Western movie star Clint Eastwood has garnered a sixty-year long career and counting both in front and behind the camera — but things might have been a lot different if he never got onto the silver screen in the first place.
That’s almost exactly what happened to Eastwood, as he revealed in an interview that his bit part in his first ever movie (which was back in 1955) was very nearly cut. Although Eastwood is known more for cowboys and ranches, his first movie role was in the sci-fi horror movie Revenge of the Creature, directed by Jack Arnold.
In the monster movie, Eastwood played a man with a mouse in his pocket — a character which, as he put it, was a “four-liner.” But speaking to Paul Nelson for his book, ‘Lost Interviews with Clint Eastwood,’ the actor revealed that he was very close to being cut.
“Nothing’s sacred anymore,” he said. “That was my very first part. A four-liner or something like that. I remember it was Jack Arnold directing and William Alland was the producer. Alland called me into his office and read me the scene and gave me the part. And that was it. He said, ‘I’ll take you down and we’ll meet the director.’ I walked on the set and the director said, ‘What the hell is this? I told you I don’t want to do that goddamn scene! Who’s this guy?’ [laughs]”
He continued, “I thought, I’m going to get punched – he was screaming and yelling – or else I was just going to wilt to the floor. Probably the latter. Alland made me realize that it wasn’t anything against me – the director just didn’t want the scene in the movie, so he didn’t see any reason for shooting it and thought they should cut it out.”
The pair also discovered that Eastwood’s part was, in fact, cut from later televised versions of the science fiction movie — which, if you ask us, is definitely their loss. If you want to explore more of the actor’s work, check out our guide to the best Clint Eastwood movies.