Robert Redford Backtracks on Retiring From Acting: ‘That Was a Mistake’
Robert Reford didn’t think he’d cause such a stir when he announced his retirement from acting.
The 82-year-old star—a decades-long leading man, an Oscar-winning director, and a vital figure in film-festival history—announced his retreat in early August, claiming that his upcoming movie, The Old Man & the Gun, would be his last. But in a recent interview with Variety, Redford walked back those claims, admitting he probably shouldn’t have said that.
Redford spoke to Variety at the premiere of his upcoming film “The Old Man & the Gun,” which is believed to be the final film for the legendary actor, who said back in Augustthat he’d be retiring from acting.
“That was a mistake. I should never have said that,” Redford told Variety when asked if he’s truly retiring.
“If I’m going to retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting, but I shouldn’t be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way. I want to be focused on this film and the cast,” Redford said at the New York City premiere on Thursday night.
Asked to clarify if this is not his final film, Redford responded, “I’m not answering that.”
“Keep the mystery alive,” he added with a laugh.
“That was a mistake. I should never have said that,” he said. “If I’m gonna retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting. But I shouldn’t be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way.”
So, hmm: it sounds like Redford is still interested in making The Old Man & the Gun his swan song. But he wishes he hadn’t told everyone, causing the news to spread like wildfire across the industry and transforming the tenor of his current (final?) press circuit. The film is the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford), a repeat bank robber who escaped prison over a dozen times. Thanks to its fascinating source material and great buzz, it’s guaranteed to be a contender this awards season, perhaps helping Redford to capture his first competitive acting Oscar. (He’s got one statuette for directing and one honorary award, but has, rather famously, only ever received one acting nomination.) The retirement narrative might be a boon to his campaign, convincing Academy members they only have one last chance to put that trophy in his hands.