Photo by Merie W. Wallace/courtesy of Warner Bros.

Photo by Merie W. Wallace/courtesy of Warner Bros.

It should come as no surprise that Clint Eastwood (born in 1930) has a somewhat “old school” concept of disability. Like many children of the Great Depression, he uses words like “afflicted” when discussing disability, benignly unaware of their political incorrectness. On the other hand, Eastwood is also a consummate gentleman, cordial, well-spoken, thoughtful, and willing to listen and learn while discussing the more controversial aspects of his acclaimed film Million Dollar Baby.

NEW MOBILITY: You’ve said publicly that Million Dollar Baby was never intended to state any particular position on disability or assisted suicide, politically or otherwise.

CLINT EASTWOOD: That’s right. The picture was never made to make any statement for or against anything, and it wasn’t meant to

[depict] the Frankie Dunn character, who I play, as being right [in his decision to euthanize Maggie, the paralyzed boxer played by Hilary Swank]. It was just a decision at the time, and it was a set of circumstances [that] wasn’t trying to make any statement. It was just a story the way F.X. Toole wrote it some years ago, about how fragile life is and how Frankie had had many disappointments, and as an Irish Catholic he was having problems with his religion. After Maggi