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Clint Eastwood convinced this star to accept one of his best roles

If it weren't for the Man With No Name, we wouldn't see this actor perform one his best roles of all time. It's yet another Clint Eastwood film industry win.

clint eastwood in unforgiven

Unforgiven nearly happened without Gene Hackman — until Clint Eastwood got involved. The ‘90s movie is considered one of the best Westerns ever — being one of the only three in history to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But Hackman originally turned the film down because he felt it was too violent.

David Webb Peoples, the writer of the Clint Eastwood movie, recounted the story in a 2017 interview with the New York Daily News — and detailed how Eastwood was key in making Hackman change his mind.

“Things could have been different,” he admitted. “Gene’s daughters didn’t like all the violent movies he was doing. He was at a stage in his career where his family was more important than his work.”

In Unforgiven, Hackman plays Sherriff Bill Daggett. The movie villain spends most of the film pursuing aging outlaw William Munny (Eastwood), resorting to sadistic and violent methods to catch up to Munny by any means possible.

According to Peoples, Eastwood paid Daggett a visit in order to convince him to reconsider the film — which follows Munny as he comes out of retirement as a gunfighter to avenge a brutal murder.

“And God bless Gene; he listened to Clint, and together, they produced something awesome,” Peoples added. “Gene was a revelation.” For his role as Daggett, Hackman won both a Golden Globe and Academy Award.

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In fact, according to Peoples, if it weren’t for Eastwood, one of the best movies ever made would never have been made at all. It was in production limbo for years before Eastwood came on board as director.

“The only reason the movie got made and got made the way it was written was because of Clint Eastwood,” he noted. “He made everything happen. It’s amazing what he did with it.”

While we wait to hear more about Eastwood’s new movie, we think you’ll love the world of Yellowstone.

Once you’ve gotten to grips with the Yellowstone timeline and key characters like John Dutton and Beth Dutton, be sure to check out our guides breaking down the release dates for all the different Yellowstone series.