Actress Tyne Daly, who starred in the popular '80s detective drama, “Cagney and Lacey,” wasn’t surprised when Clint Eastwood unsuccessfully improvised a scene with a chair on the stage of the Republican National Convention in Tampa two weeks ago. Having worked with him on a film in the '70s, she recalled he tried the same kind of improvisation, unsuccessfully, in the film as well.
Daly, who was at the Democratic National Convention last week suporting President Obama's re-election bid, also had some thoughts on why the pro-gay, pro-choice Eastwood might back an anti-choice candidate like Mitt Romney, who wants to ban gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution. Discussing what might have inspired Eastwood, who came out for marriage equality while promoting his 2011 biopic "J. Edgar" about the former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who was believed to be gay and closeted, Daly said people "can get flattered into things, and it's dangerous territory."
“In 1976, we did a picture called "The Enforcer,” Daly recalled in an interview at the DNC for my SiriusXM, radio program. “We had occasion to do an improvised scene, which didn’t work very well, and I spent the rest of the shoot in San Francisco -- it was about 3 or 4 months --saying to him, ‘You know, that scene did not work very well. Couldn’t we write a bridging scene that would work?’ And he said, ‘No, it’s fine, it’s alright.’ And Jack Green, his long-time cinematographer said [to Eastwood], ‘Well, who do you think you are, John Cassavetes?’ which put lovely silence [on the conversation] [laughter]. So, at the end of the shoot, Eastwood, who was a good boss, said, ‘Ok, what’s the scene? What would the scene be?’ And I wrote a scene, and we shot it. He promised if this scene works better than the improvised scene, that’s the one that will be in the picture. And that’s the one that’s in the picture. It’s the Coit Tower scene, for those who are Clint Eastwood fans.”
On why the socially liberal Eastwood would put his star power behind a party and a candidate that back far-right positions on abortion and gay rights, Daly said, “I don’t want to beat up on him, and there are very many wonderful qualities about him. I’m not going to talk for him. I just know that you can get flattered into things, and it’s dangerous territory.”
Listen to the full interview: