April 20, 2015 12:00 PM

The classic looks. The shirtless workouts. The echo of his dad’s iconic manliness. Scott Eastwood is on his way to becoming a Hollywood heartthrob – but he’s pretty satisfied with life’s simple pleasures. “I don’t need a lot to be happy,” he says, pulling off his Ray-Bans to reveal piercing baby blues. “The outdoors, California sun and good friends.” His ideal weekend? “Go down to Rosarito with buddies and rent a house on the beach. Bring surfboards, fishing gear, Corona and pretty girls.”

Charmingly sincere but with a sense of humor about being a sex symbol, Clint Eastwood’s 29-year-old son is out to prove he’s not just cashing in on his famous name. This week he makes his leading-man debut in The Longest Ride, based on Nicholas Sparks’s romantic novel. “I’ve been acting for 12 years,” he says. “People think I just started, and I laugh. I said I would give myself 10 years, and if it didn’t work out, I would be a firefighter or something. And things just sort of took off.”

His Hollywood Legacy

Born in Monterey, Calif., to his Oscar-winning father, Clint, now 84 (the Hollywood legend has seven kids), and flight attendant Jacelyn Reeves, Eastwood spent his childhood being “dragged around to movie sets,” he recalls, and later acted in his dad’s Gran Torino and Flags of Our Fathers. A jazz obsessive, Clint “made me learn to play the saxophone” – and was “pretty old-school” when it came to parenting. “I’ve had a job since I can remember,” Eastwood says. “My first car was a ’91 Ford Crown Victoria that was $1,000. And I had to buy every car after that. I had to do it all.”

His Dating Game

“Love finds you,” he says. “You always get smacked with love when you least expect it.” He’s dated actress Brittany Brousseau and country singer Jana Kramer, but is now single. His perfect date? “Camping under the stars on a beach in Hawaii and bringing a bottle of wine.” He wants to settle down and have kids “someday.” Meanwhile, what he’s looking for in a relationship is “trust, similar passions … and the sex has to be great,” he says, blushing a bit.

His Sex-Symbol Situation

“There are a ton of better-looking guys than me!” he says. “I don’t know what that means, being a heartthrob, but I’m flattered.” Still, he works hard for that body, with activities like long- distance kayaking. “My dad got me in the gym at a young age,” he says. “Healthy body, healthy mind—that’s what he preached.”

His On-Fire Career

Among other plum upcoming roles, he costars in Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic and signed on to the all-star cast of the supervillain film Suicide Squad. “I like manly movies,” he says, “but sprinkled in with comedy and movies that really touch people.” His role models include Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney for their “smart choices.” But his ultimate inspiration is close to home: “My father is my No. 1 biggest hero.”

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