I bow down before David Denby and his wonderfully written profile of Clint Eastwood in The New Yorker ahead of the TV actor-movie star-director-mayor of Carmel-four-time-Oscar-winner’s 80th birthday in May.
My favourite phrase is that Eastwood was born “Bunyonesque big” which I admit I am saving to use one day.
There is also a fantastic description of Eastwood which captures the physical essence of the great man:
“He had gray-green eyes; a forehead like the rock face of Yosemite’s Half Dome; a perfect jawline. A fitness nut, he was broad-shouldered by nature and muscular from the hours spent in his workout room, but not overly muscled—not a media joke like Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger. A mass of light-brown hair piled up on his head in a pompadour and flowed back in waves; he had an animal grace, a big-cat tension as he moved.”
And finally, how Eastwood re-invented the Western:
“If Leone emptied the West in his early movies, making Westerns that were mainly syntax and dead bodies, Eastwood, working in long paragraphs, put meaning back into the genre.”
Eastwood broke out as a movie star at the age of 41 after playing the iconic Dirty Harry. Since then his career has only got better and better as he has remained unafraid to risk failure by trying new things. I remember having an internal debate about whether I was too old to turn my life upside down and move to New York in 2006 and I was just in my 30’s.
Eastwood is still doing something he loves and working as hard as ever as he approaches 80, which should serve as an inspiration for us all. I am inspired to make time to re-watch Unforgiven this weekend.