Scott Eastwood is so disarmingly down-to-earth, it is easy to forget his father is a Hollywood demigod. The phone rings at 7am, and Eastwood himself reports in a husky voice that he’s camped out at a back table on the terrace of Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, with zero publicists in sight. Cradling a cup of coffee and steel-cut oatmeal, the 31-year-old smiles through his sporadic yawns (he landed in Los Angeles two days earlier from Australia, the shoot location of the 2018 film Pacific Rim: Uprising) as he chats about his upcoming roles; his charitable work; the bands on his playlist; the book he’s reading; and life advice from his late friend Paul Walker and legendary dad, Clint Eastwood. The younger Eastwood offhandedly spills some secrets. A girlfriend? Not so much. He also reveals he’s terrified of bad drivers (acknowledging it could be an effect of losing Walker and ex-girlfriend Jewel Brangman in car accidents) and has a tendency to sleepwalk.
Later, wearing a plain white T-shirt under a Levi’s denim button-down with worn-in jeans and Lucchese cowboy boots, Eastwood eyes a slick leather jacket on a rack at the photo shoot and announces: “Nothing too trendy. I like basic, standard, soft. I’m a simple guy.”
No surprise, given his lineage as son of “the man,” that Eastwood is a straight-talking, no-fuss-dressing dude and a chiseled model of masculinity who revels in adventure—flying helicopters, surfing, diving, hunting, fishing and generally grabbing life by the horns. That’s off-screen. On set, he recently performed his most dangerous stunt ever (jumping from a car going 40 miles per hour to the top of a semitruck while roped to a single-point harness for upcoming French car heist film Overdrive). He also plays a new character who works on the covert ops team under Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody in The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment of the action-packed Fast & Furious franchise that hits theaters April 14.
“My character only knows ‘by the book,’ and he is going to have to make some hard decisions and maybe break the rules… to save the world.” Eastwood’s pause alludes to the overblown drama of it all. Beyond being an adrenaline rush, his role is a personal tribute to Walker, who passed away in 2013 at age 40 while filming Furious 7; Eastwood also follows in Walker’s footsteps as brand ambassador for Davidoff Cool Water cologne.
“Paul was an older-brother figure to me—a mentor, someone I looked up to,” confesses Eastwood. “I find myself repeating his advice about relationships and how to live your life. I take a page out of his book all the time. He was extremely unselfish in the way he gave back [Walker founded the Reach Out Worldwide nonprofit in 2010 to aid with natural-disaster relief, and the Paul Walker Foundation protects oceans and wildlife]. He didn’t do it for the image of being a philanthropist. He kept it small and wrote checks out of his personal checkbook. He was about action. I try to live my life like that. I definitely don’t ever want to be one of those people who talks about how they want to live their life in the future.”
No fear of that, given a glance at Eastwood’s Instagram feed showing him reveling in ice baths, cliff jumps, water sports, meat pies and all things Aussie while on break from Pacific Rim filming, which wrapped last month. His affinity for Australia dates to 2005, when the then-19-year-old packed up his possessions on a whim and bought a one-way ticket to Oz after filming Flags of Our Fathers, directed by his dad. “I was flying back from Central America, and I ran into a [friend], who said, ‘I’m going to Australia. Why don’t you come? Life is in front of you. If you don’t live it, no one will, you know?’” he says. “I was kind of fed up with Hollywood at the time, so I told my agent that I’d be gone for a year.”