LOS ANGELES— Five-time Academy Award winner and Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood attended a press junket Tuesday to promote his new film Invictus, the latest project in the director's long line of failed attempts to impress Wheeling, WV resident Daryl Lorrimer.
According to Eastwood, gaining the 53-year-old repair technician's approval has been the sole motivating factor for most of his famed career, dictating everything from the scripts he chooses to a film's wardrobe selection.
"Nothing I do is ever good enough for Daryl," the exasperated cinema icon told reporters. "I mean, why can't Daryl once—just once—say that he enjoyed a movie of mine? Would it kill him to say that?"
"He's got to like this new one," Eastwood continued. "Jesus Christ, he's just got to."
The 79-year-old Gran Torino star claimed that he has failed time and again to make Lorrimer appreciate his work. Eastwood stopped appearing in Spaghetti Westerns when Lorrimer passed on a chance to see the "Dollars" trilogy at Wheeling's Evergreen Drive-In in 1969, and in the 1970s Eastwood made the move to the director's chair only to show the unimpressed husband and father of four that he has talent behind the camera. In 2006, a desperate Eastwood released two separate films about the Battle of Iwo Jima on the off-chance that Lorrimer, who once enjoyed a TV documentary on the subject, might find them interesting.
Eastwood even composed the score to one of the films specifically to impress him, though Lorrimer "didn't even notice."
"Daryl really likes sports movies, so my gut tells me that Invictus has a good shot," the legendary director said. "I worked really hard on it. Then again, I worked really hard on Million Dollar Baby, too, and Daryl fell asleep right before Hilary Swank's character got paralyzed."
"I don't get it, because [Lorrimer's wife] Jan loved it," Eastwood added. "I just don't get it."
Eastwood claimed that he has purposefully sought out wildly divergent roles and projects in hopes of somehow wowing Lorrimer, at one point adopting a tough-guy cop image in the Dirty Harry films just to pique Lorrimer's interest. But Lorrimer was reportedly "never a big fan" of the Dirty Harry series, having a stronger preference for Charles Bronson's Death Wish films.
"So then I took a gamble and lost on those stupid orangutan movies because I thought maybe he'd want to see me in a comedy," Eastwood said. "Or maybe he'd like a movie with monkeys in it or something, I don't know. I mean, who the hell knows with this guy anymore? I've been busting my balls for the past 40 years, and I'm running out of options."
Those close to Eastwood claim that the actor-director has spent the last few decades pursuing "total shot-in-the-dark" projects like Space Cowboys and The Bridges Of Madison County, all of which have failed to strike any chord with Lorrimer whatsoever.
"He's obsessed," Eastwood's longtime agent Mark Stafford said. "Whenever we discuss a possible new film, he paces around saying, 'What would Daryl think?' 'Would Daryl like this?' 'What about Daryl?' The only reason Pink Cadillac was even made was because Daryl had been thinking about buying a used Cadillac."
Despite his frustration, Eastwood has vowed to continue making films, telling reporters he won't retire until he wins Lorrimer's admiration. Meanwhile, he's still holding out hope for Invictus, which Lorimer saw Wednesday.
"Matt Damon was pretty good," said Lorrimer, emerging from a 7:10 screening of the film. "The movie was a little long, though."