Robert Redford has announced that after 60 years as an actor, he’s decided to retire. But first, he has one more role up his sleeve.
“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I’ll] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21,” he tells Entertainment Weekly while promoting his upcoming film, The Old Man & the Gun. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s enough.’ And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”
The 81-year-old Hollywood titan explains that making his new film played an integral role in his decision to say farewell to a job he’s loved for decades. In The Old Man & the Gun, he portrays Forrest Tucker, who isn’t chasing fortune and fame, just the thrill of doing what he loves, which happens to be robbing banks.
“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” he reflects on the real-life man he embodies. “The thing that really got me about him — which I hope the film shows — is he robbed 17 banks and he got caught 17 times and went to prison 17 times. But he also escaped 17 times. So it made me wonder: I wonder if he was not averse to getting caught so he that could enjoy the real thrill of his life, which is to escape?”
Now, although Redford’s time in front of the camera is drawing to a close, he hasn’t ruled out directing again (“We’ll see about that” is all he offered when asked). Sure, he’s an iconic leading man, but he’s also an Oscar-winning filmmaker and the founder of the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival, both of which advocate for independent filmmakers and artists.
The Old Man & The Gun also stars Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Casey Affleck. It arrives in theaters on Sept. 28.