With a hint of McQueen’s cool, a splash of old school charm and, of course, plenty of his father’s movie star looks, Scott Eastwood could be the leading man Hollywood’s been waiting for.
Photography/ Steve Shaw, Interview/ Aubrey Day
Where have all the manly movie stars gone? The tough guys? The men’s men? It’s a question that crops up every few years in Hollywood. Usually when a Brit or an Aussie has been cast in some new action franchise. Suddenly, someone will declare, Leo’s too boyish, Johnny’s too camp, Brad’s too laid back. It’s a full-blown crisis, America! Apparently, there are no homegrown leading men with that ‘Steve McQueen vibe’ or the old school appeal of a Clint Eastwood.
Except there is. The clue’s in the name. Scott Eastwood, yes, son of Clint, has been quietly building career momentum for a while now and this should be the year he breaks out. His leading role in the forthcoming Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride is exactly the kind of star-making opportunity that can lead to bigger and better things. Just ask Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling – both previous Sparks alumni (in Dear John and The Notebook, respectively).
Last year, Eastwood posed for Town & Country Magazine in a series of rugged shots (standing on a sailboat, lighting a cigar, staring into the distance etc.) that practically broke the internet and saw tens of thousands of admirers immediately start following the actor’s Instagram account. Follow-up articles online had smitten headlines like “23 Beautiful and Perfect Shots of Scott Eastwood”, “More Smoldering Shots of Scott Eastwood” and, perhaps predictably, “Scott Eastwood Makes Our Day”.
Here at Treats!, our curiosity piqued by all this hoopla, we thought we’d do our own shoot with Scott. And this being our Hollywood issue, why not channel a little old school movie glamor as well? Fortunately, old school fits Eastwood like a well-tailored suit.
Hi Scott, welcome to Treats!.
Happy to be here!
You’ve been working for a decade but suddenly it feels like there’s a lot of ‘industry buzz’ about you.
That’s the movie business for you! You never know what’s going to hit, what’s not. You could do an indie movie and it all of a sudden pop and it’s great… or no one could ever see it.
Talking of indies, you have one coming out. Diablo. Is it a Western?
No, it’s really a period piece, a cool little indie I did with Danny Glover and Walton Goggins. It’s dark, interesting. I play a Civil War soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who sets out to rescue his wife from kidnappers.
But first is The Longest Ride. Based on the Nicholas Sparks book. Is it the usual mix of romantic stares and tearful looks?
Um… there may be a bit of that! But it’s directed by George Tillman Jr., who also made Faster and Notorious so he aimed to make it a little grittier, maybe move it a little bit away from the formula.
When Hollywood starts paying you a lot of attention, how does that manifest itself?
Well, I’m a lot busier! Suddenly it seems a lot of my time is accounted for… plus I’m getting opportunities to work with great directors. It’s funny… I’ve never been an LA guy – I think of it as kind of like high school. All of a sudden you do a movie and there’s buzz and it’s like you’re in the cool crowd. But you know it can go away as quickly as it came. To me, the whole thing just seems funny. You can’t take Hollywood – or yourself – too seriously. You’ve got to just keep doing what you do and whatever happens, you can’t be wrapped up in whether or not you’re ‘in’ this month, it’s not healthy. I’m just happy to be working.
When success comes in Hollywood, people can quickly turn into… well, assholes. How do you guard against that?
I’m lucky. I’ve got a lot of friends that will call me on all my bullshit! They’ll just rip me to shreds. They don’t care if I’m in movies or tending bar. Whatever I’m doing, I think good friends and family are key. It’s good to have drive, and know what you want to do. But not to have your happiness wrapped up in that. You’ve got to do other things. You don’t want to be one-dimensional. I wouldn’t want to be ‘just’ an actor. That would be boring. You don’t want to betoo obsessed with one thing. I try to diversify my time with other things.
I like to live a really active lifestyle. Working out is really important to me. Staying healthy in a bunch of different ways. Surfing, gym, jiu jitsu… ocean sports like stand up paddle boarding, diving, fishing… I fly helicopters. I’m sort of a serial entrepreneur. I have a bar in San Diego and for the last few years I’ve been trying to launch a whisky company… so I have other things in my life – my happiness is not tied to acting.
Did your father encourage you to go into acting?
To be honest, he didn’t care if I was a plumber or if I was an actor. He just said, “Whatever you do, do it well. Be humble, work hard and be a man.” I think when I was younger, like in high school or whatever, I probably thought I was too cool to follow in his footsteps or maybe I just thought girls were more important. But then I realized, “This is a great life – I want to do this. So I better figure it out.”
Is it true you didn’t use the name Eastwood when you started…
Yeah, I just wanted to see if I could do it on my own. You realize sort of quickly it doesn’t really matter! If you don’t work, if you don’t hustle, you’re not going to get anywhere, whatever your name. When I was younger, I thought that was a big thing. I had a lot of pride. I wanted to earn it on my own merit. And not have people say it’s because of a name. But the reality is people are going to say whatever the fuck they want anyway! You can’t control that. At some point you say, “Fuck it. That’s my dad’s last name, that’s my legacy.”
You’ve worked with your father on a number of films. Do the dynamics between director/actor and father/son get muddied up?
Yeah, a bit. I mean, he’s like tougher on me when I work with him. He doesn’t want any favoritism at all. Invictus, Trouble With The Curve, Gran Torino, Flags of our Fathers. He was tough on me on all of them but outside of that, we have a great father/son relationship.
You’re being presented very much as a ‘man’s man’? Is that accurate?
I dunno… I like making testosterone-driven movies because that’s what I like to watch. But, I’d like to do everything. Comedy, etc. To me, a ‘man’s man’ is not someone who tries to act macho or tough. He doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Pictures of you have prompted quite a frenzied response on the internet. You do seem to be shirtless quite a lot.
It’s all in good fun. My friends will say, “Put a shirt on!” But I grew up surfing and hanging out on the beach, so I’ve sort of always liked being shirtless.
You don’t live in Hollywood…
No I try and keep as far away as possible. I live a very simple life. I’m not interested in celebrity or fame. I just want to work.
But celebrity is a currency that sometimes helps get work
Yeah, that is sort of the way the business is. Sometimes the best actor isn’t going to get the role. Which is shitty but it’s the world we live in. There are ‘other factors’ to why certain people get a role – they have a big movie coming out, they have ‘heat’ on them, or whatever that is… so it is what it is. But I didn’t get in this to be famous. I grew up loving my father’s work, loving movies, and telling stories, wanting to be a part of that. To affect people. Whether they’re laughing or crying. It’s supposed to elicit a response. It’s art, right?
model// Dani (HMMLA)
styling// Jeanne Yang (The Wall Group)
stylist assistants// Anastasya Kolomytseva and Chloe Takayanagi
makeup// Jo Baker (Forward Artists) using Charlotte Tilbury
hair and grooming// Rob Talty (Forward Artists) using John Frieda
special thanks// Kurt Rappaport and Sarah Mutch