January 11, 2009
Clint Eastwood: The Badass Remains
"Gran Torino" opened at the top of box office this weekend with 29 million dollars. Considering that Clint is 78 years old, this display of box office power is astounding. But I don't think that many 78 year old folks are flocking to the movies these days. I think people wanted to see Gran Torino because they wanted to see one of the only American badasses do his thing on the silver screen.
The badass is a beast struggling for survival. Arnold turned to politics, Van Damme turned meta, Seagal went off the deep end, and Stallone exists in his own hyper violent world. Yet in thislalife, Eastwood alone remains the classic badass both in his roles on film and in real life.
I had the pleasure of meeting the guy while working in LA, and he only spoke four words to me ("what's up kid" & "Thanks kid). In real life and in the movies he's always taking names and meaning business. And one can deny that there are no real badass American actors to take his place*. Christian Bale, he's welsh. Daniel Craig, he's not American. Hugh Jackman, he's an Aussie. I guess all we have is Will Smith, but he's busy selling of his body parts.
So Clint, keep doing what you do.
*Keifer Sutherland is approaching badass status.