Daniel Day-Lewis Was In Love With Hollywood’s Macho Man Clint Eastwood But Couldn’t Stand His Oscar-Winning Rival


Daniel Day-Lewis has established a stature and legacy in Hollywood that remains difficult to replicate. His filmography, accolades, and achievements speak for itself. Pushing himself in every role he has ever signed on for, the actor’s intensity is remarkable and awe-inspiring. Despite his prestigious foothold within the industry, the talent remains, at his core, a man who harbors a deep fondness for his craft.

Being a passionate connoisseur of films, Day-Lewis has come to develop distinct opinions and beliefs. Art is subjective, and not everything you produce will be universally enjoyed. That is the case with the Lincoln alum’s dislike for John Wayne. Interestingly, Day-Lewis was instead a fan of Clint Eastwood, the actor whose alleged feud with Wayne made headlines back in the day. The Phantom Thread star addressed his preference for Eastwood in a 2007 interview.

Daniel Day-Lewis Isn’t A Big Fan Of Oscar Winner John Wayne

Love him or hate him, John Wayne’s legacy during and after Hollywood’s Golden Age is intrinsic to cinema history. His longstanding reputation in the Western genre is still discussed today. However, The Duke’s films may not be to everyone’s taste. Daniel Day-Lewis is among those individuals who found it hard to watch Wayne in his element.

Discussing his appreciation for films and movie stars in an interview with The New York Times, the Gangs of New York star first revealed the actors he enjoyed watching. Aside from being a die-hard fan of the greats, such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, Day-Lewis is fascinated by Clint Eastwood. Following was the actor’s statement on the Dirty Harry megastar’s movies:

“I used to go to all-night screenings of his movies. I’d stagger out at 5 in the morning, trying to be loose-limbed and mean and taciturn.”

While not particularly fond of the Western genre, Day-Lewis affirmed th at his discovery of spaghetti Westerns felt great. “I have always admired Clint Eastwood’s westerns,” he added. The actors’ views about John Wayne appeared to be vastly different. Talking of the Western legend, Daniel Day-Lewis could only state the following:


“I do not like John Wayne: I find it hard to watch him. I just never took to him.”

Day-Lewis seemed to dislike the late actor, who was deemed Clint Eastwood’s rival for a long time. You may wonder how exactly a rivalry between the two stalwarts of the Western genre came to be. Although the feud between the two is somewhat confusing, several instances elucidated John Wayne’s alleged distaste for Clint Eastwood.

The Feud Between Clint Eastwood And John Wayne

John Wayne and Clint Eastwood occupied opposing poles in the Western genre. The former reportedly couldn’t bear the latter’s take on Westerns. Eastwood was known for his gritty, darker films in the spaghetti Western subgenre. His movies questioned the prior romanticism embedded in traditional, incognizant Westerns, the face of which was Wayne. Although the two represented vastly different generational beliefs, the El Dorado star, who happened to be Eastwood’s senior, allegedly resented and felt threatened by the latter’s growth.

When it was known that Wayne loathed Eastwood’s revisionist Western High Plains Drifter (1973), the alleged rivalry between the two was further underscored. Talking of the angry letter he once received from John Wayne, Clint Eastwood revealed the intriguing exchange in the book Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western (via Far Out Magazine).

“John Wayne once wrote me a letter saying he didn’t like High Plains Drifter. He said it wasn’t really about the people who pioneered the West. I realized that there’s two different generations, and he wouldn’t understand what I was doing.”

According to Express, it is also believed that Clint Eastwood once sent John Wayne a script for a project titled The Hostiles, which the latter promptly rejected. Wayne had returned the screenplay with a letter explaining his reasons for declining. He also offered his criticisms on High Plains Drifter. Not backing down, Eastwood delivered a revised script, which Wayne just tossed into the ocean while sailing, stating, “This piece of sh*t again,”

It’s reasonable to assume things weren’t going too well between the two. With Daniel Day-Lewis’ honest confession and John Wayne’s disdain for the themes tackled in Spaghetti Westerns, we can infer that people have different tastes and opinions. And there is often not much anyone can do about it.