‘Hereafter is thought-provoking’
In a career spanning seven decades and with five Academy Awards on his shelf, his cinematic vision reflects in his outings. Clint Eastwood is back in the director’s chair with fantasy drama Hereafter which he says will leave audiences thinking. “It’s up to the audience, but I hope it’ll be thought-provoking,” he says.
Having wielded the megaphone for 31 films including this one, Eastwood, 80, still gets excited about a project. “I relish the opportunity,” he says. He was back in the director’s chair for Hereafter, barely five-and-a-half months after wrapping Invictus in South Africa and considers the production schedule business as usual. “You just keep forging ahead,” he says.
For Eastwood, Hereafter — written by two-time Oscar nominee Peter Morgan — reflects a departure from his previous films. “It’s a very intelligent screenplay,” he notes. “It’s a good character study. It was very cleverly constructed. It had an iinteresting message about loss, finding oneself and love. I’m not too big on psychics, but it seemed a different way to do that subject matter. That’s what attracted me,” he adds.
For the pivotal part of George Lonegan, Eastwood wanted Matt Damon from the outset. “I enjoyed working with him on Invictus,” he says. “I like him very much. He has a good screen presence. He is a great actor, very personable, interesting and attentive. He’s somebody who comes very prepared, and that’s important. He likes movies for not only the acting part but also for the writing aspect and I suppose someday he’ll direct as well.” In Eastwood’s films, music is always used sparingly. His rule is simple: “I prefer the score to be subservient and assist the film rather than overpower.” Asked if he is surprised by the finished product at times, Eastwood confesses: “Always! You are surprised that anything works at all.”