There are millions of us who are fans of Clint Eastwood, since he’s turned in some of the most iconic performances ever. But he himself is only a fan of one actor in particular.
But who has the honor of being Clint Eastwood‘s fave? Well, that would be James Cagney, an actor and dancer who, like Clint, revelled in playing the tough guy. He’s best known for playing a gangster in thriller movies like The Public Enemy, Angels with Dirty Faces, and White Heat. Cagney even got an Academy Award in 1943 for playing George M Cohen in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and later in 1960, was inducted with his own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Eastwood opened up about his liking of Cagney — even calling him an influence on his own acting — during an interview with Paul McGilligan for the book ‘Clint Eastwood: Interviews.’
“I was never a fan of any one particular actor outside of James Cagney.” Eastwood remarked. According to McGilligan, Eastwood was especially a fan of Cagney’s lack of inhibitions on-screen, such as when he shoved a grapefruit in the face of his co-star in The Public Enemy.
As McGilligan pointed out, Eastwood’s style in Westerns like The Man With No Name was more covert than overt and constrained, which makes his appreciation for Cagney all the more surprising.
Either way, it seems only natural that one of the best actors of our generation will be influenced by someone of similar star power. It’s just legends recognising legends.
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