Big screen legend Clint Eastwood hints that he’s going to return to acting after spending the majority of the last decade behind the camera. After playing supporting roles on TV and bit parts in film in the late 1950s, Eastwood started to make a name for himself in 1959 with a starring role on the TV series Rawhide. Near the end of the series run, however, he transitioned from TV actor to international film icon in Sergio Leone’s 1964 classic Western A Fistful of Dollars, launching a long collaboration with the director that included For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
Establishing star power thanks to his work with Leone, Eastwood didn’t take long to start directing himself, starting with the 1971 thriller Play Misty For Me. Further solidifying his clout in Hollywood with the classic Dirty Harry film series, went on to assume the triple role of director/actor/producer for much of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. And while Eastwood continued his passion for directing, his appearances as an actor have been sparse in the 2000s, having only appeared in Space Cowboys (2000), Blood Work (2002), Million Dollar Baby (2004), and Gran Torino (2008) – with his last film role coming in 2012 with the baseball drama Trouble With the Curve. And while it seemed that Eastwood’s acting days were long behind him, the film great threw fans a curve Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival.
According to Variety, Eastwood said at a master class that he’s missed acting “once in a while but not often,” before adding, “I did a lot of it for a long time. I’ll visit it again someday.”
Eastwood’s interest in acting again is sure to generate huge excitement in the industry considering how large he’s loomed Hollywood for the past 60 years (even his auspicious debut as bumbling lab assistant in the 1955 Creature from the Black Lagoon sequel Revenge of the Creature is legendary). The great thing is, a new appearance by Eastwood wouldn’t happen be for a trip down memory lane for the sake of a paycheck. Turning 87 on May 31, Eastwood clearly has as much passion for the movie business as he’s ever, and his turns at the helm of the smash hits American Sniper in 2014 and Sully in 2016 prove that he’s in the game for the long haul. In fact, his next project as a director, The 15:17 to Paris, is in the works.
While the possibilities for roles seem endless, it’s pretty safe to say that fans would love to see Eastwood play Dirty Harry Callahan again. Of course, times have changed since Eastwood first played the no-nonsense detective more than 45 years ago, and he knows it. During his Cannes class, Eastwood talked about how the politically incorrect Dirty Harry film series kicked off the era of political correctness, saying, “We’re killing ourselves by doing that, we’ve lost our sense of humor.”
With any luck, hopefully moviegoers and society as a whole will lighten up enough for Eastwood to say, “Make my day” one more time.
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