Old Man and the Gun: Interview with Star Robert Redford about (Final?) Film, Career, Environment, Trump Dark Ages–Part 1

The Old Man & the Gun, starring Robert Redford, which will be released by Fox Searchlight, is the star’s last acting role; he plans to concentrate on directing and environmental issues.

Last Acting Role or Never Say Never Again?

Robert Redford: Let’s underline that. Never say never. On the other hand, I’ve been doing this since I was 21, that’s a long time. And maybe it’s time to, not stop. I don’t believe in stopping. When you stop something, it’s the end of a road and I think the road is long. So it’s just a question of not stopping, but moving on to something else, which would be directing and producing.

Love of Art and Painting

RR: Art is very much relevant in my life because that’s how everything started for me. Art what separated me from my childhood to my adulthood. And I was almost obsessed with art since I was a little kid because when I was in grammar school I had a hard time paying attention. And my mind was always out the window thinking about other places to be, other places to go. But the thing that occupied me most was drawing. But because in those years, just after the Second World War, in my grammar school art was considered a trivial pursuit. It was not taken that seriously. And yet it was very serious for me as something that drove me, it was a passion of mine. So I felt I had to hide it so I would do it under the table.  A third grade teacher caught me. And I wasn’t paying any attention to what she was saying. So she said, excuse me what’s so much more important to you under the table than what we’re talking about? And so I thought I was going to be burned, I was just going to be completely fried by her, and all the other students would laugh. And she said, why don’t you come up and show us what’s more important. So I went up and I held up my drawing. And she said, you want to tell us what that is? And I said yeah, it’s a drawing…end of the Second World War, so there’s a drawing of B-52 bombers flying over some cowboys that were on horseback. They were bombing the cowboys and the cowboys were firing at the Indians that were going off a cliff.  What she saw was that I had a skill, that I had a passion that not a lot of people paid a lot of attention to. So she said look, I’ll make a deal with you, if you agree to pay attention to the classroom lectures I’ll give you an easel every Wednesday and I’ll give you 15 minutes and some newsprint paper to come up and draw something for the class. And you can draw a story that comes to your mind. Now had she burned me at that time, had she said what a terrible thing I was doing, who knows what would have happened to me and my feeling about art? But that she gave me a chance to be seen and she gave me some respect, allowed me to continue on that path. So that was a turning point in my life. And that stayed with me, because I realized that art was going to be a way that I would communicate. And it still is. So as I go forward, whether it’s acting or directing, if I’m directing it’s going to be bringing art into that as well. When you’re directing you do your own storyboards, you do your own conceptual drawings of what you want something to look like.

 

Reference in Old Man and the Gun to the Movie The Chase

RR: I was not prepared for that in this film. You can ask David Lowery about that because he’s the one that chose that. I was very surprised when I saw the film because I had totally forgotten about that. But looking back and remembering that time, that was 1965…the thing that I remember most, that was the first time that I worked with Jane Fonda. And that was probably the strongest of my memories, the role that she played of my ex-wife and I was a convict that was trying to escape. And then of course Marlon Brando. But the thing that stands out for me was Arthur Penn had taken a Lillian Hellman story and brought it to film. But I remember at that time working with Jane and how things just kind of fell into place. There was not a lot of discussion, we did not need to discuss or rehearse, it just sort of fell into place.

Sissy Spacek

RR: That quality maintained itself over many years as she and I worked together. That same quality exists with myself and Sissy Spacek, she’s an actress that not only I completely admire and like as a human being, but things just fell into place. When we were working on this film, there wasn’t a lot of discussion or a lot of rehearsal needed, things just sort of fell into place. And that’s a wonderful quality to have when you’re working.

Storytelling and Politics

RR: I don’t think we can get any lower than now.  If it’s going to take film to lift us out of this sort of swamp, then I’m all for it.  If I try to put film into a political category, it would make me uneasy because I think film should stay free of politics. You can make films about political situations but if it becomes political that makes me uneasy. So having said that I think that in terms of the festival, there’s a difference between my career as an actor and director and the festival. The one was being active. As an actor and a director I was being active in the profession. And then the festival is about supporting other people. The festival is about creating a platform for other people who have stories to tell that might not get a chance. I was fortunate, I was given a chance. But there’re so many that I’ve come across who did not have a chance. And I thought, can we create a category that gives them an opportunity to have a place to tell their stories? That’s what led to the Sundance Labs and the festival. And the festival was simply, it went out of bounds in a way because initially the idea of having films at the festival was simply to have a place where other filmmakers could come and gather and look at each other’s work. Because that work was being ignored in the marketplace.  What I wasn’t prepared for, was that when those filmmakers came together to look at each other’s work, it created such an energy and such an attraction that people from outside came into the festival to see that. So what was once a one way street of opportunity for the filmmakers to look at each other’s work it suddenly was a second street of opportunity for audiences outside that weren’t being given a chance to see those kind of films to come have a place to see them. So that’s when the thing kind of grew. So that’s when the festival kind of took off.

