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Eastwood finds it hard to retire, but will soon

Cannes, May 23 (Reuters): Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood, who turns 73 later this month, admitted today he was finding it hard to hang up his boots, but hinted the time may not be too far off.

“I’ve thought about retiring for 30 years now,” Eastwood said after a screening of 2003 Cannes competition entry Mystic River, which he directed. “Before, I used to talk about going around and working behind the camera, and here I am, so it may be sooner than you think.”

Eastwood, whose movie shows how child abuse can come back to haunt its victims in later life, said he felt he was now beyond making lightweight films.

“I like to think there’s an audience for serious adult stories. I like a good adventure film as much as the next man but I’m too old to make comic books,” Eastwood said.

A number of studios rejected the film because of its heavy subject matter, and even indicated he should be doing more light-hearted stuff, he said.

Eastwood was full of praise for his cast — Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon and Laura Linney — who got so into the story that they got together in their own time for readings.

“I think most of us would have read a phone book for Clint,” laughed Linney, asked about the novel the movie is based on.

Robbins said working with Eastwood, who has starred in 43 films from Dirty Harry to his famous “Spaghetti Westerns”, was “extraordinary”.

The rugged individualist has also directed 24 films, garnering two Oscars for The Unforgiven.

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