An hour before Scott Eastwood was set to present at the 2020 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards, he spoke with The Hollywood Reporter at the Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A. where it all started. “Been a car guy for a lot of years. Always been into car culture, car history,” the actor said, explaining how Kelley Blue Book was first published in 1926 from “an auto dealer here in downtown.” Nearly 100 years after the company’s beginnings, Eastwood has teamed up with it to celebrate its legacy and where it’s going. Fitting, because the actor is in the midst of launching new endeavors of his own — from cars to clothing and beyond.
While the award ceremony honored the best vehicles for 2020 in 17 different categories, Eastwood says he actually has the car of his dreams. “I own a Ford GT,” he says at first before rethinking. “No, no,” he quips, “’61 Ferrari, California. Remember Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? If money was no object, I would do it. That’s it. A 30-plus million-dollar car. No big deal.”
To anyone who follows Eastwood, it’s no secret he’s in tune with American classics, beyond automobiles. His other latest venture, Made Here, is a clothing line of high-quality staples for men and women, exclusively manufactured in the United States. The line, which he co-founded in July, has an Instagram account boasting with American flags and sayings like, “Screw Netflix and chill. Give me whiskey and adventures.”
“People don’t realize American manufacturing is alive and well,” he says.
With a goal to support hardworking people all over the country, Eastwood recognizes how Americans have gotten away from that and how they can get back to traditional forms of trade. “People are disconnected from stuff and it’s not like they’re bad people for being disconnected. We all are. If you can order something online, then it’s like, you don’t really know where it came from and how it got there.” Spending time at the manufacturers, Eastwood has witnessed details and processes like cotton (from sheep in Montana) getting spun in North Carolina to ultimately become the line’s socks. “With local people is how we did things 100 years ago, 200 years ago, because it was this interaction. So I always think that it’s really cool to kind of get back to [that].”
The brand’s messaging attempts to capture the essence of the American work ethic. “It’s just celebrating hard work and celebrating people who get up early, stay late. Crank it out. Don’t complain,” he adds. “You know, like, there’s a lot of culture, I think, where people want to complain, and we’re just celebrating people who get up and do it.”
While Eastwood doesn’t talk politics, THR asked if the venture makes him feel patriotic. “Sure,” he replies. “I think it’s about supporting people that are close to you. We just think of anyone who’s, you know, proud to be here, whether you’re from America or you live in America, it doesn’t really matter.”
Eastwood’s upcoming film The Outpost is another testament to Americans and their resilience, he says. The actor stars opposite Orlando Bloom as Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha in a retelling of a true story from the War in Afghanistan, the country’s longest-running war. Based on a 2012 novel The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper, the story chronicles a heroic 2009 battle of 53 U.S. soldiers who faced some 400 Taliban insurgents in northeastern Afghanistan.
“Every time I work on a film like that it’s an immense responsibility to portray these people in the right way and to make the best movie we can that honors that,” Eastwood says. This is his third war film based on real-life instances; he also appeared in WWII films Fury (2014) and Flags of Our Fathers (2006), which was directed by his father. “I have friends who are veterans. And every time I embark on a venture like this, you know, I always have them in spirit,” he explains. “The stakes are always heightened when it’s real people have died, for people who have sacrificed themselves. But, you know, that’s the call of duty to make something that honors these people.”