Decision to Quit Acting

RR: I think I decided when I took this film on.  The last move I had done was a film I was very proud of but it was a very serious, kind of a heavy lift, a dramatic love story with Jane Fonda. And it was a wonderful film to work on but it was very sad. And so there’s a heaviness to it. And I wanted the next film, perhaps the last film that I would act in, to be something that would be uplifting. And I just wanted to do something that would be more uplifting from the one I had done before. I didn’t fully realize at the time that in doing so it would come at a time in our cultural environment that’s very dark, as it is now. It’s a sad thing to have to say but I think you all know that we’re living in rather dark times politically. And the polarization that exists with the two parties not agreeing to cross the aisle to work together is sad and depressing and we are the losers, the public are the losers. So I thought, why not do something that’s very upbeat? Something that’s uplifting at a very dark time. So that was the reason.  I don’t think I said this is going to be the last one I just said this could be.

 

Still a Chance?

RR: You want to be careful of being too final because sometimes you have to change your mind. I think this feels like the right film to maybe go out on as an actor, since I’ve been doing this since I was 21 years old. So now as I go into my 80’s, that’s a long time. And so I thought well you can move into directing and producing. But if you’re going to pull back on acting this is a really good project to do it with because it’s very uplifting.

 

Parallels between Character and Real Life

RR: I cared about the money.  I think that if you want to find a parallel it was that whether you’re robbing banks or making film, you’re either struggling, you go in and out of depression or you’re continuously happy. And I’ve always been making films; it’s made me very happy to be able to have the chance to make a film. And particularly if it’s the story you want to tell. So for me I’ve been blessed that way so that makes me happy.

Film’s Title: Guns

I don’t know why, it’s supposed to be Old Man and A Gun, I don’t know where the came from. But anyway, “Old Man and the Gun” is about a guy and a gun. So it separates, it’s not an old man and his gun, it’s an old man and a gun, which tells you right off the bat that there’s some kind of separation built in to this. And then as you see the film you realize what that means, that the gun is there but it’s never used and it’s never loaded. And it’s used for effect but it was never used to harm or hurt anyone because the guy that had the gun just was having fun.

 

Favorite Movies to Be Remembered For

RR: That’s a good question because that tests my ego. I don’t really like to think that way. So, what films did I like best? That’d be kind of hard for me because I really enjoyed most all of them. If you want to pick our certain ones like “Butch Cassidy” of course I loved that. I loved playing that character. I loved working for George Roy Hill. That was the film where Paul Newman and I became close friends and continued to work together onto “The Sting”. And what’s interesting, if you look at “Butch Cassidy” and you look at “The Sting”, those two films that are almost back to back, the roles that I played and Paul played are reversed. On “Butch Cassidy” I played the serious, dark guy, quiet, lethal and he played the happy go lucky, upbeat guy, Butch Cassidy. In “The Sting” it’s just reversed because I play the happy go lucky guy and he plays the cool guy. And I’m surprised that nobody’s ever really picked that up and made a point of that. But to me it’s always been interesting that we just completely reversed the roles. But anyway I enjoyed making both of them and I feel that…I think that if all things considered, if I were to be able to step way back and be truly objective, I would say, as much as I love “Butch Cassidy” because I did, that I think “The Sting” is one of the finest made films ever made. And that belongs to George Roy Hill. He’s the guy who designed it, he’s the guy who came up with the music, he did everything. And when you look at that movie, which I have recently because I hadn’t seen it for many, many years until my daughter wanted me to see it…and when I saw it I realized, god, this is really a good movie. This is really a well-made movie. So I hope that over time when there’s history about film that George is recognized as making one of the finest made films ever made, in my opinion.

 

Wearing Hats

RR: I have always loved hats even when I was too young to wear one. I loved hats from the time I was a little kid I was always wearing some kind of hat. Don’t ask me why, I just love the idea of wearing a hat. It didn’t occur to me, how well I looked in it, I just liked wearing a hat. Somehow it had to do with taking a different identity when you went from one place to the next. But basically I just love wearing hats. So when I was on Broadway in the theater, I fell in love with the Borsalino hat, from Italy. I just fell in love with that hat and I would wear it everywhere. I had to take it off to perform but I just loved that hat. So I think since that time some part of me just likes wearing a hat. Beyond that I don’t know why. Just felt fun.

