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Scott Eastwood on 'Snowden' and just doing his job

The young son of Clint Eastwood also looks freakily like the young Clint Eastwood.

Like his pops, Scott Eastwood is a man of few words. He looks like him, too, or like he did at that age (which is 30). It really is surreal having the son of Clint Eastwood in front of you. Unlike his father, the actor's eyes are a sharp blue, and his hair’s blonde. But it’s still like his old man time-traveled to this interview room straight from his “Rawhide” days. They have the same chiseled jaw, that same mix of old-fashioned macho manliness and laid-back charm. (Here's a decent side-by-side.) And like his dad, he’s intimidating and welcoming at the same time. You want to impress him, even if you don’t.

Also surreal: Talking to Scott Eastwood about a film made by someone whose politics are far from his father’s. Eastwood — who is becoming a “next big thing” in Hollywood, thanks to roles in roles in the Nicholas Sparks movie “The Longest Ride,” with “Fast 8” coming next year — has a small but key role in Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” the firebrand’s contribution to the debate over the still-exiled whistleblower.

RELATED: Interview: Zachary Quinto says "Snowden" made him change his tech habits

True, both Stone and the elder Eastwood voted for Reagan in 1980. (Yes, Oliver Stone once voted for Reagan.) But Stone eventually veered to the left, while Clint, in an instantly infamous Esquire interview, said he was “a little bit of everything,” before wearily saying he may vote for Trump, if only because he’s no fan of Hillary.

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Does the younger Eastwood stray far from the tree? Whatever the answer is, he’s not as forthcoming about his beliefs as Clint. When asked how he feels about Snowden, especially after making a film that more or less portrays him as a patriot and American hero, he’s cryptic

“It doesn’t really matter,” Scott Eastwood replies with a cool shrug. “My opinion isn’t really worth that much.”

He does admit he finds the film to not be a mere valentine to Edward Snowden. “I think the film gives you a chance to draw your own conclusions,” he says. “It shows the emotional journey of what he went through, lays out the facts, then lets you decide.

“It doesn’t ram it down your throat, which I’m very happy about,” he adds.

Scott Eastwood plays “Trevor,” one of the no doubt many pro-spying types Snowden met while working at the NSA. The intelligence officer sees nothing wrong with warrantless (and often horrifying) surveillance. In one party scene, he’s given the chance to speak his mind, and proves unable to understand when our protagonist, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, suggests that they’re too in the thick of it to realize what they do is bad. But Eastwood doesn’t think this scene makes Trevor look oblivious or evil.

“You get to see his point of view,” he points out, suggesting the movie is far more ambiguous than it looks.

Whatever he believes, it’s clear Scott Eastwood sees himself as just an actor doing his job.

“It’s a director’s vision,” he says. “I come in and I play a role.” He even respects Stone. “He’s definitely an artist. He’s old school. He knows what he wants; he’ll tell you if you’re not doing it — which I like. I like guys like that.”

They didn’t argue about Snowden, though. “We never over-intellectualized it. Sometimes people over-intellectualize about stuff,” Eastwood says. “Instead we talked about who the character was. Then you show up on set, ready to rock ’n’ roll.”

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge
 
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