'Knots Landing' Star Donna Mills Recalls On-Screen Kiss With Clint Eastwood: 'I'd Give Him A Triple A'

TECHNOLOGY

Donna Mills got her lucky break with Clint Eastwood, thanks to another Hollywood heartthrob.

Before finding fame in “Knot’s Landing”, the actress worked alongside Burt Reynolds in 1970’s “Dan August”. The “Smokey and the Bandit” icon was so impressed with her co-star that he recommended her to his colleague actor for his directorial debut.

“I worked with Clint Eastwood for working with Burt Reynolds,” the 82-year-old told Fox News Digital. “I came to California. I was living in New York at the time I was doing a soap opera. About a month after I did ‘Dan August,’ I was getting ready to leave the soap opera. I had already let them know . All of a sudden I got a call. I was told there was a new movie with Clint Eastwood. My instant reaction was ‘What? How did I do that when I’ve never met Clint?’ I didn’t audition for it or anything.”

With the help of Burt Reynolds, Donna Mills landed the role of a lifetime opposite Clint Eastwood.

With the help of Burt Reynolds, Donna Mills landed the role of a lifetime opposite Clint Eastwood.
(Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage for Jeffrey Lane & Associates, Inc.)

“Turns out he ran into Burt Reynolds in a bar one night and said, ‘I can’t find a girl I like to play my girlfriend in this movie I want to do,'” she shared. “Burt said, ‘Well, I just worked with this girl from New York. You might like her. I thought she was great.’… Clint hired me for that!”

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Mills played Eastwood’s love interest in the 1971 cult film “Play Misty for Me”. The thriller, also starring Jessica Walter, chronicles the life of a disc jockey whose world is turned upside down after a romantic encounter with a crazed fan.

For the role, Mills was required to share a passionate kiss with the “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” star.

It was far from ugly. Mills insisted that Eastwood, 92, is a great kisser.

“I would give him a triple A!” the star gushed.

Donna Mills said that Clint Eastwood is a great kisser.

Donna Mills said that Clint Eastwood is a great kisser.
(Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

She also revealed that Eastwood was “a very sweet man” on set. She described how Eastwood was willing to omit a love scene from the film out of respect for her.

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“Here I was, coming off a soap opera in New York,” she explained. “I’ve never done a big movie in California, much less with one of the biggest stars in the world. It was mind-boggling. And yet, while we were shooting, he was so relaxed and so nice to me. He was so generous. In fact, he did. something no one else has ever done. There’s a scene in the movie that’s a montage scene where we’re naked together in a lake. I think there’s a waterfall. What I remember is that it was really cold. He played me a song that he wanted to do this scene because it wasn’t in the original script I got. He said, ‘You know, we’re going to have to get naked together in this one.’ I said, ‘Oh, my parents won’t like this!'”

Donna Mills played Clint Eastwood's girlfriend in

Donna Mills played Clint Eastwood’s girlfriend in “Play Misty for Me”.
(Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

“He said, ‘I know this can be difficult for you,'” she continued. “’But we’ll film it and I’ll show it to you later. If you don’t like it, if you think it’s salacious or whatever, I won’t put it in the movie.’ He honored that. I saw it and it was just beautiful. He filmed everything with such care and respect. It turned out so incredibly beautiful and it worked so well for the plot. There was nothing prurient about it. So, of course, I said, ‘Yeah, put it on film.’ But that’s just a really kind, thoughtful, generous thing to do.”

Donna Mills said that Clint Eastwood put her completely at ease when it came to filming an edgier scene in

Donna Mills said that Clint Eastwood put her completely at ease when it came to filming an edgier scene in “Play Misty for Me”.
(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Mills went on to star as the conniving Abby Ewing in “Knots Landing,” a “Dallas” spin-off from 1980 to 1993. By then, she was grateful to shed her good-girl image.

“It was exactly what I was looking for,” explained Mills. “I was playing the good guy or the victim for a while. I got beaten up or chased or whatever. Every role I got was that kind of thing. And I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like what it said about the women. So my agents looked really hard for a stronger character, a stronger woman. So when I saw this role, I said to my agent, ‘This is it. This is the role I want.’ 🇧🇷

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“My agent called and one of the producers turned out to be a good friend of mine,” she shared. “He said, ‘Oh, Donna doesn’t need to come in and read it. We know her. Let’s consider it.’ I said, ‘No, they won’t consider me because they won’t see me that way. I need to go in and read to them and show them that I can play something like this.’ My agent begged and begged until they finally said, ‘Let her in.’ I made. An hour after I left the reading, they called me and said, ‘You did it.'”

Clint Eastwood and Donna Mills attend a reception for producer David L. Wolper's bestselling memoir,

Clint Eastwood and Donna Mills attend a reception for producer David L. Wolper’s bestselling memoir, “Producer” at producer Bud Yorkin’s home on April 29, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Mills said it was great to finally be bad on screen.

“She’s done naughty things,” Mills laughed about her character. “But women liked her because she was strong. She didn’t take any bullshit from anyone. And that’s the reason I wanted to play this role. It’s always been really rewarding for me whenever women would come up and say, ‘You’ you it’s a role model.'”

Mills said he would never rule out the possibility of a reboot. She is also close friends with co-stars Joan Van Ark and Michele Lee, who she has described as “my sisters”.

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From left: Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills attend the 40th Anniversary of the Hollywood Museum

From left: Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills attend the 40th Anniversary of The Hollywood Museum’s “Knots Landing” at The Hollywood Museum on Jan. 18, 2020, in Hollywood, California.
(Photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images)

“One of my favorite memories was doing a shower scene with Ted Shackleford,” she said of the actor who played Gary Ewing. “He was so playful. They first filmed his part. He had a bathing suit on and everything. Then they filmed my side of the scene. They’re shooting at me and all of a sudden I look over and he’s naked. He’s naked. naked. always did stuff like that. And Bill Devane too. That whole scene on the show where he tries to get me with no makeup on? That’s something he would actually do. He would sneak into my dressing room and try to get me with no makeup on. I never did. I would let you do that.”

From left: Joan Van Ark, Ted Shackelford and Donna Mills in a scene from the soap opera

From left: Joan Van Ark, Ted Shackelford and Donna Mills in a scene from an episode of the TV soap opera “Knots Landing” in 1980.
(Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

“It was such a fun set,” Mills reflected. “I didn’t know it was a great working environment at the time… I remember every Wednesday we would go to [creator] David Jacobs’ office and read next week’s script. We could say to the writers, ‘I don’t like this scene’ or ‘I don’t like what my character is doing there’. How about if we do this instead? It was a very collaborative feeling between the writers, the cast, the directors – everyone. We were excited to work together. It’s not always the case on a set. Sometimes as an actor you just do what you’re told and that’s it. But I think that’s one of the reasons the show was so good. Everyone invested in themselves. We weren’t just playing characters someone else wrote for us. We were playing characters that we helped create. I’ve never had this kind of total experience anywhere else.”

Mills has kept herself busy pursuing her love of acting. She has four Lifetime movies coming out based on the works of novelist VC Andrews.

“I played an evil grandmother, which was really fun,” she said. “Life has been good to me. It’s like anything else. When you love something and you really focus on it, you go after it.”