If you’ve ever wanted to see Robert Redford on the red carpet, now may be your last chance. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Redford announced that his upcoming film The Old Man & The Gun, which is scheduled to have its premiere at TIFF in September, will be his last acting credit. Say it ain’t so, Sundance Kid!
The 81-year-old actor (okay, fine, he deserves some time off) told the magazine that his upcoming project about a career bank robber retiring from his life of crime after completing one final robbery will be his final film. A fitting and poetic last line in his filmography; Redford said, “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. I thought, Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”
In The Old Man & The Gun, Oscar winner Redford plays real-life bank robber Forrest Tucker, a man who was much better at escaping jail than he was at robbing banks. “To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” said Redford. “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 that he could enjoy the real thrill of his life, which is to escape?”
As for directing, Redford, who won the Oscar for Best Director in 1980 for Ordinary People, says he’s possibly still open to the idea of directing in the future.
Starting in 1960 with a role in Tall Story, Redford has appeared in almost 50 films, including The Discovery and Our Souls At Night in 2017 alone. Best known for his roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Way We Were, The Natural and Jeremiah Johnson, Redford has also directed nine feature films, including Ordinary People, A River Runs Through It, and The Horse Whisperer. In 1978, he launched the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, an annual film fest that brings together filmmakers from all over the world to Park City, Utah.
Countless film and TV performances, impressive directing and producing credits, critical and commercial success, a thriving film festival…and he still looks great at 81. This is definitely one way to go out on top.