May 20, 2008 / 8:31 PM / 10 years ago

No more "Dirty Harry" for Eastwood

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Veteran Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood has no intention of returning to his famous role as tough-talking crime buster Dirty Harry, despite rumors to the contrary.

Clint Eastwood shades his eyes as he attends a news conference for the film "The Exchange" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Asked to comment on press reports that he planned to reprise the character who first appeared on screens in 1971, 77-year-old Eastwood replied:

“No. That rumor’s incorrect.” Eastwood was speaking at a news conference at the Cannes film festival, where his latest movie starring Angelina Jolie is in the main competition.

Jolie, sitting alongside him joked: “I am,” to which Eastwood replied:

“Dirty Harriet. The Tomb Raider will play it. I have no intention. There are certain things you have to be realistic about. Dirty Harry would not be on a police department at my age so we’ll move on from that.”

But he recalled the role, and in particular one of its most famous lines, with fondness. “It was a fantasy role to point a .44 Magnum at someone and say ‘Do you feel lucky?”‘

The Oscar-winning director made several references to his age, both direct and indirect.

When a journalist congratulated him on his upcoming birthday, he looked slightly taken aback then said: “It’s at least a week away, so let me in peace.”

Another ageing Hollywood star, Harrison Ford, was also in Cannes this year fielding questions about his age. The 65-year-old has just appeared in the fourth Indiana Jones film 19 years after the last one.

In Eastwood’s new movie, Jolie plays a woman in the 1920s whose search for her missing son forces her to confront a corrupt Los Angeles police department and a serial child killer.

Loud applause broke out at the end of a press screening in Cannes on Tuesday, ahead of the world premiere red carpet event later in the evening when Brad Pitt is expected to join Jolie.

There was only one hitch with the launch of the movie, already receiving fulsome praise in Internet reviews — nobody seems to know what it is called.

In French the cast and crew agreed it was called “L’Echange,” but in English the original title given by Cannes organizers of “The Changeling” had been changed in festival literature to “The Exchange.”

“It may be in writing but is it the truth?” Eastwood asked, and the news conference wound up.

Clint Eastwood shades his eyes as he attends a news conference for the film "The Exchange" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival, May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

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