We’d never want to disagree with Clint Eastwood. If he said jump, we’d ask how high, and if he demanded we let him ride a horse in his 10th decade on Earth, then we’d be powerless to resist the great man’s equine ambitions.
That’s exactly what happened during the production of Clint Eastwood‘s most recent movie as director, Cry Macho. The remarkable commitment and efficiency that keeps new movies coming from Eastwood also meant that he wanted to ride a horse himself in the film, despite the fact he’d recently celebrated his 90th birthday and hadn’t ridden since making Unforgiven – still one of the best Westerns ever made – in the early 1990s.
“The wrangler was worried,” Eastwood explained to the LA Times. “She was saying: ‘Be careful, be careful now’. She was scared I’d end up on my rear end. But if you treat the horse like a buddy, he’ll take care of you.”
The horse wasn’t even the only stunt Eastwood volunteered to do himself. He was swinging his fists about too, throwing a punch in one particular confrontation. “It might not be as good as I’ve thrown in the past but it was fun to do it,” said Eastwood.
You can see Eastwood getting back in the saddle in this behind-the-scenes video from the set of the movie.
Cry Macho filmed in late-2020, just after Hollywood had begun production in the wake of the pandemic shutdown. Eastwood had been trying to adapt N. Richard Nash’s 1975 novel for decades and finally decided to take on the lead role as a former rodeo rider tasked with bringing a young boy back to his father.
The stars aligned for Eastwood this time, decades after he was first approached with the story in the 1980s. At the time, he offered to direct, but declared they should get an older actor for the lead role. Later versions of the project could have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger – a very different take, but one we’d love to see – before it eventually came full circle back to Eastwood.
In that LA Times interview, Eastwood explained that he still loves being one of Hollywood’s best directors, but is considering hanging up his acting boots. “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,” he said.
We think Eastwood still has a lot to offer on both sides of the camera, even at this stage of his illustrious career. He’s not up to the high watermark of the best movies in his career these days, but he’s delivering some very solid work in films like Cry Macho and The Mule. If he doesn’t want to slow down, he shouldn’t.
Eastwood has suggested that his upcoming movie Juror No. 2 might be his last but, if we know Clint, he won’t be able to resist working for as long as his health allows.
For more of the great man’s cinematic legacy, find out our picks for the best Clint Eastwood movies and learn why Clint Eastwood rejected a “grim” Dirty Harry role. Finally, delve back into the archives to find out why Clint Eastwood almost quit acting after one of his worst movies.