 

Bob Woodward and All the President’s Men

RR: I had spent some time with him after the film. I spent a lot of time with him before the film was made, that’s a whole story in itself about how I came to get with Bob and Carl. It took a long time. In the beginning when I had the idea that I wanted to make the film it was really about their relationship. It wasn’t about what was going to happen politically in the world because we didn’t know then. We didn’t know in 1972, we didn’t know. But what I was interested in was the relationship between he and Carl so I had to spend time with each of them to understand them. So I spent a lot of time with Bob getting to know him and getting to know his style. And I was very impressed with him because on the surface he was very…he was very happy to have you kind of ignore him, he was very happy to have you not pay too much attention to him because then he could come underneath, and he was totally fine that Carl got a lot of the attention because Carl was more demonstrative. So that impressed me and I spent a lot of time with him to understand him and to understand his role in that project. What I realized was that what interested me about Bob was that there was a very calm exterior, a very pleasant, slow talking, calm, smart exterior. What’s underneath that was someone that could go for the jugular, that could come up and (Gestures)…and that really impressed me. So now I’ve maintained a friendship with Bob over the years and I’ve seen his work, I’ve read his books. And he’s always been one to try to get to the heart of something when it appeared to be something else. And he would say, that’s not quite what’s going on here. Here is what’s going on. And so I’ve always appreciated that. I’ve not read his recent book, I will, I have it but I haven’t had a chance. But I will read it and I’m sure it’s going to be the same Bob. I think this book is probably coming at a very good time, right now. And so I hope that is has traction. But I’m sure it’s just the same Bob, he’s uncovering stuff. And because he tapes, and that’s where people…it’s going to be hard to accuse him of something when he’s taped them. It’s going to be hard for someone to say, I didn’t say that, like the president is now trying to deny he said this or that and yet he’s on tape. So that takes care of that argument. But I’m looking forward to reading the book. Anyway, I got to know Bob and then we became friends over the years and have stayed friends. I have not talked to him recently, because I felt I should read it first and then talk to him.

 

Marrying German Woman from Hamburg

RR: I love Hamburg. My wife is from Hamburg; she was born and raised in Hamburg. I happen to be a fan of Angela Merkel, I’ve met her and spent time with her, was very impressed with her. I think Berlin is an incredible city, I think it’s got incredible history. And I like going there and I will probably spend more time going there. I’ve been to other parts of Germany, like Munich and so forth but for some reason Berlin just strikes me as something really advanced and progressive. And I think it’s going to continue to be that way. And it’s also a beautiful city. You stop to think about it; once they got rid of all the demarcations it became this beautiful, beautiful city. So I’m in good shape.  I like Mexican food, my wife loves German food.

 

Director at 43 (Ordinary People, Best Picture Oscar in 1980)

RR: I started acting at 21, that’s pretty young. From the time I was 17 on I wanted to be an artist and I was happy with that ambition. And I was happy when I was drawing and painting, it gave me great pleasure. When I shifted from painting and artwork into acting it took awhile for me to accept that because my love was so strong with painting and drawing. It took me awhile to accept the fact that I would not have that be the first thing I did but the second thing I did. So I had to convert it from being an ambition to being a hobby. That took awhile for me to accept. It was when my acting career took hold beyond what I thought it would, when it attracted more attention than I was expecting that I realized oh, I see, I may have to make a decision here that I move from this place to this place and accept that acting is maybe going to claim first place in my life and drawing would be second place.

Old Feeling to New Film

RR: To me the most important thing is story. To me it’s all about story, that has to come first. And so as I developed…over time I developed a kind of a strategy or plan for working, I thought, put it into three steps; one was the story and two who are the characters that embody the story and three where’s the emotion? It has to have all three but it starts with story. Because that I felt that what was happening over time was that because the new technology that was coming it allowed…and the fact that the younger market likes special effects, that the new technology was spending a lot of its time developing special effects, blasts and explosions, but story was getting pushed aside or getting lost. So I thought well, I’m going to commit to story being important. And so I think that’s where we are right now, I think story is becoming more important. Without the story, it should be first, you can have the special effects come on top of that but there has to be a story so people can say, oh. You remember when you were a kid? Was there any greater expression than once upon a time? When I was a little kid and heard once upon a time, I go, ahhh, I know I’m going to get a story now. Or to get me to calm down at night my parents would to calm me down, they would tell me a story. And I realized oh, I’m ok know, whew. So I think story is extremely important and that should come first. And so here, there’s a story behind this. And the story is just an incredible story because it’s also true. It’s a bizarre story but it’s also true. This guy really did exist, he really did rob banks, he really had a good time, he never hurt anybody, he was always smiling, enjoying it, getting put in prison, escaping from prison, getting put back in prison, escaping again. Back and forth, back and forth, this guy obviously enjoyed it. (Laughter) So the film should show that, the film should show that which would automatically make the film very kind of uplifting, kind of an upbeat story.

