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Legendary actor refused to star in a masterpiece, which turned out to be the right decision

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Clint Eastwood is an icon of film history, who showed with films like Two Glorious Scoundrels and later Gran Torino that he is one of the best actors. But he didn't want to take part in one of the best films of all time, and that was the right decision.

Clint Eastwood was one of cinema's first great action heroes. With his westerns like Two Glorious Scoundrels or For a Fistful of Dollars, he was a great actor in film history and even starred in a film in 2021 with Cry Macho. If you still want to watch Westerns in 2024, you can take a look at our Western list.

He even had the opportunity to star in one of the most important films of all time. Francis Ford Coppola wanted to get the actor for Apocalypse Now, but he refused, which was the right decision.

Apocalypse Now – Trailer for the final cut of the film set in the Vietnam War

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I don't want to stay away that long.

Francis Ford Coppola had a lot of problems while filming Apocalypse Now. Just finding the actor for Captain Willard became a problem. Several actors were asked for it: Steve McQueen, Al Pacino, James Caan, Nick Nolte, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro and Robert Redford. Everyone refused. Clint Eastwood was also approached for the role, which was ultimately played by Martin Sheen.

He talks about this in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Eastwood knew the adaptation material in the form of the book Heart of Darkness, but the project didn't really convince him. But the biggest aspect that made the role uninteresting for him was the shooting time. Eastwood would have had to shoot in the Philippines for 16 weeks.

Steve McQueen then called the actor and asked why he didn't want the role. Eastwood replied that he thought he would take the role. But McQueen wanted the role of Kurtz, which Marlon Brando ultimately got. The shooting time also played a role here:

He says, well, I get the same money, but I only have to work for two weeks.

Eastwood opens up about why McQueen wanted the role of Kurtz (via The Hollywood Reporter)

A good decision by Eastwood

The decision not to work on Apocalypse Now was a good one for his health. As Spiegel reported in 2015, the filming was a huge disaster. In 1976, a typhoon hit the Philippines, delaying filming by 6 weeks. Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and there were reports of animal slaughter, drug abuse and a near-death experience by Coppola.

In addition to huge costs, filming took 34 weeks. Today the film is considered a masterpiece and was rewarded with three Golden Globes, a Palme and two Oscars. The film won the Oscars for Best Sound and Best Cinematography. In addition, the film received 6 nominations. In many film productions, choosing a leading actor takes time. This was also the case in Die Hard: Stallone, Eastwood and Schwarzenegger rejected a film that shaped action cinema for decades

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