‘Mrs. Eastwood’: Easy to see why Clint took a liking to her
BY LORI RACKL TV Criticfirstname.lastname@example.org May 17, 2012 6:40PM
Dina Eastwood (from left) appears on “Mrs. Eastwood & Company” with daughter Morgan and stepdaughter Francesca.
‘MRS. EASTWOOD & COMPANY’ ★★★
9 to 10 p.m. series premiere Sunday on E!, with half-hour episodes at 9 on subsequent Sundays
Updated: June 29, 2012 9:27AM
Clint Eastwood, a softie? His wife, Dina, schmoozed him into helping her relocate a boy band from South Africa to the States so she could try to make them stars.
She also convinced the Hollywood legend to open their Carmel, Calif., home to a reality TV crew for her new show, “Mrs. Eastwood & Company.”
The E! cable channel series originally was supposed to focus on Dina and the six members of the boy band, Overtone. It soon expanded to include Dina’s extended, blended family. The Eastwoods’ teenage daughter, Morgan, plays a prominent role. So does Dina’s step-daughter, Francesca, who is Clint’s daughter with actress Frances Fisher. Even Clint makes the occasional cameo.
“He’s a very go-with-the-flow type of person,” Dina said about her husband, who’s spent much of his illustrious career playing the tough guy. “When it came to putting Francesca and Morgan in the show last summer, he kind of balked. Then the damnedest thing happened. Francesca turned 18 and wanted to do it. And Morgan’s like, ‘Then I get to do it.’ ”
Clint caved — and made their day.
“He’s like, ‘Yeah, you girls have a good time,’ ” Dina said, imitating her spouse’s growly whisper of a voice. “I don’t think he thought it would get this far.”
Debuting Sunday, the show is a refreshing alternative to the typical diva docu-series, where overly cosmeticked prima donnas stir up drama in their perfectly appointed mansions.
Dina, a former TV news anchor, comes off extremely likable, fun and down-to-earth — the kind of woman you want at your party. And the kind of woman who will stick around to help clean up when it’s over. Her free-spirited personality is wacky enough to make her entertaining to watch, but not so wacky she’s unrelatable. The daughters don’t seem like spoiled brats, either.
“We never had hair, makeup or wardrobe once,” Dina said. “It’s a very roll-out-of-bed-and-start-shooting type of show. It’s a life that reflects much of America as opposed to the Hollywood elite.”
The Eastwoods’ backyard is filled with a bizarre assortment of rescued animals. Inside the home the vibe is casual, controlled chaos presided over by the family’s longtime Korean-American housekeeper, Lisa, who’s bursting with spin-off potential. In the pilot, Lisa gets a nose stud, which is funny. And then she pulls it out, which is even funnier.
Lisa got her piercing while Dina was getting a bellybutton ring. It was all part of a diabolical plot to dissuade Morgan from having her navel pierced. Apparently Clint isn’t such a softie when it comes to his daughters and tattoo parlors.
“He likes everything natural and real,” Dina explains in the show, citing her bosom as an example.
While the first episode has a happy-go-lucky feel, teasers indicate tears and drama lurk in the future — especially when it comes to Francesca’s older boyfriend, celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.
Dina said her main motivation for doing a reality show was to promote Overtone. She happened to see the a cappella sextet during a girls’ night out in South Africa while Clint was filming “Invictus.” Ten minutes into a Queen tribute, she was hooked.
Dina wants to get Overtone a “real” manager and a record deal. The group’s single, “Nothing Else Matters,” is on iTunes. The song is produced by Chicago-based Da Internz.
“My mid-life crisis was adopting a boy band,” Dina said. “Now I want the world to see my amazing band that I’ve put my rear end on the line for.”