Clint Eastwood vowed to raise his children away from Hollywood culture and believed in “old school” parenting. In fact, his son Scott Eastwood said there was no “new age bullsh*t” parenting from his dad, as he recalled a very pivotal moment when Clint “popped” him in the face when he made one particularly bad decision.
Clint Eastwood is known for his “tough guy” on-screen persona. If you thought he would be as tough at home as he is on camera, you would be right. According to the legendary actor and director’s son, Scott Eastwood, Clint was a pretty strict father. Now that Scott is becoming a successful actor in his own right, he’s thankful for his dad’s parenting techniques.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Scott opened up about his famous dad going “old school” on him when he was 16 years old. “I had taken my younger sister, who was, like, 14, to this party,” Scott said. “I left, maybe to go get beer with the guys. And I left her and I didn’t think about it at the time. Later, Dad found out that I’d left her there.”
According to GQ, Clint Eastwood, all six-foot-one of him, slammed his teenage son against a wall. He wrapped his hands around Scott’s throat and punched him, square in the face. “He popped me and said, ‘You don’t ever leave your sister at a party. EVER.’ And it was very old-school, very old-school of him,” the younger Eastwood declared.
Scott described this as a pivotal moment in his childhood, as it taught him a lesson that he has never forgotten. “He wasn’t afraid. None of this new-age bullsh*t where you can’t even smack the kid because everyone’s afraid of being judged or whatever,” he added. “That wasn’t the way that sh*t went down in that family… If you did something wrong, you were going to get punished. I learned quickly – you don’t do that.”
Clint was a tough father to all of his eight children, refusing to give them “handouts” and encouraging hard and honest work, despite being worth millions himself. “It’s an interesting time,” Scott stated. “My father’s definitely old-school. And he raised me with integrity—to be places on time, show up, and work hard.”
Scott spoke about another time when his dad instilled a life lesson about earning things for yourself. “I called [Dad] and was like, ‘I’ve got this job, can I get eight grand to buy a truck?” he recalled. “I’m working this job, I can pay you back ‘X’ amount a month, you know,’ and I remember the phone going silent… And he’d just be like, ‘Yeah, no. You’re fine with what you’re doing.’ He wouldn’t give me a dime.”
“And I don’t want to give him all the credit,” Scott added. “Because Mom had a huge part in raising me too, and making me a better man, but he definitely was the hammer.” Scott’s earliest childhood memories of his father remain vivid.
“Poking around the film set on Space Cowboys; taking long helicopter rides up the Californian coast, Clint in the pilot’s seat. Every now and then, he’d let his pre-adolescent son handle one of the dual controls. Sometimes, Scott would get dizzy and they’d set the chopper down in a patch of Redwoods and eat turkey sandwiches,” GQ reported.
Scott Eastwood also shared how his relationship with his dad has changed over the years. “As a younger kid, there was kind of an aura of greatness,” he said. “Like, he’s my hero. Now, I think every opportunity is an opportunity to hear another good story. The guy’s like a vault of stories.”
“I try to pry as many stories as I can out of him,” he added. “All of a sudden, you’ll get to a topic and you’ll be like, ‘Whoa, you and Frank Sinatra did what together?’ It’ll be stuff like that and you’re like, ‘Wait, stop, I need to hear this. You’re not going to be around forever.” Even though Scott was raised by one of the biggest names in Hollywood, his father taught him the “Code of Eastwood: everything must be earned.”