Have you ever imagined the legendary Clint Eastwood in blue tights and/or a pristine tuxedo wielding a Walther PPK (I have, but a quick trip to the doctor cleared it right up)? In an interview for his upcoming directorial effort Hereafter, the Hollywood icon says he was offered the roles of both Superman and James Bond earlier in his career. Of course, in a decision he claims was easy to make, he declined both in favor of pursuing characters that were “more grounded in reality.”
Although Eastwood is now largely a force behind the camera rather than beating up baddies and/or making friends with orangutans in front of it, there is no denying his long-term contributions to modern American film as both an actor and filmmaker. As such, the interview is a fun read if for nothing more than playing a quick game of “What might have been?” with someone of Eastwood’s stature. For highlights from the interview (including the very cool images found above), hit the jump.
As for being approached to play the “Man of Steel,” Eastwood recalls to Hero Complex:
“I can remember – and this was many years ago – when [Warner Bros. President] Frank Wells came to me about doing Superman. So it could have happened. This was when they first started to think about making it. I was like, Superman? Nah, nah, that’s not for me.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s for somebody, but not me.”
On being offered 007:
“I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role. This was after Sean Connery left. My lawyer represented the Broccolis [who produce the Bond franchise], and he came and said, ‘They would love to have you.’ But to me, well, that was somebody else’s gig. That’s Sean’s deal. It didn’t feel right for me to be doing it.”
Eastwood also discussed the types of characters he likes to portray saying:
“I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality. Maybe they do super things or more-than-human things — like Dirty Harry, he has a knack for doing crazy things, or the western guys — but, still, they’re not caped crusaders.”
On being typecast via roles such as Superman and Mr. Bond:
“That was part of the consideration, a big part. Look at Reeve, he was excellent. That was a big factor. You get a role like that, and it locks you in a bit. True, I had the western genre and the ‘Dirty Harry’ role, but everybody made westerns and did cop movies; they didn’t seem as bad.”
Finally, he also revealed his own favorite comic-book character admitting:
“Hey buddy,” Eastwood said with a thumbs-up gesture, “the Sub-Mariner, that’s the one I always liked. I had all of those comics when I was a kid.”
Eastwood’s Hereafter starring Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard opens October 22nd.
Images by Kevin Lingenfelser (courtesy of Hero Complex):