Clint Eastwood says criticizing President Obama at the Republican National Convention last month was not an easy task. But it was something he felt compelled to do as a citizen.
"At my age you got to have a life, if you believe in something," Eastwood tells USA TODAY. "I don't like getting up and making fun of the president of the United States. That's not my deal. But I am concerned. Not for me."
Eastwood spoke as part of an upcoming profile with co-star Justin Timberlake for their upcoming movie Trouble With the Curve, saying he was "not an expert, I haven't got the answers."
While the discussion of the empty-chair speech continues today, Eastwood expressed satisfaction that he lives in a country where he can express his right to speak, even invoking the rights of filmmakers behind The Innocence of Muslims movie -- which continues to cause an outcry around the world.
"I don't know what the deal is with that stupid film that guy made," says Eastwood. "The fact is he can do that -- and I wouldn't want to make that kind of thing. But if someone wants to (they can) as long as it's within the laws of society."
Eastwood says he became a Republican during the Eisenhower administration when he was drafted for the Korean War "five years after the war to end all wars, supposedly."
"You start to get slightly cynical. After a while you sound off about it," says Eastwood. "When you're an American you are free to say whatever you want."
Eastwood also pointed out that he finds common ground with every political point of view. During the making of Mystic River with Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, two of Hollywood's most famous left-wing activists, the trio often talked on set about politics and their misgivings about the second Iraq War, which was starting at the time.
"We all came from different points of view politically, I am sure. But we all agreed on that one particular subject," says Eastwood. "We all had questions about where that was going to end up. You have certain things in common."