Scott Eastwood: ‘My dad is a prisoner in Alcatraz, but he escaped’

We see what you did there, Scott

Scott Eastwood is in the difficult position of having a superstar for a dad. If he embraces it — in the past he’s talked openly about how “hard” Clint is on him on set — then he’s dragged by the media for moaning about Hollywood privilege. If he stonewalls the dad questions (his approach in our interview) then he risks seeming ungrateful. It’s a tricky situation and not one I would welcome. That said, Scott lives a luxurious lifestyle in sunny San Diego and his net worth is in the millions. Does that mean he should suck it up?

One way to silence the critics is to focus on his own career. Scott’s new movie, robots vs. monsters smash-em-up Pacific Rim: Uprising, hits cinemas today. It’s an epic, battle-stuffed blockbuster and Eastwood’s turn as military golden boy Nate is professional and accomplished. The man’s clearly got talent.

So, we dropped by posh London hotel The Corinthia to find out what makes him tick. Cue questions about Eminem, karaoke with John Boyega and the dark side of Hollywood. Get stuck in.

At the start of your career, you almost packed it in and became a firefighter?

“Yeah, I thought about it. It was in my mid-20s when I decided, ‘If nothing happens in the next few years, I’m pulling the ripcord on this whole acting thing and doing something else.’ I was tired of being broke, working as a bartender and parking cars for a living.”

Before that you spent time in Australia?

“I did. I went solo too. That way you’re forced to meet people you might not have if you travel in a group. There was something very freeing about stepping out of my little echo chamber. I was sick of the bullshit in Hollywood.”

What would you change about Hollywood?

“How do I say this? With a lot of people in Hollywood, you’d never invite them over to dinner at your house. 100% of people are very narcissistic and it’s about who you know, what you know and how they can use you to benefit their career. I like the creative process of making films. I don’t even mind promoting a film, that’s fine. It’s the bullshit hierarchy and the catty fakeness that I don’t like. There’s a lot of backstabbing and no one has any honour.”

Tell me about doing karaoke with John Boyega

“Ooh yeah, that was fun. We were in Qingdao, China, and there was a bar downstairs in the hotel. We had a big crew staying and none of us spoke Mandarin so we were almost forced to hang out together. I’m a sucker for Whitney Houston, but John went straight in with Eminem, which was random.”

Who’s got the better singing voice?

“Oh, definitely John. He’s much better than me but Eminem doesn’t exactly hit the high notes. Maybe he should on the next album!”

Scott Eastwood

Jake (Boyega) and Nate (Eastwood) share a difficult but entertaining relationship in ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’

In a recent interview, John says he had some creative concerns while you were filming Pacific Rim: Uprising — did you speak about that?

“The proof is in the pudding, right? We had a cut, it didn’t test that well. So you go back and do reshoots, you know? But they cost money and take time.”

What did you add in?

So one scene we shot after wrapping was the ice cream sequence with me and John [Boyega] in the base. We wanted to make the film feel a little lighter and that bit was frickin’ hysterical. We were both on the same page in that we wanted to make it funnier, like a buddy movie.”

Would you do a sequel?

“Of course. If this one works then we’re planning on doing another one.”

You were originally rejected for a role in American Sniper, weren’t you?

“Yeah yeah, I remember that. I don’t remember the audition, but I shot The Longest Ride instead which spring-launched my career a little. Most people don’t know, but I’d been working for 10 years by that point. It didn’t happen overnight, I really worked my ass off.”

Is it harder for you because your dad is Clint Eastwood?

“Sorry, who?”

Your dad?

“He’s a prisoner in Alcatraz.”

He’s not Clint Eastwood?

“No. He was in a movie about it. My Dad is an actual prisoner in Alcatraz, I hear he escaped though…”

How did he escape?

“Well, I just heard from my mum that he escaped. She wasn’t really clear because she didn’t have all of the details but he definitely escaped.”

Right… Can you tell me about getting lifted off the ground by The Rock in Fast & Furious 8?

“Oh he’s a big guy, very strong! We had this harness to do the actual lifting but it was fun and very clever. Dwayne [Johnson] is such a great, totally professional and inspiring guy to work with.”

Most of your recent projects have been action movies — are you looking to branch out next?

“Definitely, I’m doing a thriller next called The Manifesto. It’s a heist movie and I play a struggling writer with Morgan Freeman. Nick Cassavetes is the director. It’s not like I had some masterplan to quit action movies though. I just really liked the idea. I still think it’s a commercial film.”

Pacific Rim: Uprising is out now