Despite his tough characters, Clint Eastwood was surprisingly tender

The actor once refused to kill a moth.

Clint Eastwood is primarily viewed as the quintessential "tough guy" in films. He's the gun-slinger extraordinaire, the morally ambiguous protagonist in any gritty film you love to rewatch. He's an idol, and for many, the picture of what it means to be a man.

All of this considered you might be surprised that the Rawhide star is actually not so hard-hearted as his characters may have led you to believe. One Eastwood anecdote in The Toronto Star exemplifies this, and comes from his script editor Sonia Chernus, who called Eastwood "the gentlest person I know." She explained, "He can't bear to kill anything, including a moth which I asked him to get rid of in my apartment." 

In fact, while he's usually one of the best shots in the West in many of his productions, Eastwood isn't too keen on violence and killing. He said of hunting, "I never liked killing things. Some people are taken by it. Maybe it's the form of masculine expression. I don't know. I'd be interested in speaking to a psychologist about that."

Even more confusingly, Eastwood, now known as the quintessential Western man, almost refused to act in his series Rawhide when the opportunity presented itself to him. His reasoning? Because it was a Western, of course.

Eastwood said, "I didn't want to do a western - westerns were dead." He said of Rawhide, "But then I recognized Yojimbo in it, and you could feel a lot of the black humor. And I thought, nobody'd ever have the nerve to do this in America."

But while Eastwood doesn't seem to agree with violence to extreme measures, he now understands the appeal of a good old-fashioned revenge plotline in a Western. He said, "Everybody has a dream about how they'd like to handle certain situations, every boy from nine to one hundred would like to take vengeance into his own hands...'The vengeance is mine.' People need to see that."

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9 Comments

BrittReid 2 months ago
Did he fire six shots or only five? Clint fan always.
daDoctah BrittReid 1 month ago
Coupla fave Clint lines that are perhaps slightly less familiar:

"Nag, nag, nag" - The Gauntlet
"Right turn, Clyde!" - Every Which Way But Loose
"Before you know it, this place will be a boom town and we don't want that!" - Paint Your Wagon
Runeshaper 2 months ago
I'm not a fan of hunting either, but I'm glad Eastwood accepted the role in Rawhide and continues to partake in GREAT films to this day (-:
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Clint Eastwood is such a talented actor. Enjoy some of the parodies that have been done by other actors with some of his iconic lines, like Jim Carrey's portrayal of him in Bruce Almighty, but then
Mr. Carrey also thought he was Charlton Heston. LOL !

Andybandit 2 months ago
CE was a handsome guy. So is Scott Eastwood CE handsome son.
Snickers 2 months ago
Wonder how he felt about playing" Dirty Harry" if he wasn't into violent roles?
LoveMETV22 Snickers 2 months ago
Guess if the 💲💲was there any role is possible.
BrittReid Snickers 2 months ago
Rather obvious since there were five "Dirty Harry" films. And if he wasn't into violent roles check the body count in "Where Eagles Dare"....
daDoctah Snickers 1 month ago
Clint showed his soft-hearted side in his very first film role as a lab technician in "Revenge of the Creature" (the first sequel to "Creature from the Black Lagoon"). He appears in a scene where there are supposed to be four rats and one cat in a cage and he worries that the missing fourth rat was eaten by the cat (it's part of an experiment in calming a creature's natural aggressive tendencies). Clint appears visibly relieved when he finds the rat in the pocket of his lab coat.
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