Clint Eastwood Reveals Skin-Care Secrets and Talks Himself Out of an Oscar at Q&A

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Samara Golden's Yes No Party (2008/9) Photo: Getty Images

Clint Eastwood may have been named 2008's Best Actor by the National Board of Review last night for his part as a grizzled Korean War vet in Gran Torino, but don't let that fool you into thinking he had to work hard in the role: "I didn’t have to worry about dialogue," he admitted during a Q&A session at the Soho Apple Store yesterday afternoon. "All I had to do was sit there and go [unintelligible growling noise]." Also, Walt’s constant beer drinking wasn’t much of a stretch, either — "typecasting," claims Eastwood. So what if the Academy wanted to give him an acting Oscar anyway, you know, because of reports that Torino would be his last-ever on-screen film role? "I think I was musing in front of a British journalist and I said this might be the last one, but I think I've been saying that for years,” he said. "When I did Million Dollar Baby I said, 'This is perfect; this is the last one.' When I did Unforgiven in 92, I said, 'This will be a perfect last Western'… You never know."

When the effusive moderator complimented Clint's youthful handsomeness, the actor at first balked ("We need to get you to an optometrist"), but eventually relented and shared the secret of his seemingly eternal youth ("It's amazing what a belt sander can do"). "I don’t know what kind of great roles, or any roles, they have for guys my age," said the 78-year old. "I can play butlers and stuff like that."

But the business-savvy Eastwood's years of experience paid off during the making of Gran Torino, which was originally set in Minnesota before being changed to suburban Detroit. "The plotline was about a guy who worked Ford Factory, so it made more sense to be in Michigan," Eastwood explained. “Besides they had a tax rebate there that made it more attractive. We’ve got a little of the W-H-O-R-E."