The next Eastwood

The next Eastwood

His first Hollywood leading role - in The Longest Ride - sees him playing a rugged and sexy professional rodeo cowboy seeking that eight seconds of fame staying mounted while the bull attempts to buck off its rider.

But for model-turned-actor Scott Eastwood, fame comes almost immediately, thanks to that famous last name.

He's the product of Clint Eastwood's fling with flight stewardess Jacelyn Ann Reeves.

Some US media have even hailed the 29-year-old as the legendary US actor-director's finest work and it's not hard to see why.

Eastwood is the mirror image of a young Clint, having inherited the latter's manly physique and chiselled jaw, and even daddy's iconic squint.

And if his matinee idol good looks don't impress, Eastwood has a trump card - his own Nicholas Sparks movie.

Opening here tomorrow, The Longest Ride is about a young couple Luke (Eastwood) and Sophia (Britt Robertson) who fight to stay together.

She's the art student bound for the bright lights of New York City while he's seeking glory in Las Vegas in a bull-riding competition.

As Hollywood history has shown us, scoring the leading-man role in a romance adapted from celebrated author Sparks' novels usually means instant recognition and adoration from female moviegoers.

Past Sparks' movies such as The Notebook (2004), Dear John (2010) and The Last Song (2010) turned Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum and Liam Hemsworth into heart-throbs overnight.

"Casting the male lead in a love story is very, very hard," said producer Marty Bowen, who also produced The Twilight Saga franchise and The Fault In Our Stars, both huge hits with the female set.

"You want the actor to be emotionally accessible, but you also want him to be masculine, vulnerable and strong. That combination of traits is difficult to find," he added.

Added Sparks, 49: "Scott was one of our initial top five for the role of Luke. We (bandied) around a lot of different names, but Scott was always there...he proved to be just what we were looking for.

"He looks like a leading man and had a good understanding of the characters."

Acting was something Eastwood had longed to do, having grown up "watching my dad be a movie star", he told Nylon.

But he was determined not to rely on his last name and wanted to break into the industry on his own terms, so he used his mother's maiden name - Reeves - when he hit the audition circuit after high school.

He also took up odd jobs such as construction work and parking cars "to make extra money", telling Nylon that his father "wasn't a guy who gave handouts" and he himself was too headstrong to ask for any leg-up.

But after scoring some roles in independent films and bit parts in his father's movies such as Flags Of Our Fathers (2006) and Gran Torino (2008), he decided to embrace his legacy.

OUT OF DAD'S SHADOW

However, their uncanny likeness meant that for a certain time, he was only offered roles that wanted him to reprise his father's iconic Western flicks.

He told Telegraph Men's Style: "For years I've been approached to do Westerns. People trying to remake The Good, The Bad And The Ugly with me in my father's role - but it has always felt so cheap. So, yes, I'm cautious."

So at his mother's insistence - and also as a back-up plan - Eastwood headed to college and armed himself with a communications degree.

However, it was a 2013 fashion spread with Town & Country magazine that put Eastwood on the map, particularly a photograph of him smoking a cigar, like his father in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, that went viral.

The photoshoot also featured Eastwood striking several shirtless poses, which seems to be his trademark, judging from his active Instagram account where he shares photos of himself re-modelling his bathroom shirtless, fishing in Hawaii shirtless, and surfing, well, shirtless. Naturally, he has a couple of shirtless moments in The Longest Ride.

"I grew up surfing and hanging out on the beach, so I've sort of always liked being shirtless," Eastwood told Treats magazine, adding that he "lives in a beach house in San Diego".

"I try and keep as far away (from Hollywood) as possible. I live a very simple life. I'm not interested in celebrity or fame. I just want to work."

While he loves going around topless, there's a limit to how much skin he will show, telling USA Today that he rejected the role of Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey as he was turned off by the full frontal nudity clause.

"It was not something I wanted to do. There were some things about it that were not for me."

There will, however, be more shirtless Eastwood photos coming out soon.

The adrenaline junkie, who is into extreme sports, fishing and diving, has been named the new face of the Davidoff Cool Water fragrance and the worldwide campaign will kick off in a few months.

After The Longest Ride, he will be seen opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley in an Oliver Stone film about former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of classified documents to the press.

He has also landed a part in David Ayer's super-villain flick Suicide Squad, having impressed the director in last year's World War II drama Fury.

Things are heating up for Eastwood, but the hunk sticking to his father's advice: Be humble, work hard and be a man.

"I'm happy to be making good movies. That's what my dad has done for years and that's what I want to do," he told Glamour UK, adding that he is "1,000 per cent" influenced by Daddy Dearest.


This article was first published on April 8, 2015.
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