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Look out for more coverage of
Blood Work in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Blood Work

THE STARS:
Clint Eastwood • Jeff Daniels • Wanda De Jesus
DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood and Anjelica Houston THE CONCEPT:
Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran FBI profiler closing in on the psychopath ‘Code Killer,’ when he suffers a massive heart attack. Following a transplant, McCaleb is retired, but is approached by the sister of a woman whose murder is unsolved – the woman whose heart he now has.

U.S. RELEASE: August 9 2002 • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

CLINT EASTWOOD:
“It’s a detective story and a human relationship story. This project was an opportunity for me to take a different approach to detective work, which I’ve been associated with over the years. At this particular stage in my maturity, I felt it was time to take on characters that have different obstacles to face than they would if I were playing a younger man of 30 or 40.”

JEFF DANIELS (Buddy):
“I wrote, acted and directed a couple of indie films, and I asked a couple of directors before I went into it, ‘What should I know besides wearing comfortable shoes like Spielberg said?’ And they said, ‘Just tell the story. Don’t get fancy with the camera.’ And that’s what Clint does. Yes, he gets creative with it when he needs to, but he doesn’t show off with it. He doesn’t do a scene where he photographs a reflection on a doorknob. He sets it up where it best tells the story, and he uses a simple approach to filmmaking in the best sense.”

WANDA De JESUS (Graciella):
“Clint is seamless in terms of his transition from director to actor. It was so seamless I called him the Zen Master, with a discerning eagle eye. I never felt the director in the scene with me. He was always present as the actor. He has a shot list, but he’s flexible, which tells me that he’s someone who’s very confident in terms of the craft and what he does. But I never felt that it was intrusive, and as a director he gives actors the freedom to come in and play."

CLINT EASTWOOD:
“I’ve been doing this a lot of years and it was particularly difficult on this picture, because I acted in every sequence. But I enjoy the whole process and I want to give the audience their money’s worth. It’s a demanding job, both physically and mentally, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s not supposed to be easy; it’s supposed to be fun. Each step is involving and requires serious preparation. I don’t care if it’s the planning or design of a film, the execution or the editing. I’m there and I’m part of it.”

JEFF DANIELS:
“My character is the funny side-kick in the movie, the comic relief. A lot of what I do it to annoy Clint. He’s in a thriller, and I’m in a comedy. Like the scene in the car where he goes (feigning gruff Eastwood voice), ‘Buddy shut up.’ I’m just running my mouth.”

WANDA De JESUS on Eastwood’s reputation of shooting a minimal amount of takes:
“It was challenging, but in a good way. I come from the theatre, so once you’re on the boards you’re doing the play, so it felt like a play in a way. It makes you focused. You have to really trust your work and go with it.”

CLINT EASTWOOD:
“I especially like McCaleb’s vulnerability, both physically and psychologically, which presents an interesting challenge for him to overcome. He’s a guy who is very good at his job and committed to it; then all of a sudden, he’s forced into retirement. He’s trying to enjoy it as best he can, given the situation, and live in peace on his boat in the San Pedro Harbor … until a stranger comes to him for help.”

JEFF DANIELS on almost killing his co-star:
“It was my second or third day of filming, and I was driving, Clint was sitting in the passenger seat and the camera and operator were positioned in the back seat. The sun was going down, and I was maneuvering the car along this curvy road as we’re playing the scene and trying to nail the shot before losing the light. The car’s side mirror was catching a reflection of the camera, so they asked me to adjust it. As I’m fixing the mirror, I see Clint reach across me, grab the wheel and turn it just slightly. I looked up and realized that he had very calmly avoided a head-on collision with a minivan coming around the turn. I froze, thinking, ‘I almost killed Clint Eastwood!’”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Blood Work site
Images above © Warner Bros
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #621, August (MIB) 2002 cover

For reviews and features about all kinds of films, read Film Review regularly.

Film Review, Special - Combat 2002 cover

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