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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 01:40 GMT 02:40 UK
Clint Eastwood's praise for Arnie
Clint Eastwood joked that he could shoot watching journalists
Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood used a visit to the Oxford Union to say fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger would do well as governor of California.

Eastwood, who was once mayor of the Californian town of Carmel, said he had not wanted the job himself and wished the Terminator star luck.

He received a standing ovation from the 600 students present, after regaling them with anecdotes from his career.

Previous visitors to the union include the Dalai Lama and Michael Jackson.

Long career

Eastwood was interviewed for the union by TV film critic Barry Norman.

It's nice in England where people just call you guv'nor
Clint Eastwood

His appearance was to discuss his long career as an actor and director and to promote his new film, Mystic River.

Eastwood criticised parts of the film industry, attacking studio executives who have often never heard of many historic films.

He also hit out at the reliance of many modern films on special effects instead of storylines.

'Best of luck'

Asked about Schwarzenegger's chances in his new job, Eastwood, 73, replied: "I think Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to make a good governor.

"Maybe he will make the right decisions and if he progresses forward I wish him the best of luck."

He joked: "I was the one guy who didn't run. I held office for a couple of years, I enjoyed that for a couple of years, so I don't want to get involved.

"It's nice in England where people just call you guv'nor."

Child abuse

Further laughs were raised when Eastwood turned to Barry Norman to interpret questions from the audience, as he struggled with British accents.

And when a student asked him if he was as good a shot with a .44 Magnum as his Dirty Harry character, he said he could probably hit members of the press at the back of the hall.

His new film is set in Boston and tells of three friends united by tragedy and a history of child abuse and violence.

"I was fascinated by the stealing of innocence," Clint Eastwood has said.

"It's like stealing someone's life. Child molestation is the worst of crimes."

Marcus Walker, president of the historic debating society, said all 470 tickets for the event sold out in minutes when they went on sale on Wednesday.

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