Entertainment

Clint Eastwood: The Word Hero Is ‘Overdone’

Actor-director blames today's political correctness in which 'everyone has to win a prize'

Clint Eastwood, director of “Sully: Miracle On The Hudson,” says Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is a rare true hero.

The pilot saved 155 passengers onboard the plane that he was forced to land in the freezing waters off New York City in 2009. And Eastwood’s film, which opened in early September, has already made close to $125 million at the box office and is considered an Oscar contender.

“Heroism is rare as lightning storms,” adds Tom Hanks.

But most of the time, Eastwood says, the term “hero” is thrown around far too loosely, often because of political correctness.

It’s “overdone,” Eastwood said in an interview to promote the movie, according to the Mirror. “Sully” opens in the U.K. on Dec. 2.

“It’s certainly different [from] when I grew up,” he said. “It’s all in this sort of politically correct thing where everyone has to win a prize. All the little boys in the class have to go home with a first place trophy. The use of the word ‘hero’ is a little bit overdone — but I don’t think so in Sully’s case. He went extra and beyond what was expected.”

Related: ‘Sully’ Raises the Hero Question

Tom Hanks, who plays Sully in the movie — which is likely to garner an Oscar nominations on Jan. 14 when they are announced — agreed with Eastwood that the term is “ridiculously overused.”

Hanks explained, “The textbook definition of a hero is someone who voluntarily puts themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of others. That happens on occasion and it is a ridiculously overused word because it’s a shorthand for accomplishment.”

But, Hanks adds, “Not all accomplishments are heroic accomplishments. Sometimes it’s just people doing the right thing and you don’t necessarily deserve kudos for doing the right thing. Heroism is [as] rare as lightning storms.”

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