10:31am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Clint Eastwood Explains Chair Speech, Says Hollywood Conservatives are Intimidated (Video)
For at least the next few months, Clint Eastwood's most famous lines of dialogue will have come not while staring down the barrel of a gun, but at the empty seat of a chair.
Luckily, he doesn't much seem to mind.
The 82-year old acting icon appeared on Fox News' Hannity on Thursday night, to give his semi-regular take on the presidential election. As if he hasn't answered enough questions about it, Eastwood was asked about the unusual speech he gave at the Republican National Convention, in which he traded dialogue with a chair, on he pretended President Obama was sitting.
“The chair idea, that just came out of the air. You know, I was sitting there. And the guy behind the stage said, here, you want to sit down. And I said, no, but why don’t you seek that out and sit it next to the podium? He says, oh, you want to sit down? I said, no, no, just put it there," Eastwood explained. "And that’s where that idea just came -- as we were doing it. So it was probably at the time I thought this is -- this -- that was really stupid. Why did I do that? But then afterwards, I thought, you know, people started coming out and saying, well, that was fun. And maybe a little fun was what I was looking for. I don’t know.”
A firm backer of GOP nominee Mitt Romney -- even if he disagrees with the candidate on gay marriage -- Eastwood praised Romney's business background and lamented the White House's secrecy on the attacks in Libya, which has been one of Fox's most-focused on stories since four American diplomatic workers died in September.
With many celebrities flocking to help Obama in the final days of the campaign -- from concerts featuring Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z to campaign films by Edward Norton -- it would seem that all of Hollywood is liberal. Not so, Eastwood says; it's just a bit intimidating to be a conservative in show business.
"I think coming off of the -- some economic activities actions in the early ‘50s, I think, caused everybody to move to kind of a left position," he said, referring to Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist hearings that rattled Hollywood. "I think most people, when they’re young, are more idealistic. I know I was.
"You know, most people are much more liberal when they’re young and growing up," he continued. "And then, after a while, they realize that, well, for me, it was because I found a lot of my liberal friends, who I still have great friendship with, but I found that they weren’t that liberal. So I thought, wait a second, maybe everybody -- maybe there’s another way to go. But Hollywood, there is a group of people in Hollywood that are conservative, but by the nature of the word itself, they’re just reticent to speak out. And they’re reticent because they feel that they’ll maybe lose work, or they’ll be chastised in some way for having political views."