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Clint Eastwood says chair routine ‘didn’t get the response I wanted’

(L –r) AMY ADAMS as Mickey CLINT EASTWOOD as Gus Warner Bros. Pictures’ dram“TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” Warner Bros. Pictures

(L –r) AMY ADAMS as Mickey and CLINT EASTWOOD as Gus in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

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Updated: October 20, 2012 6:10AM



BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Clint Eastwood doesn’t shy away from the empty chair in the room.

Was he pleased with his controversial speech/pep talk/comedy routine at the Republican National Convention?

“It didn’t get the response I wanted,” Eastwood tells the Sun-Times. “I was hoping they would nominate me. My ambitions were tremendous.”

He says those words in the slow, distinctive Clint Eastwood voice.

“My only message was, I just wanted people to take the idolizing factor out of every contestant out there,” he says. “Look at the work and the background.”

How does he think he handled it? “I did it in a roundabout time that took more time than they would have liked,” he says.

Now that he cleared that one up, Eastwood would like to nominate another topic. In his new film, “Trouble with the Curve” (opening Friday), he plays Gus, an aging baseball scout who is losing his eyesight during what will likely be his last scouting mission. His uptight lawyer daughter (Amy Adams) must join him on the road, where they explore baseball and their failed relationship.

Gus is struggling with getting older, but at 82, Eastwood doesn’t seem to have the same trouble with the numbers.

“The pros are that you know a lot more now,” he says. “The con is that you start forgetting it all.”

He laughs. “To be honest with you, aging can be a fun process to some degree. Just ask me a year or so from now and I might give you the same answer.”

He is in amazing shape. “I exercise and play a lot of golf with Mr. Timberlake,” he says. That’s Justin Timberlake, also in “Trouble With the Curve” as a younger scout romancing Gus’ daughter.

“I eat a lot of salmon and broccoli, which is very good and good for you,” Eastwood says.

The director of “Unforgiven,” “Million Dollar Baby” and the recent “J. Edgar” says that it was easy to just step in front of the camera and leave the directing duties to someone else. It’s the first time he has acted for another director since “In the Line of Fire.”

“After ‘Gran Torino,’ I thought, ‘This is stupid to be doing both jobs,’ ” Eastwood says of acting and directing. “I’ve been in this business for some 40 years. Now I think, ‘Maybe, I should do just one or the other and allow myself some comfort zone.’ On this film, I didn’t have to do anything but act and watch Amy throw the ball.”

He doesn’t mind letting go of the reins.

“It’s nice for someone else to pilot the ship. It’s actually quite relaxing,” Eastwood says. “When the other fellows were working, I was practicing putting.

“I probably won’t act and direct in the same movie again, at least for the moment. Of course, I said I wasn’t going to act again. That changed. Sometimes, you just lie a lot.”

But he’s honest with himself about the roles in his future. “I look for roles that are within the age I’m in,” Eastwood says. “It would be ridiculous for me to even want to play a 35-year-old guy.

“They would have to get the sandblasting machine out. You know, the thing the guy uses to smooth out your pool!”

Next up for Eastwood is directing Beyonce in “A Star is Born.” The male lead is not cast. “ ‘Star is Born’ is a project I’ll do down the line,” he says. “It’s not imminent right now. It’s at least six months away.”

Big Picture News Inc.



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