- Associated Press - Thursday, September 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three weeks ago, Clint Eastwood shared the spotlight with a single chair.

On Wednesday night, he shared it with more than a dozen.

The 82-year-old Oscar winner walked the press gauntlet at the Westwood premiere of his latest film “Trouble With the Curve” _ with 16 empty chairs right behind him.

When it was pointed out to him, the Oscar winner chuckled as he quickly and clearly got the reference.

“Oh my God, yes,” he said, with a laugh.

On Aug. 30, Eastwood stood on stage at the Republican National Convention berating an empty chair, representing President Barack Obama.

The chairs were simply set dressing: bleacher seats lined up along the green carpet at the premiere for “Trouble With the Curve,” a family drama about a fading baseball-scout father played by Eastwood and his estranged daughter, played by Amy Adams. They provide the film’s real action, while the game is simply a backdrop.

Representatives from the film’s distributor, Warner Bros., politely requested press not ask about Eastwood’s RNC appearance, noting it had gotten enough attention and may be overshadowing the film itself.

“I don’t know,” replied “Curve” director Robert Lorenz. “Some people may come and some people may not because of it. But, in the end, it’s not a political movie. Myself, the other cast (members), we all have different political ideas. We all came together and put those aside. So, I hope people treat it as such.”

Eastwood has addressed the RNC appearance with numerous journalists, but that hasn’t kept it out of mainstream consciousness _ perhaps coming to a head last weekend, when comic-actor Bill Hader recreated Eastwood’s empty-chair routine, for laughs, on “Saturday Night Live.”

Eastwood said he saw the “SNL” skit and enjoyed it, and praised Hader. Eastwood also said he’d continue to stump for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“Sure I would,” Eastwood noted. “I just think we need a change, that’s all.”


Associated Press videographer Jeffrey D. Turner contributed to this story.

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