Morgan Freeman says becoming a star was a ''mistake'' because he can't ever ''disappear''.

The Hollywood legend will turn 80 in June, and while he has a big enough bank balance to happily retire, he doesn't want to give up acting.

Although he has gotten used to being spotted in public, the 'Shawshank Redemption' actor admits it was always a ''big risk'' getting into the business because of the loss of anonymity.

Speaking to Britain's The I Paper, he admitted: ''Becoming an actor is a big risk. I don't get what your reasons for doing it; you're gonna have to step off the cliff. And timing is everything - where you are and when. There were times I feared I'd be an old man and never have got to do what I wanted. I just couldn't get arrested when I was a younger man, and now I've reached retirement age, it seems Hollywood won't let me retire.

''Of course, I can afford to retire but now I do it for the fun. As I started to move as an actor, at some point I got to a place where I knew that becoming an actor was a mistake, because you can't ever disappear.''

Freeman doesn't get pestered for selfies in his hometown of Charleston, Mississippi, but everywhere else he is asked for photos constantly and he will often decline, unless it is a '' very pretty woman''.

On the annoyance of selfies, he said: ''Everyone wants you to stop whatever you're doing and have a selfie. They'll even ask you on the elevator, 'Oh hi, Do you mind?' I do mind.''

One place where he particularly hates getting asked for a selfie is in the gym at hotels.

He moaned: ''I can't even go to a nice hotel gym because everyone goes, 'Oh my god', and gets the cameras out. Nobody is without their camera. I even seen homeless guys with their cameras.''

On his only exception he added that he will take a photo ''if it's a really, really pretty woman.''