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Clint Eastwood Opens Up On Being 91 Years Old And Aging — “So What?”

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Clint Eastwood recently opened up about aging, and he has made it very clear that he has zero signs of slowing down in the acting OR directing department. In his latest film, Cry Macho, he is doing double duty as both a performer and a director, and it is, of course, incredibly inspiring.

“I don’t look like I did at 20, so what?” He says. “That just means there are more interesting guys you can play.” His new film is a 1970s-set Western and has been on his radar since 1988. “I’m too young for this,” he would think to himself at the time. “Let me direct and we’ll get Robert Mitchum, an older dude.”

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Clint Eastwood on aging

CRY MACHO, Clint Eastwood, 2021. ph: Claire Folger /© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Of course, the movie didn’t come to life until now, and it was a role he once considered himself too old to play. That has clearly changed. “I always thought I’d go back and look at that. It was something I had to grow into,” he says. “One day, I just felt it was time to revisit it. It’s fun when something’s your age, when you don’t have to work at being older.”

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He continues, “I never thought of acting as an intellectual sport. You don’t want to overthink something,” he says. And in terms of directing, he says he initially took it on because “the whole point of directing was something you can do as an older guy.” He also says that he continues to do this work at 91 years old because “I just like it.” But, despite liking it, he admits that his age has given him a bit of a pause.

He often asks himself why he’s still working in his 90s

THE DEAD POOL, Clint Eastwood, 1988. ©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection.

“What the hell am I still working for in my 90s?” He asks himself. He recalls working in his youth, bagging groceries for 37 cents an hour. Oh, how things have changed. “Are people going to start throwing tomatoes at you? I’ve gotten to the point where I wondered if that was enough, but not to the point where I decided it was. If you roll out a few turkeys, they’ll tell you soon enough.”

And in terms of how much the modern-movie experience has changed, especially in the past year and a half? Eastwood says he doesn’t even think about it. “I never think about it… If I’m not the same guy, I don’t want to know anything about it. I might not like the new guy. I might think, ‘What am I doing with this idiot?’”

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