How Clint Eastwood's Son Scott Dodged Nepo Baby Criticisms

Being the son of one of Hollywood's most notable celebrities certainly has its perks, but it also puts one at risk of being subjected to criticism á la TikTok's "nepotism baby" conversation. However, Scott Eastwood — son of "Dirty Harry" actor Clint Eastwood — has mostly managed to avoid these nepo-baby comments thanks to his dad's strict upbringing. 

Scott is one of Clint Eastwood's eight kids, but he didn't receive special treatment on behalf of his silver-screen royalty father. When he first embarked on his acting career, Scott used his mother's maiden name, Reeves, to avoid being linked to his famous dad, per Us Weekly. "Everyone wanted to represent Scott Eastwood, right? That's the cheapest game in the book," he told the publication. "I wanted to be an actor for me and to see if I could do it."

Scott would later opt to use his patriarchal namesake, which did result in more people taking notice of his pedigree. But, it's doubtful whether it would've changed his father's approach to his son's burgeoning acting career. As Scott explained to GQ Australia, he was raised "old school," which meant strict discipline and no handouts.

Clint Eastwood didn't offer his son any special treatment

Scott Eastwood outlined a complicated, but highly respectful, relationship with his father, who had a long-term affair with Scott's mother, Jacelyn Reeves. The father-son bond — and Clint's presence — was not immediate, with Scott's birth certificate reading "father declined" under the space to identify paternity, per GQ Australia. 

While Scott would eventually develop a relationship with his father and spend time with Clint while he worked on his movies, the son of the "Gran Torino" actor wasn't guaranteed a spot on screen. Instead, Scott worked a variety of odd jobs after high school, including construction, valeting cars, and working behind the bar. "People assumed that I would have everything handed to me, but that couldn't be further from the truth," Scott told Town and Country in 2013.

Scott recalled asking his dad for a loan for a truck (he was riding a pushbike to and from work), and Clint refused. "I called [Dad] and was like, 'I've got this job. Can I get eight grand to buy a truck? I'm working this job. I can pay you back 'X' amount a month, you know.' And I remember the phone going silent... And he'd just be like, 'Yeah, no. [...] He wouldn't give me a dime," Scott told GQ.

Clint and Scott work together — if Scott aces the audition

Despite having a rough go of things at the onset of his career, Clint Eastwood has since built a credible portfolio of roles since his time bartending and asking (and being rejected by) his dad for a truck loan. He's gone on to land roles in films like "Pacific Rim: Uprising," "The Fate of the Furious," and "The Longest Ride," but it was a hard-fought journey to where he is today.

Still, Scott doesn't forget things changed for him after he switched his name from Reeves to Eastwood. "I've had doors open for me," Eastwood told Access Hollywood (via Us Weekly), "but if you walk into an audition room and you can't deliver ... no one's gonna hire you for the job." While he certainly credits his father for his success, it's mainly because of how Clint raised him. 

"He raised me with integrity — to be places on time, show up, and work hard," Scott told Esquire. "You get the law laid down, you know, the ax. I look at it like weapons in my war chest now. He made me hustle, and claw, and fight. That's all stuff you want. You want that drive."