Scott Eastwood: Clint’s son rises, but under his own steam

A crag of Rocks? “It’s not super heavy drama,” he says. Albeit a massive collaboration. Does he have ambitions to follow dad (again) behind the camera? On the contrary, while Scott has appeared in a number of his father’s films – notably Flags of our Father, Gran Torino, Trouble with the Curve and Invictus – he failed to get a callback for American Sniper. “In no way am I replacing Paul. I would have done that this way instead.”

For the moment, having bounced from last year’s Suicide Squad and Snowden into Fast 8 and Pacific Rim: Uprising, he has plenty going on. I didn’t do any of that. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Aged 31, the actor retains a particular soft spot for the movies of the 1990s. You just don’t get the call.”

No handouts
Scott’s mother, Jacelyn Reeves, was a flight attendant when she met the then-married Clint. That’s not how my dad does things. For Eastwood, who was already a firm fan of the franchise, it was full of pleasant surprises. It’s all built on reputation and on your work ethic. Or they are a pain in the ass. All those guys are huge stars. “It was easy for me in that regard,” says Eastwood. It’s completely awesome

“Ah ha,” he grins. Clint, however, has remained – literally and figuratively – a big presence in his kids’ lives. More than 15 years after the original boy-racer film zoomed into cinemas, the $4 billion-grossing-and-counting franchise sees returning cast members – Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jason Statham and Kurt Russell – make new chums with Helen Mirren (playing Jason Statham and Luke Evans’ moll-mother) and Eastwood (as Russell’s junior partner, Little Nobody), to take down super-baddie Charlize Theron. Their affair lasted for years: Reeves and Eastwood also have a daughter, Kathryn. Scott spent many of his formative years on his father’s ranch in Northern California and so much time on his father’s film sets that he can’t rightly recall the first time he visited one. And I still love them.”

He has been around long enough, he notes, “to tell a good director from a, um, not-so-good director”. He uses words like “grateful”, “gracious” and “lucky” early and often: “I know the value of things,” he says. I was broke and that would save money.”

Happily, there were other people on hand to check under the bonnet during the production of Fast and Furious 8. Photograph: Chris Delmas/AFP/Getty

“That’s just not how it works,” says Scott. He needed to know he could make it on his own. All those guys are huge. There are a tonne of talented people out there. Film, as everyone says, is a directors’ medium. But I was blown away by how fun. He had no money. He grew up in the Great Depression. And really nice to each other.”

He has just seen the finished film. For everything. Magic? Surely someone who has spent their life in and around the “biz” isn’t so easily impressed? His family had no money. “To be honest, the film business is not a business where, just because your dad is an actor, you get to be an actor. That must have been a short conversation? “You don’t even get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no. “Apparently I was doing it wrong, if I get a chance to go back I’ll make things right. Shouldn’t he have demanded a misspent youth making tabloid headlines and doing expensive stints in rehab? Fitting, right?”

Some commentators have noted that Eastwood and, indeed, his character – if you squint just right – is a kinda/sorta replacement for the late Paul Walker, who died during the filming of Fast and Furious 7. Last spring, various outlets attempted to kick up controversy by suggesting that Michelle Rodriguez was (appropriately) furious to discover that Scott was replacing Paul Walker. By night, he tended bar near his San Diego home, by day, he commuted to LA for auditions. “It’s Fast and Furious.  Good grief. Mulholland Dr review: David Lynch’s masterpiece returns to the big screen

The Sense of an Ending review: All the men are handsome. I worked as a valet.”

Changing oil
Looking back he’s glad he wasn’t handed anything on a plate. An engine of Diesels? It doesn’t matter how much you know about production. He smiles: “Let’s just say that then.”

Fast & Furious 8 is on general release It’s like any other line of work. (In fact, she simply respectfully said: “nobody will ever fill that role”.)

Eastwood, who first met Walker on the set of Flags of our Fathers and who describes the late actor as a “big brother”, is keen to dismiss any comparisons. It doesn’t matter who you are: it doesn’t mean they are going to be putting you in movies. It was magic.”

Directing ambitions
He sounds genuinely enchanted. I can change oil in my car. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

I’m not sure what the correct collective noun is for action heroes. But they are too hard to work with. Or they just don’t have the drive or dedication. Paul was a very close friend of mine so I thought this was a great way to reconnect, I guess. Courage Under Fire. “Really good movies shine through. “I thought I’m just going to give this thing a shot,” he says. I can’t imagine his dad sits this way during interviews. You can still be transported.”

Scott Eastwood: “Film, as everyone says, is a directors’ medium. And being around people who were talking about him.”

Tyrese Gibson and Scott Eastwood promote the film ‘Fast and Furious 8’ at Apple Store Soho on April 6, 2017 in New York City. I worked as a bartender. Or maybe now I can. But – even when they didn’t write it themselves – the director is there crafting and shaping all the way through casting, shooting, post production, marketing. Because I used to have to change oil. After we were finished there was another 70 days of work for the second unit. “Definitely. Scott Eastwood greets me with an enthusiastic handshake before chilling back into a cross-legged pose on the couch. I spent half my money on girls and fast cars: the rest I wasted? But everybody is really nice. Shawshank Redemption. A Few Good Men. “I have basic life skills. All the women are lovely

Fast and Furious 8 review: It’s completely stupid. The Rock is a big boy. Everybody gets along, which is crazy because, as you say, there’s a lot of testosterone. It’s a hugely creative job. Unforgiven. Yet family ties – in addition to the famous family patriarch, Scott’s sisters Alison Eastwood and Francesca Fisher-Eastwood are also actors – have not necessarily been helpful in the young actor’s chosen care

Scott Eastwood attends the Hilarity for Charity’s 5th annual Variety show at the Palladium in Hollywood, on October 15, 2016. Much has been made of the uncanny likeness between Scott and the younger Clint Eastwood, a resemblance Scott playfully emphasised by dressing up like dad’s nameless Dollars Trilogy badass last Halloween.  

“Honestly? You grab your popcorn, turn off your brain and have a fun ride. My guy is the stickler for the rules rookie. And he reckons he can always go back to valet work: “At least I’d be driving.”

Just not so fast. So he had to work. “Oh, there’s no conversation with my dad,” he smiles. “I’m the rookie and I play the rookie. An explosion of Stathams? Forrest Gump. And he made sure his kids were going to do the same. You know that old joke? Those are the films I watched growing up. My role isn’t even like that. Braveheart. But I do wonder if the famous on-screen-off-screen Fast and Furious family aren’t ever affected by a surfeit of testosterone? You can’t just show up.”

There’s certainly no suggestion that Clint Eastwood ever put in a quiet word or Make-My-Day on his son’s behalf either. You’ve seen them. And I’ve seen enough to think: How would I do this? Tellingly, when he first started auditioning, he used Reeves, his mother’s name, rather than Eastwood. “And if it doesn’t work, then I can go and be a firefighter.”

His dad, not a big fan of handouts, left Scott to pay his own way through Santa Barbara City College and to struggle through the lean early years of his career. “There’s something about the dramas they made back then. Becoming part of something that was a part of his life. Albeit a massive collaboration”. So this is the first time I can see it with stunts and visual effects.