Francesca Eastwood On Shooting Guns, Her New Western, And Advice From Dad

The daughter of Hollywood royalty is stepping out on her own.

Francesca Eastwood grew up in Hollywood with famous parents Frances Fisher and Clint Eastwood, so naturally she spent her childhood on film sets. Now the 22-year old actress is breaking out on her own with her first starring role in this month’s Western-thriller, Outlaws and Angels

In Outlaws Eastwood plays Florence, a young woman in 1870s New Mexico who escapes her abusive home life when a gang of wanted bank robbers find refuge on her family’s ranch.

Francesca spoke with Maxim about being a first-time leading lady, shooting guns, and taking advice from her mom and dad.

So what drew you to the film?
I loved that (Florence) goes places that I haven’t seen a woman go in a western. I liked that even though there is a love story there, that she is not rescued by the guy but empowered by him to make her own decisions and choices. She’s a strong chick.

Was it difficult getting comfortable on set as a new actress?
Well, Chad [Michael Murray] was absolutely wonderful to work with as a co-star. I’m a new actress and he’s someone who’s very seasoned so to have him be a guide and set the tone, the seriousness and to be so supportive, it was great. All the actors, everyone had much more experience than I did and everyone was so loving and so supportive and so respectful. It was wonderful.

How comfortable were you handling horses and a gun?
I grew up riding so we ended up not needing to use my stunt double and I did everything myself which was great. It felt really cool and I love to do everything myself if I can. I think it’s really fun, and since then I did some stunt training for my last project and it was really cool, so hopefully in future projects I can do everything myself.

Chad also really taught me how to show and how to handle the specific gun we were using. My character, Florence, she’s a good shot but she’s not a gunslinger. There was an awkwardness with the gun that needed to be there at times, and I think it was authentic.

Did you find pleasure in downplaying your looks for the role?
I loved it. I thought it was very freeing and I obviously would love to play physically beautiful characters, but this was all about being real and being authentic. This is a girl who doesn’t look in the mirror, and doesn’t care what she looks like, and so I stopped caring so much, and it was great and really freeing.

Has having famous parents helped or hindered your Hollywood exposure?
I think sometimes it’s hard to take guidance, or listen, to your parents because they’re your parents! You know, some old habits die hard and you’re a little bit rebellious, but I value the advice that I get from them…I grew up going to see my mom on set, so getting to go, on my first day off, to see her do her scene, was really cool seeing her work with actors that I had been working with all week and work on a project that I was very much involved in separately, it was great.