Scott Eastwood: Just because you're a tough guy doesn't mean you don't have feelings
Saving the world in Pacific Rim 2 is no big deal for star Scott Eastwood, but things get strange when talk turns to his famous father, discovers Samuel Fishwick
In the lobby of the Corinthia Hotel, Scott Eastwood kicks off his Lucchese cowboy boots, yawns, and admits that he has landed on his feet. "I'm definitely the luckiest guy in the world," says the actor (32), son of Clint Eastwood, and star of Pacific Rim: Uprising, the $200m sequel to Guillermo Del Toro's 2013 bot-buster, in which he battles giant interdimensional monsters to save the planet with the help of hulking skyscraper-sized robots.
"I mean that's probably why I got into movies. Save the world, get the girl, carry the gun - that's the fun stuff."
The actor is in the middle of a month-long global promo tour, making a 24-hour visit to London after five months shooting in Beijing and Australia. The highlights were karaoke nights in China with co-star John Boyega (he sung Eminem; Eastwood stuck to Tina Turner and Nina Simone) and beach days Down Under. "I didn't get John to the beach. I tried but he's a London guy. You guys don't do the beach here."
Ask him about his father, though, and things get weird. "My dad is an astronaut," deadpans Eastwood, fixing me with his icy blue, gunslinger eyes. What? "I've never actually met him, he's been in space my whole life."
That's a very confusing answer, I say, wondering if I've somehow wound up interviewing Clint Armstrong by mistake. "I know. People think he's this other guy but that's not the case."
I'm specifically asking you, Scott Eastwood, about Clint Eastwood, because your dad is Clint Eastwood, is he not, I ask, reloading. "I know, people think that, and it's a crazy thought."
Is he inspiring? "From space? Always." Are you saying he was remote? "Well, yes, of course he was remote. Space is pretty far."
Why the stonewalling? "No one asks about my mom," he says - which is a fair point (when he started acting, he took the surname of his mum, Jacelyn Reeves, a former flight attendant, with whom Clint had an extramarital relationship). "It's unoriginal. How about my mom or my sisters? I have five, from all ages. One who's 50 something, another who's 45, then 30, 23 and 21. I was surrounded by women in my life, these amazing strong women who are awesome, such badasses."
They're much better equipped to give him life advice, he says. "I had good female perspective growing up. I think that's really important for a man to have that. I've got a tonne of oestrogen lying around if I need to figure on what's going on."
That's good, because he admits it can be difficult always playing a man's man. "I don't feel typecast," he says. "I try and bring a bit of vulnerability to each character. Even the alpha guy cries like a little schoolgirl sometimes."
Is the era of the 2D Hollywood tough guy over in the wake of the Time's Up movement? "It depends what you mean by a tough guy. Just because you're a tough guy doesn't mean you don't have real emotions, feelings and can't fall in love. You can be a tough guy and still be a gentleman."
Men can be objectified too, he says. "One reporter - Australian - she always asks me when I sit down, will you take your shirt off? I should say, 'Me Too'." Does he laugh it off? "Oh, well, she's harmless. I mean I don't really care. But, you know, she's not very professional. Everyone deserves to feel respected."
Shooting has taken a certain amount of stamina, "working 14 to 15 hour days for five months, six days a week, then promoting the film and travel around the world for a month, a different city every day."
One action scene, in which Boyega and Eastwood are flipped around the interior of the monolithic robot they're piloting, took two weeks to shoot, to the point that they dreaded coming into work. "It was like a torture chamber."
After the tour he is due some downtime at his four-bedroom ranch five minutes from the beach in South California. He surfs, dives, fishes - spear and boat fishing - goes on hunting trips in the mountains with his buddies, or drives off to go hiking and camping in a BMW, Ford pickup truck or his supercar Ford GT.
Pretty manly stuff. "I don't know about manly. I just like to do those things -they're a hobby." Does his house get lonely? "I like it both busy and quiet. People visit for two days, then leave - and that's nice. Then I just walk around the house butt naked if I want to."
He's not afraid of a manicure. "I've had a lovely lady do my nails but the problem is I bite them, which is a terrible habit." And masculinity, he says, is changing. "I think you try to understand that every person, male or female, has issues, problems, hardships. If you think like that you can be a better human every day."
What a nice young man. His father - whoever he is - must be proud.