Kevin Avery (ed.): Conversations With Clint

‘Real nice’

Jake Wilson

 

Conversations with Clint: Paul Nelson’s Lost Interviews with Clint Eastwood 1979–1983
edited by Kevin Avery
Continuum Books (Palgrave Macmillan), $29.95 pb, 256 pp, 9781441165862

 

It is easy, too easy, to feel familiar with Clint Eastwood. However fully we realise that he is just another actor playing a role, part of us wants to believe that he speaks to colleagues in terse catchphrases and squints at friends and family with profound contempt. Almost invariably, his tough-guy image sets the terms for assessments of his work as a director – whether he’s seen as the Last Classicist or merely as a hardened old pro who gets the job done. To be sure, in conversation with journalists Eastwood has often been willing to play up to his laconic reputation. My favourite example came when he was asked how he approached the adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County: ‘I took all the drivel out.’

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Published in February 2012 no. 338

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