Clint Eastwood give up acting? Don't count on it

Thu Oct 2, 2008 5:03pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Clint Eastwood spends more time behind the camera these days directing films. But anyone who believed him a few years ago when he said he had given up on acting, can think again. Clint has changed his mind.

The Academy Award-winning director, who was promoting his latest film "Changeling" at the New York Film Festival on Thursday, began acting more than 50 years ago and gained fame playing tough-minded cowboys and cops.

But in recent years, the 78 year-old Eastwood has perfected his skills as a director, winning Oscars for directing "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby" and earning nominations for "Mystic River" and "Letters from Iwo Jima."

Yet, Eastwood said that despite past declarations against returning to acting, if he likes a role, he will gladly act again. In fact, he has a new film, "Gran Torino," coming out in a couple of months in which he does just that.

"Since this picture ('Changeling') was completed this year I have done another film in which I have performed, even though I said I wasn't going to do that anymore," Eastwood told reporters.

"I think I started saying that back a few years ago, I said 'I don't think I'll act anymore, I'll stay behind the camera'" and then 'Million Dollar Baby' came along and I liked that role," he said. "Now I've done 'Gran Torino'."

It is his first acting role since 2004's "Million Dollar Baby," but the Hollywood veteran joked that after directing several young actors in "Changeling," maybe he should go ahead and quit acting -- again.

"I'm always amazed at how good some of them are at such young ages because it took me forever to learn how to say my own name," he said.   Continued...

<p>Actor Clint Eastwood is interviewed as he arrives at a screening celebrating the DVD box set release of the "Dirty Harry" film franchise in Los Angeles May 29, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>