He's at a no-nonsense gym in West Hollywood; Drake is thumping and everyone is too busy grunting with barbells and kettle-bells to give a damn about Clint Eastwood's youngest son grinding on the pullup bar. He keeps going until failure, barely twisting up one last time before collapsing on the mat. Two minutes later he does another set. Same thing. This is not the sort of workout actors do for magazine photo shoots—it's tougher and grittier. It comes from someplace deeper.
As we glide away from the gym in the back seat of a blacked-out Escalade, the 31-year-old actor begins to describe what he calls the Eastwood Code. "Yeah, it's actually a thing," he says before itemizing a few elements of the family playbook. "You show up on time. When you say you're going to do something, you try to do your best at it. You don't backstab people. You don't bitch and complain about what you're doing. Being compassionate is big. And it's always important to act like a gentleman."
There have been doubters and even backstabbers, and the big, thoughtful acting roles haven't come effortlessly. Being Clint's kid has opened doors, but at times it has eclipsed Scott's journey to define himself and his career. "I came here to do something and nobody took me seriously. I never thought I would last in this business," he says flatly. "But it seems to be working out," he adds when asked about his latest roles in The Fate of the Furious and Overdrive. "You're always unemployed after the movie wraps, so you're always fighting." He hopes to be on the other side of the camera directing movies in five to 10 years. "I've been watching and taking notes and asking tons of questions for years," he says. "My goal is to direct a small, contained drama—something meaningful that moves people."
Eastwood was born in the seaside community of Carmel, California, the son of a flight attendant and one of the most famous actors and directors of the past century. "I got to see my father on movie sets as a kid, and I hear him tell stories. But with my mother I lived an outdoor lifestyle—fishing, surfing, diving. There were not a lot of video games."
Though the family had money, Scott had a job when he was 15. "My dad never gave me a cent. He made me work for everything," he recalls. "My dad is a machine about food and exercise. He showed me how to lift when I was 14 or 15—the bench press and other basics. He made it clear it was more important to do the moves correctly than to put on more plates."
Eastwood is the rare man who can express deep passion about yoga and guns over a glass of white wine. "Yoga changed my life. I partly do it for flexibility, but I also do it for mental health. It's about my state of mind. Yoga helps me come to a place that's very serene, where I'm not judging myself. Sure, everyone has anxiety in their life, but the more you do yoga, the easier it is to get into this good place."
Despite growing up with hunting, Eastwood says he's not political. Still, he takes issue with the way many people view sportsmen. "They want their food delivered to their table, but they don't want to do any of the damned work," he says. The Eastwood Code runs deep.
"The less you judge yourself, the happier your life is," Eastwood says. "Will I be remembered as someone who was selfish and tried to be the richest actor? Or will I be defined as someone who made people go, 'Man, he affected me in a positive way'? I've looked up to so many people and said, 'I want to be more like you.' It scares me to death to think that maybe I wouldn't have that effect on people."
The Easy Secret To Big Arms
"I max out reps and then drop the weight by half."—Scott Eastwood
Why It WorksThis approach, called drop sets, uses heavier-to-lighter loads with brief, incomplete rests between sets. It exhausts both your slow-twitch type I and fast-twitch type II muscle fibers, says MH fitness director BJ Gaddour. This combo of multiple sets and loads within one extended set sends muscles a message to grow
Beginner Drop SetChoose a set of dumbbells you can curl for 8 to 12 reps, using an underhand grip. Do as many reps as you can; then rest 20 seconds (max). Immediately do as many reps as you can with a load that's half of what you just lifted. Example: Start with 30-pound dumbbells, and then 15s. Rest 2 minutes. That's 1 round; do 3 to 5.
Advanced Drop SetPick a weight you can curl for 8 to 12 reps, using an underhand grip. Do as many reps as you can, and rest 20 seconds (max). Then do as many reps as you can with a load of about 25 percent less. For example, go from 40-pound dumbbells to 30s. Repeat for 1 more drop set (from 30s to 20s). Rest 2 minutes. That's 1 round; do 3 to 5.