Clint Eastwood has revealed some of his favorite jazz artists after admitting he was a “jazz freak” in his younger years.

© Randy Miramontez
© Randy Miramontez

The legendary actor and director’s personal music tastes came up recently when he was promoting his latest movie Jersey Boys, which chronicles the origins of the band The Four Seasons.

“I was too much of a jazz freak to have been into their music,” Eastwood told British newspaper The Telegraph, revealing he was not a fan of The Four Seasons. “The rock era was not my favorite.”

“I wasn’t a big fan of the music that came out of the ’60s but I think the Four Seasons did some great stuff. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You was probably the closest thing to a classic song that came out of the ’50s and ’60s.”

The four-time Academy Award-winner explained that he was always more interested in the “great singers” of the era, instead of the bands that were taking the music world by storm: “I was brought up during the ’40s and ’50s music-wise, when you had the great singers. The men were Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine and the women were Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Peggy Lee. You were just used to great singers.”

Jersey Boys is a film adaptation of the 2005 Broadway hit of the same name. Even though Eastwood directed the film, he didn’t actually see the stage production until long after he signed on to direct the flick: “They asked me to do it before I knew anything about it… So I went and saw three different versions in Nevada, San Francisco and on Broadway, and I kind of got what I thought made it tick – at least in my mind, anyway. So I settled down to do it.”

Being a jazz fan, presumably he didn’t have as much trouble when he directed the critically acclaimed 1988 Charlie Parker biopic “Bird,” which starred Forest Whitaker as the saxophone legend. But was the characters that made Jersey Boys just as much of a passion project for Eastwood as Bird was: “What was fun for me is that it’s about musicians, much as Bird was about a jazz player. The Four Seasons had all these hit songs, but they were juvenile delinquents! They were just guys from the neighborhood!”

Eastwood’s adaptation of Jersey Boys debuted at number four at the box office, taking in just $13.5m during its opening weekend after losing out to comedian Kevin Hart’s Think Like A Man Too, 22 Jump Street, and Dreamworks’ animated feature How To Train Your Dragon 2. Almost 75% of the audience at the film’s opening weekend were over the age of 50, so the film’s producers are still hopeful that the film will remain popular across multiple weeks despite receiving mixed reviews – Older audiences tend to wait a while before watching a film, instead of rushing to see it on its opening weekend.

Check out the trailer for Jersey Boys below: