Robert Redford says he went about this retirement factor all unsuitable.
“I felt I made a mistake by even talking about retirement,” the actor, director, manufacturer and founder of the Sundance Institute mentioned in an interview this week. He was once regarding his announcement in August that his new film, the true-life heist comedy “The Old Man & the Gun,” can be his ultimate film function. (The film opens extensively, together with in Utah theaters, on Friday.)
“I should just slip quietly away,” Redford mentioned. “I said it was probably my last as an actor. I didn’t want to hit that too hard. But at Telluride and Toronto [film festivals], it took the focus away from what the movie was about.”
At the time, Redford mentioned “never say never” to the thought of appearing once more, and he holds to that. “In my mind, I’m pretty committed to retiring from acting, and moving but not stopping — just moving into new territory as a director and producer,” he mentioned, including that he may imagine a task “if something came along and was really powerful, like this film was.”
Redford says his well being “is generally fine, at 82,” and that he plans to direct and produce movies, champion environmental problems and oversee the Sundance Institute, the arts nonprofit he based in 1981.
The future of Sundance — which operates the Sundance Film Festival, filmmaking labs at the Sundance lodge, tune and playwrights’ labs, and artist fortify for impartial filmmakers international — “is going to be in the hands of my children,” Redford mentioned.
“I’ve taken great pains over the years, from the time they were little, to bring them into the fore — letting them go their different ways as they were young and exploring their own paths,” he mentioned. “At some point, I felt, there’s going to become a time with whatever I’ve created here, I will not be able to sustain as the head of everything. I’ve been spending a lot of time bringing my children — Shauna and Amy and Jamie — into the picture, and now they’re there and they’re in a position to run the show.”
(One indicator of the Redford kids tending to their Utah roots: Redford’s youngest kid, Amy Redford, 47, a filmmaker, just lately was once named artist-in-residence at the Utah Film Center. Shauna, 57, is a painter and married to “Fast Food Nation” creator Eric Schlosser. James Redford, 56, is a documentary filmmaker and chairman of The Redford Center, a San Francisco nonprofit that encourages filmmaking about environmental problems.)
“I feel I’m at a point where, beyond encouraging them, I can step not completely away, but step aside, so they can take the thing and run with it,” Redford mentioned. “Basically, they’re inheriting what I started, and they’re going to keep it going with my grandchildren.”
Part of that inheritance is the land of Redford’s Sundance lodge in Provo Canyon, some of which has been put aside as wasteland below the Sundance Preserve.
Keeping the lodge as a part-time artists’ colony (via the Sundance labs) along wasteland is an effort, he mentioned, “to combine what I am as an artist with who I am as an environmentalist.” His hobby in atmosphere apart land was once a response to the mindset in which he grew up; “the culture that surrounded me was about development and money,” he mentioned.
That tradition additionally fostered Redford’s non-public connection to rogues and outlaws.
“I’ve been interested in the outlaw character for many, many years, going back to ‘Butch Cassidy [and the Sundance Kid]’ and some of my early TV work,” he mentioned. “I grew up in Los Angeles, and there were a lot of laws that governed how we lived then. I never wanted to be against the law. I just wanted to be slightly outside of it, and not be beholden to it.”
When Redford learn a 2003 New Yorker article through David Grann about Forrest Tucker, a occupation felony who carried out financial institution robberies and jail escapes with gentlemanly pleasure, the actor was once intrigued.
“What really interested me was his personality,” he mentioned. “He was such a happy-go-lucky guy, and he pleased everybody he was taking money from. They all liked him, even as they were giving their money up. Now that’s a really great character.”
Redford secured the rights to the tale and despatched it to filmmaker David Lowery, whom he knew via the Sundance labs (the place Lowery evolved his 2013 debut, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) and from operating in combination on Disney’s 2016 remake of “Pete’s Dragon.”
Lowery, Redford mentioned, “doesn’t follow the norms. You’re going along and he’ll make a shift and leave you wondering what’s going on here, then he’ll pull it back together again. He’s got a wonderfully perverse style of filmmaking. … And he really does understand the value of character.”
Redford additionally praised Lowery for attracting different actors for him to play towards. These come with Casey Affleck (who starred in “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and Lowery’s “A Ghost Story”), who performs the detective on Tucker’s path, Danny Glover and Tom Waits as Tucker’s accomplices, and Sissy Spacek, who performs a Texas widow and possible love hobby. Affleck and Spacek, like Redford, are Oscar winners.
“I was so blessed to be acting with fellow actors who were experienced and talented,” Redford mentioned. “I’m surprised [Spacek] and I haven’t worked together before.”
Aside from selling “The Old Man & the Gun,” which has generated some Academy Awards dialog, Redford has his eye on the political scene and subsequent month’s midterm elections.
Last week, he posted a message on the Sundance Institute website that started with the dire commentary that “I feel out of place in the country I was born into and the citizenship I’ve loved my whole life.” He recommended younger folks to “dig deep for hope and civility right now — to try to make connections with people you disagree with, to be better than our politicians.”
He mentioned he hopes he can inspire younger folks to motion. “I’ve been witnessing a threat to our democracy recently by our divided ideologies,” he mentioned. “We really have to spend our time unifying rather than dividing.”