Why Clint Eastwood never fails to give me hope.
I have a handful of heroes in life. There are some who inspire me from a career standpoint; long dead golden era actors, for the most part. There are also some who inspire me in my daily life. Clint Eastwood is one of the few icons who manages to straddle the line between the two.
Above all else, Clint stands as a testament to life past your “prime.” It seems I’m constantly surrounded by people who reach a certain age, and have nothing to do but complain. They complain about aging or about not looking their best anymore. They complain about lost opportunities and time running out. Clint Eastwood, at age eighty, proves that there are some pretty good years way past the midlife mark. I try to make it a point in life not to ever be afraid and to remember that there is always a new chance to take. I choose to age gracefully.
I love Clint Eastwood because not only is he a brilliant actor and filmmaker, but he has a fantastic perspective on life. In fact, he makes time to meditate twice a day just to gather his thoughts and to stay focused on the positive. He’s the iconic Hollywood badass, and yet he has absolutely no airs about him. I think the people who reach midlife and start to critique or judge themselves as growingly insignificant are probably the same people who went through life lauding the superficial and materialistic, as well as the same people who belittle others.
Now, I’ve commented on what I like about Clint from a broader perspective. More specifically, I like that he represents everything I love about Old Hollywood, but he has managed to trim the excess fat and adapt with the times. He’s constantly involved in the civil rights movement and has a passion for animals. Not to mention that after eighty years, he still looks as sharp as ever.
I actually find it somewhat fitting that this more recent picture of him is the only one within this post that is in full color.
Here’s a passage from his GQ interview that I’ve previously posted:
What will we lose with your passing?
"I don’t know. Just that everybody, at that time… I had been a kid growing up in the ’40s watching pictures by Ford and Raoul Walsh. Hitchcock and Huston. And they were very influential on me. They all just told stories. They didn’t necessarily follow one genre—whatever they felt like doing. But I do believe I came along at the right period for me. Because when I started directing, not many actors were doing it. There had been precedent before that, dating back to Stan Laurel. But I was just determined. I said, "Someday I’m gonna look out there and I’m not gonna like what I see. And I don’t necessarily want to be out of the business. I like doing this." So I took it on. I never did get to that day where I said I’d quit. I’ve flirted with the idea a lot lately, but every once in a while a script comes along and I think, That’s a challenge that I haven’t been able to do before."
I mean… no one’s cooler than The Man With No Name.