Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Robert Redford 'tired' of acting as he reveals retirement plans

Published 11/11/2016

Robert Redford with Emma Thompson in A Walk in The Woods
Robert Redford with Emma Thompson in A Walk in The Woods
Stepping out: Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in A Walk in the Woods
Robert Redford

Robert Redford has revealed his plans to retire from acting following a movie career spanning almost 60 years.

The Truth star, 80, said he plans to focus more on his other passions of directing and painting as he had grown "tired" of being in front of the camera.

In an interview with his grandson, Dylan Redford, he said: "I'm an impatient person, so it's hard for me to sit around and do take after take after take."

Answering a question about whether he has thought about returning to painting - the career he started in his late teens - he said: "Yeah, a lot, and a lot lately because I'm getting tired of acting.

"At this point in my life, age 80, it'd give me more satisfaction because I'm not dependent on anybody.

"It's just me, just the way it used to be, and so going back to sketching, that's sort of where my head is right now."

The father-of-four, from California, is currently starring in Our Souls at Night, an older-generation love story with Jane Fonda due to be released next year, and Old Man With a Gun, with Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek.

"Once they're done," he said, "then I'm going to say, 'Okay, that's goodbye to all that, and then just focus on directing."

Redford received his art training in Paris after dropping out of the University of Colorado and said he was "devastated" when his tutor found his early work disappointing.

"The only way I've ever understood myself is by looking in a mirror," he said.

In an emotional scene from the movie
In an emotional scene from the movie "The Horse Whisperer," actress Scarlett Johansson (L), is helped into the saddle by actor Robert Redford after being traumatized in a horseback riding accident. The movie is based on the best-selling book "The Horse Whisperer" by Nicholas Evans who regularly consulted with renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts.
Robert Redford and his wife Sibylle Szaggars at the Cannes screening of All Is Lost (AP)
Robert Redford

"I suddenly realised, 'No. We look in a mirror and immediately we put on the face we think we should put on. We don't really know what we look like.'

"So, I decided to find out what I really look, I'm going to sit here in front of this mirror and look at me and just keep looking at me and see what happens."

His first film role was as a basketball player in Joshua Logan's Tall Story in 1960 and he soon shot to Hollywood stardom.

Redford revealed his enthusiasm for creating more independent films came with his involvement in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, one of the roles he is most famous for.

Telling his grandson how the film, in which he played the Sundance Kid, flew in the face of Hollywood film fashion at the time, he said: "The mainstream did control the marketplace at that time.

"They would tell stories but they wanted to feel that those stories were going to be commercial and, as a result, the mainstream began to tell stories that were pretty much all the same.

"American culture was so much red, white, and blue from the 1940s on and the studios were following that lead so that things were just very red, white, and blue - meaning commercial.

"I was very much a part of the studio system. But I felt that there were other stories to be told that were more in the grey zone, where life was more complicated, so I started Sundance."

In 1981, Redford set up the non-profit Sundance Institute, which provides financial and creative support to independent film-makers. It also hosts the renowned Sundance Film Festival.

Commenting on how he faced criticism for trying to uphold a career both as a mainstream and independent film actor, in the late sixties he added he "just wanted to broaden the landscape".

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph