CLINT EASTWOOD: Trump is Taking On the ‘PUSSY Generation’… Do You LOVE This?

Clint Eastwood does what he wants and says what he wants. In a sit down interview with Esquire and his son, Scott, Clint dives into politics a little. Check out what he had to say.

A mess of gnawed-open peanut shells litters the stoop of one of the Spanish-style bungalows on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California. Since 1975, this bungalow, in the shadow of the massive Soundstage 3, has been the home of Clint Eastwood’s production company, and when Eastwood and I walk up to the front door, we both notice the shells, bleaching in the hard-white late-afternoon sun.

“Those yours?” I ask him.

“Kind of,” Eastwood tells me. “There’s a squirrel around here. I like to put peanuts out for him. He’s a nice guy. He comes right into the office sometimes. The other day, I opened the door and he was clinging on to it.”

Eastwood is eighty-six now. But if you think he’s devolved into that old man on your block who walks around talking to squirrels, you’re dead wrong. Eastwood does not stop. Never has. Twenty years after most guys would be in full-on coast mode, Eastwood is still vital and vibrant, still pushing himself creatively. The guy is an inspiration, a reminder that we should always be evolving.

Most days you’ll find Eastwood here, at his office, doing what he likes to do, what gives his life meaning: work. Or, more accurately, creating. Over the past few weeks, he has been holed up in one of the editing bays here, his six-foot-three frame splayed out in an old brown Barcalounger, working with his editor to finish Sully, the thirty-fifth film he’s directed in a career that stretches back to 1955. Sully, which stars Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley Burnett Sullenberger, the pilot who landed his disabled plane in the Hudson River in 2009, is like many of Eastwood’s films of late—the story of a man who takes action and does what is right but suffers consequences at the hands of second-guessers.

Sully shares a September release date with another film about a man who stands up for what he believes is right: Snowden. Directed by Oliver Stone, it tells the story of Edward Snowden and features Eastwood’s son Scott as Snowden’s superior at the NSA. It is the biggest role to date for the thirty-year-old. And let’s be clear: It’s not easy being Clint’s son, let alone taking up the family business. And then there’s their fifty-six-year age difference. For much of his childhood, Scott lived with his mother, Jacelyn Reeves, in Hawaii (Clint fathered him out of wedlock), and the two men didn’t spend any real time together until Scott moved to California to live with his father during high school. In the past few years, however, they have grown closer, especially after Clint cast Scott in a small part in Invictus.A few minutes after Clint and I sit down in the study of his wood-paneled office, underneath an old French-language movie poster for All Quiet on the Western Front, Scott arrives.

ESQ: Your characters have become touchstones in the culture, whether it’s Reagan invoking “Make my day” or now Trump … I swear he’s even practiced your scowl.

CE: Maybe. But he’s onto something, because secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist. And then when I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, “This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.” And I said, “Good. Let me read it tonight.” The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, “We’re starting this immediately.”

ESQ: What is the “pussy generation”?

CE: All these people that say, “Oh, you can’t do that, and you can’t do this, and you can’t say that.” I guess it’s just the times.

ESQ: What do you think Trump is onto?

CE: What Trump is onto is he’s just saying what’s on his mind. And sometimes it’s not so good. And sometimes it’s … I mean, I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it.

ESQ: So you’re not endorsing him?

CE: I haven’t endorsed anybody. I haven’t talked to Trump. I haven’t talked to anybody. You know, he’s a racist now because he’s talked about this judge. And yeah, it’s a dumb thing to say. I mean, to predicate your opinion on the fact that the guy was born to Mexican parents or something. He’s said a lot of dumb things. So have all of them. Both sides. But everybody—the press and everybody’s going, “Oh, well, that’s racist,” and they’re making a big hoodoo out of it. Just fucking get over it. It’s a sad time in history.

ESQ: What troubles you the most?

CE: We’re not really … what troubles me is … I guess when I did that silly thing at the Republican convention, talking to the chair …

ESQ: I didn’t say it was silly.

CE: It was silly at the time, but I was standing backstage and I’m hearing everybody say the same thing: “Oh, this guy’s a great guy.” Great, he’s a great guy. I’ve got to say something more. And so I’m listening to an old Neil Diamond thing and he’s going, “And no one heard at all / Not even the chair.” And I’m thinking, That’s Obama. He doesn’t go to work. He doesn’t go down to Congress and make a deal. What the hell’s he doing sitting in the White House? If I were in that job, I’d get down there and make a deal. Sure, Congress are lazy bastards, but so what? You’re the top guy. You’re the president of the company. It’s your responsibility to make sure everybody does well. It’s the same with every company in this country, whether it’s a two-man company or a two-hundred-man company… . And that’s the pussy generation—nobody wants to work.

ESQ: You’ve campaigned for office. If you were going to write a stump speech for this election, what would you say?

CE: “Knock it off. Knock everything off.” All these people out there rattling around the streets and stuff, shit. They’re boring everybody. Chesty Puller, a great Marine general, once said, “You can run me, and you can starve me, and you can beat me, and you can kill me, but don’t bore me.” And that’s exactly what’s happening now: Everybody is boring everybody. It’s boring to listen to all this shit. It’s boring to listen to these candidates.

ESQ: What would you like to see change?

CE: I’d say get to work and start being more understanding of everybody—instead of calling everybody names, start being more understanding. But get in there and get it done. Kick ass and take names. And this may be my dad talking, but don’t spend what you don’t have. That’s why we’re in the position we are in right now. That’s why people are saying, “Why should I work? I’ll get something for nothing, maybe.” And going around and talking about going to college for free. I didn’t go to college for free. I mean, it was cheap, because I went to L. A. City College—it wasn’t like going to a major university. But it was okay. And then, you know, I didn’t finish, because I decided to become an actor, ruin my whole life. [Everyone laughs.]

ESQ: What do you think of Hillary?

CE: What about her? I mean, it’s a tough voice to listen to for four years. It could be a tough one. If she’s just gonna follow what we’ve been doing, then I wouldn’t be for her.

ESQ: But if the choice is between her and Trump, what do you do?

CE: That’s a tough one, isn’t it? I’d have to go for Trump … you know, ’cause she’s declared that she’s gonna follow in Obama’s footsteps. There’s been just too much funny business on both sides of the aisle. She’s made a lot of dough out of being a politician. I gave up dough to be a politician. I’m sure that Ronald Reagan gave up dough to be a politician.

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