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Clint Eastwood munched on Italian food at this Atlanta eatery

Eastwood, 89, enjoyed the dinner with friends Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, Sam Rockwell and producer Tim Moore at Antico, just a few miles from Georgia Tech.

ATLANTA — Production for Clint Eastwood’s next film “The Ballad of Richard Jewell” has officially kicked off in Atlanta this week in Midtown. And the all-star director took some time from his busy schedule to savor one of the city’s most popular Italian restaurants.

Eastwood, 89, enjoyed dinner with friends Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, Sam Rockwell and producer Tim Moore at Antico, just a few miles from Georgia Tech.

Owner Giovanni Di Palma made his famous Sorrento lemon chicken with fresh, Amalfi-style lemons, garlic, wild oregano and olive oil, along with plenty of Antico pizza.

The legendary actor is no stranger to these parts of town - Eastwood filmed his action-packed film about a Mexican drug cartel, “The Mule” in several parts of Atlanta during summer 2018.

Eastwood will direct “The Ballad Of Richard Jewell,” and has been in discussions with Disney and Fox about distribution.

RELATED: Clint Eastwood will produce new film in Georgia despite abortion bill boycott

It’s a drama based on the life of a security guard whose life was turned upside down in a moment after it was leaked by law enforcement to a reporter that Jewell was a possible suspect in the Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.

He went from hero to one of the most hated men in America.

The visit comes on the heels of Georgia’s controversial heartbeat law that is impacting the booming film and television industry.

Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation in May banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they're pregnant.

RELATED: Stacey Abrams to try and salvage soured relations between Georgia film industry, Hollywood over abortion law

Kemp said he was signing the bill "to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in our great state." He also emphasized that, "Georgia is a state that values life."

RELATED: Spike Lee calls for Hollywood boycott of Georgia, says 'shut it down'

Alyssa Milano joined over 40 celebrities and dozens of film production representatives from across Georgia signed an open letter to Kemp trying to stop the measure from becoming law - threatening to pull film and TV production out of Georgia.

Eastwood started filming on “The Ballad of Richard Jewell” June 25.

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