in that I still like good stories, well told, with a beginning, a middle and an end? I guess so. I make no apology for that.” 
Sully is released in UK cinemas on December 2
 Source: Sunday Express

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