Somehow I always find myself ‘sleepwalking’ into bookstores; no matter what part of the globe I am there is some sort of unique magnet in me regarding bookstores. Even if I mostly read books off the Kindle App on my iPad, I still enjoy walking to the cash counter with an actual paper book that somehow stuck to my hands. This time around I was in Orlando – Florida and the book was “American Rebel. The Life of Clint Eastwood” by Marc Eliot.
“Go ahead, make my day!” is the famous quote by Eastwood’ Inspector Harry Callahan, a rough and very direct character. Eastwood has made his day by showing the courage to go well beyond the profession of actor, a profession he was able to carve for himself after a struggling start from the scratch.
I have always been fascinated by his somewhat mysterious versatility comprised in his stare. I always thought that there was more to him that a way Sergio Leone (whom directed him in the legendary ‘spaghetti western’) described his acting: “He has two acting expressions: one with the hat, the other one without the hat”.
He started his career from nothing (and with nothing) as a C level movie actor; he had the good looks and he was in the right place within the right geographical networks: Hollywood and Los Angeles. After a few years he got a role within a popular cowboy US TV series: “Rawhide”. The series got notoriety in several countries outside of the US; in Japan TV viewers got fascinated by it and Clint begun to experience what being an international movie star meant. Years ahead he would become more and more used to it becoming, during the ‘70s, the number one movie star in the world making himself and many people in Hollywood rich in the process.
Eastwood versatility has been shown by the many roles he has played through his career but mostly through the fact that he, very early in his career (during filming of the “Rawhide” series), got himself involved in the overall movie making process: from selecting the script, to contributing to its screenplay development, to learning all that there was to learn ‘behind the scenes’ (often sticking around with backstage workers to ‘learn the trade’ while other actor colleagues already had taken off a headed towards more relaxing times).
Eventually this lead to four Oscars: two for best movie (‘Unforgiven’ – 1992 and ‘Million Dollar Baby’ – 2004) and two for best director (still ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby’). He never got the best actor award but his lead-role in ‘Gran Torino’ – 2008 (once again a movie made by Clint involving also his very own production company – Malpaso) was unanimously deserving one (expect for the Oscars inner circle…).
This has got me thinking about how many of us have the courage ‘to go for it’, telling to reality “Go ahead, make my day!” not in arrogant aggressive way, just in humble and determined one; focusing on continuos learning and maintaining a vision for self-growth and progress no matter what. Our challenging times increasingly demand for this kind of attitude and mindset. “Let’s go ahead! Let’s make our day!”.