“The only problem working with Robert Redford is that I just look into his eyes, and I forget my dialogue.”
In 1981, Redford founded The Sundance Film Festival to promote independent film. He actively supports Native American Rights, LGBTQ Rights, and government support for the arts. A strong environmental activist and conservationist, he has been quietly buying up tracts of land in Utah to stop developers from destroying what is left of the beautiful state. He is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, he protested against the Keystone Pipeline, and he supported Joe Biden‘s presidential campaign.
Redford’s is the first quote used on the back cover of the twice-impeached four times indicted mango-hued mess’s crappy book, Crippled America (2015), saying of the then fake billionaire’s candidacy: “I’m glad he’s in there, being the way he is.” But Redford’s comment was sarcasm, and the orange rapist failed to use the entire comment, which continued with: “…He’s got such a big foot in his mouth I’m not sure you could get it out”.
Redford said that Americans have only themselves to blame for electing a grifter:
“You can’t blame him for being who he is. He’s always been like that. He’s our fault — that’s how I see it. We let him come to where he is. I’m not so interested in blaming him; that’s being done enough by others. I’m more interested in: How did this happen? We’ve lost our moral foundation, which allows us to go this far over. We’re the ones who let that happen. We should be looking at ourselves.”
Redford blasted Mitch McConnell:
“…he is a villainous character who is against anything that’s going to move us forward in any kind of moral way. I think those people, the McConnells, are not helping us at all. They are taking us backward in time.”
Redford mostly supports Democrats, but says he pledged years ago not to appear alongside any politicians at campaign events:
“I learned early on, depending on the success of the film, suddenly I would be asked to show up with a candidate. And in the beginning, I was flattered. Gee, they want me? And then I’d say, ‘I’m being used as a pawn. I don’t care about this guy.’ That’s when I said, ‘I’m not going to publicly support any candidate on a national stage, ever.'”
Redford on the future:
“I have faith in the pendulum swinging. Right now it’s so far against the wall that it can’t go any farther; it’s gonna start to swing back.”
Redford made his film debut when he was 21 years old in a bit part in the basketball comedy Tall Story (1960) with his friend Jane Fonda in her first screen role. For the next six years he worked in television. His big break came when Paramount Pictures broke with tradition and cast him in the film version of Barefoot In The Park (1967). Redford was the original star in Neil Simon‘s play on Broadway and conventional wisdom was that for the film version you cast a Hollywood star rather than a theatre actor. Redford was cast opposite Fonda, and he was the only member of the theatre cast to make the transfer to film, and a star was born.
The first time I saw Redford was in Inside Daisy Clover (1965) based on Gavin Lambert’s 1963 novel, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Natalie Wood, Ruth Gordan, Roddy McDowall, and Christopher Plummer. I was 11-year-old, and my parental units took me to see this rather adult movie at a drive-in theatre. Redford’s performance, playing a closeted queer man, made me swoon, and my mother called out to me in the back of our station wagon, “are you okay, Stevie?“. I think she understood, and felt the same way about Redford.
Redford is one of those actors who is under-appreciated for his acting skills because he is such a big star and so handsome.
Redford celebrates his 87th birthday today. I wonder what Fonda sent him for a gift. What do you get a guy who has everything?
Here are 11 great Redford performances:
All Is Lost (2013)
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
Our Souls At Night (2017), with Fonda:
The Candidate (1972)
Three Days Of The Condor (1975)
All The President’s Men (1976)
The Natural (1984)
The Electric Horseman (1979), with Fonda again:
A River Runs Through It (1992). I know it is a film Redford directed but doesn’t appear, and yet he is heard, and his presence is felt in every frame. Adapted from the autobiographical novel by Norman Maclean it tells the two story of two independent-minded brothers and how their love of fly fishing kept them in contact with their minister father. Redford provided the narration and beautiful, young Brad Pitt is an uncanny onscreen lookalike.