‘If one more little punk describes me as ‘an amazing presence’ or ‘a celluloid icon’ I’ll kick their balls off,’ growls Eastwood in an interview with Hollywood Exposed magazine.
The ‘Dirty Harry’ star goes on to say, ‘When I did ‘Million Dollar Baby’ I was described as ‘not only a genius, but also a teacher’ at least four times a day. On ‘Gran Torino’ I heard full-grown, supposedly intelligent, men and women describe me as ‘a singular visionary’ and ‘a director with a poet’s soul.’
During the interview Eastwood says he regrets how his later career has panned out: ‘I always wanted to spend my twilight years being regarded as a grizzled embittered curmudgeonly old bastard, but instead it’s all goddam lifetime achievement awards and the French adding me to their Legion of Honour. Have none of these assholes seen ‘Paint Your Wagon’ or ‘Space Cowboys’? I used to co-star with an orangutan for Christ’s sake!’
The interview with the 80-year old five-time Oscar-winning actor/director has sent shock waves of respect and admiration rippling throughout Hollywood. ‘It’s fantastic that Clint still has this incredible ability to confound expectations,’ gushes Tim Robbins. ‘I worked with him on ‘Mystic River’, and he is not only an actor’s director, but also an actor’s actor, a director’s director and quite possibly a director’s actor as well.’
Actor Kevin Bacon adds effusively, ‘People say Clint Eastwood is a unique talent, but I’d go further and say that nobody else has a talent, like his.’
‘Changling’ star Angelina Jolie enthuses, ‘the thing that is so fantastic about Clint, is that he is incredibly nurturing. I remember one time he was directing me and he’s yelling ‘why can’t you just say the line, you bimbo dipshit’ and I had goosebumps. Because it hit me, ‘wow, this guy calling me a dipshit is a living legend’. When he started throwing things across the room at me I realised that I was growing not only as an actress, but as a human being; and probably as a mother too.’
Eastwood has kept a low profile since the interview, appearing only briefly outside his home to wave a handgun and tell adoring news crews and fans to ‘fuck off’.