Hollywood Q&A: Alison Eastwood

“Listen in” on our top 9 questions for actress and activist Alison Eastwood…

What are the pros and cons of having the last name “Eastwood”?

It has always been a bit complicated having the Eastwood name, especially since I’m in the same business, but I would not change it for anything. I am really proud of my father and our family. I have just done my best to try to make my own way in the world and not live in the shadow of my father’s success.

What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you?

I have always loved big, sweeping, epic films, such as “Gone with the Wind,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Dances with Wolves,” and “Out of Africa.” I am very inspired by the setting, locations, and characters within these films. It’s a very delicate balance to weave the human struggle into these beautiful places.

Tell us about your new film “Battlecreek.” How was your experience directing it?

“Battlecreek” is the story of a young man in the Deep South who has a rare skin disorder that prevents him from being in the sunlight. He basically lives at night in the dark. It was a really interesting film to make. We shot in a small town in Mississippi, and there is a magical feel to those rural parts of the south. It proved challenging at times, since we shot the film primarily at night, but I’m really happy with the film.

What do you enjoy more—acting or directing, and why?

I have not acted in years, as I have switched my attention to directing and producing, but I did have a lot of fun when I was acting. I think directing is far more gratifying because you get to be a part of every aspect of the film, and you’re not just a hired gun. It is really stressful and you feel a tremendous amount of pressure, but what you hopefully end up with is your own piece of art with your stamp on it.

“Battlecreek” is an indie film; as far as directing, is that your comfort zone or do you wish to explore other genres?

Yes,Battlecreek is an indie drama, which is difficult because it’s not the most commercial, but it’s what I love to watch. I think there is still an audience who likes to watch movies about real humans and their struggles. My next project is a romantic comedy, so I am definitely branching out!

Has your dad had any input/influence on your directing?

My dad has had a tremendous influence on me, as I have spent my childhood and much of my life growing up on his movie sets. He taught me to know what I want and not to second-guess it.  He also does not do a lot of takes and moves quite quickly when filming, which is how I like to work, too.

What are some words to live by?

Do what makes you happy, be generous of spirit, and live in gratitude.

What does beauty mean to you?

I think beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. I find beauty in nature, animals, and Mother Earth. It’s not what something looks like, but what’s inside.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am heavily involved in animal rescue in Southern California. Our nonprofit organization, Eastwood Ranch Foundation, rescues pets from high-kill shelters and finds them loving, forever homes. It is a cause near and dear to my heart.

Additionally, we just launched a website called FosterFurKids.com, a national database that connects rescue groups and animal shelters with a nationwide network of pet fosters and transporters. I like to call it the Match.com for animal rescue, as fosters can set up their own profile and list their preferences for fostering. The database is completely free and fosters can select whether they want to be a volunteer or paid foster, and set their own rates.  Through this, we are working to save more lives together.

I also have two movie projects in various stages, and a TV pilot I am writing with two animal rescue friends.

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