By Christian Levaux
CANNES, France (Reuters) - Clint Eastwood was just like any other American boy growing up on the Westerns of the 1930s and 40s, he told a seminar at the Cannes Film Festival, where he recounted his rise to movie star and acclaimed director.
"Every kid wanted to be in a Western and every kid wanted to pack a gun and ride a horse," Eastwood, 86, told admirers at a masterclass he gave on the fringes of the festival.
"So as a kid I liked (Westerns) very much."
After playing the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's 'spaghetti Westerns' in the 1960s, Eastwood became "Dirty" Harry Callahan, the cop who broke all the rules.
"A lot of people thought it was politically incorrect," he said of "Dirty Harry", the 1971 film in which he points his .44 Magnum pistol at bad guys and asks them if they "feel lucky" before he pulls the trigger.
"That was at the beginning of the era that we're in now where everybody thinks everybody's politically correct and we're killing ourselves by doing that, but we've lost our sense of humor," he said of the film's critics.
"Anyway, I made it, I thought it was interesting, and it was daring at the time, and that was the only reason. Big guns: it was the ultimate kid's dream."
(Writing by Robin Pomeroy, editing by Ed Osmond)