Clint Eastwood Won’t Allow This When He’s Directing a Movie

Clint Eastwood already commanded respect as an actor, but when he became a director he became the man in charge on a movie set. An Oscar-winning director for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood became well known for his relaxed atmosphere on set where he does very few takes. Eastwood verified the legend and explained what he will not tolerate on his sets.

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood | Eric Charbonneau/Warner Bros. Pictures

Richard Jewell is the latest movie directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Paul Walter Hauser as the security guard falsely accused of planting the bomb he discovered at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It premiered at AFI Fest last week where Eastwood spoke at a Q&A following a screening for the Screen Actors Guild. He explained what he learned from being an actor to get the best performances out of his cast. Richard Jewell opens December 13. 

Clint Eastwood reveals the hardest part of acting

Clint Eastwood began acting on TV’s Rawhide and had great success in Italian westerns with director Sergio Leone. When you hear what those projects were like behind the scenes, it’s amazing he turned in such great performances.

Clint Eastwood | Eric Charbonneau/Warner Bros. Pictures

“I started out in an era where they’d ring a bell inside the studio that would take your ears out,” Eastwood said. “I did some pictures over in Italy where people were playing football in the background in my eyeline. I thought do you think it would be too much if I go and say, ‘Would you mind not kicking the soccer ball just for a second or two?’ They kind of got it and the director kind of picked up on it and said, ‘That’s a good idea. I don’t know where you’ve been all this time.’”

Clint Eastwood sees to it none of his actors ever face this

Since behind the scenes distractions were the bane of Clint Eastwood’s acting days, he sees to it as a director that there are no distractions on his sets.

“They’d do everything to distract you from playing a part,” Eastwood said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to do everything I can do to make these people, the men and women in films, to make them feel like they’re there and they’re part of it. They don’t have to sit there and have somebody, people having an argument.’”

Clint Eastwood directs Paul Walter Hauser and Sam Rockwell | Claire Folger/Warner Bros. Pictures

Eastwood cuts his directors some slack. He feels these are nuances only actors understand.

“Unless you’ve done it yourself, you don’t know,” Eastwood said. “There’s a million things that could distract you. Why make it tough? Make it as easy to fit right in.”

When you do this, great performances come

Clint Eastwood believes every actor is capable of giving a great performance. All he has to do is clear the set of any hindrances to them. 

Clint Eastwood and Paul Walter Hauser
Clint Eastwood and Paul Walter Hauser on the set of Richard Jewell | Claire Folger/Warner Bros.

“There’s just a lot of tricks that you do after enough years, you learn a lot of tricks to make people comfortable. That’s about all you can do. The people have the talent. All actors have the ability to do great things. They just need to be helped in a nice way. You don’t have to have people in their eyeline. You don’t have to have bells going off. You don’t have to have people yelling, assistant directors yelling and what have you. You just don’t need that. You just keep it nice and quiet and everybody can have a nice time.”

Clint Eastwood, AFI Fest, 11/20/19