 

Changes in Set Etiquette

RR: When I was a kid growing up we had a neighborhood theater, we didn’t have television. So you’d walk to the neighborhood theater and you’d see a movie. And so what you had was…you didn’t have a lot of commercials, you didn’t have any of that stuff, the movie just started and you’d watch a movie. There was something very powerful about being in a dark space with other members of your community all gathered together to watch this thing. And now there’s so much else going on, they do trailer advertisements, they do commercials and so forth, it’s become burdened with other things. So I miss the simplicity of just going to a movie theater and just seeing a movie.

I think there have been some changes that are very positive and that is the role that women play. I think it’s really healthy and good for the industry that women have a greater role to play by making films. Because when I first started that didn’t exist. Women had a more subdued role. And now that that’s increased, whether it’s the #metoo movement or what, obviously you see more women commanding films, more women that are the authors of films. I think that’s very healthy. Because what comes with that is a point of view that over earlier times got ignored because it was dominated by me. So I think it’s very healthy.

Dark Times and Change

RR: We have a history of going to the last moment before we change something. And I think we’re in that same mode right now. I believe if we continue on the path we’re on there won’t be much world to live in, that’s what I feel. So I’m optimistic in that we’ll get to a point where there’ll be a wakeup call and we’ll make an adjustment, even if it’s at the last minute. I think we’re heading in that direction right now because we have…unfortunately we are led by people who don’t believe in that, who believe we can keep development going to its limit. And so you want to say ok, I’ll tell you what, I’ll make a deal with you, let’s say we gave you everything, we gave all the people that are interested in development and mining, ok you can have it all. We’re not going to fight that; we’re just going to let you have it all. You can do whatever you want with this earth. And that would be interesting. Would they take that to a final point, would they take that to mass destruction or would they take that to a point where they wake up and say, wait a minute, what are we doing? Well that’s not likely to happen right now so you have this contest going on where you want to be a voice that says, hold it. Can you really think about what you’re doing? Can you really think? If you say that there’s no climate change and you’re willing to ignore science then what’s the point of science? Why do we have science? Then you can say, what’s the history of science? How long have we had science and what value has science played in our history? Well a pretty big role. And so you say, you’re going to ignore that or are you going to pay attention to it? Right now things are moving so quickly and things are getting so dangerous that we better start thinking about that before it’s too late.

 

Clint Eastwood, Who’s 88

RR: Well I think he has his reasons. I think Clint Eastwood has a point of view which I respect by the way, I like Clint. And we’re friends so I like him. We’re native Californians and so forth. But he has a different point of view than I do about films. But I respect his. And I think he should just keep making films as long as he wants to, that’s how I feel.  I’d like to keep going and going. I think waiting four years is a long time. A lot can happen in four years. A lot can happen to you in four years. I do have, but I’m not going to tell you what it is though.

 

Having Good Time

RR: Yeah I’m having a good time but it doesn’t have to do with my looks. I’m just having a good time. When I was a kid no one ever told me I was good looking, I never heard that. My hair was red and it was unmanageable and I had cowlicks going all over the place. So no one ever said, gee what a handsome guy. Had freckles. My teeth were too big. So I didn’t have people coming up to me saying, boy you’re a really good-looking guy. No, I never had that when I was a kid, I never had people saying that they thought I was good looking. That came much later and when it did come I was not prepared for it, I was surprised by it.

Regrets Looking Back?

RR: Probably. I think you have to be careful of that. If you put too much emphasis on regrets it’s a heavy load to carry. I’m sure we all have regrets if we look back. If we have the chance to look back on our lives and go oh, I made that mistake, I made this mistake, but also did this that was ok. So I’m sure that having regrets is part of the equation of looking back on your life, but I don’t believe that regrets should play too big a role otherwise it could stop you from moving forward. Because we’ve all made mistakes, we all make mistakes and some of them have been really hard mistakes, some of them light mistakes, but we’ve all made them. So that’s just part of living. So I think having regrets can only apply if someone has been really hurt by something you’ve done and I don’t think that’s happened with me.

 

Meaning of Acting and Skills?

RR: Has it changed? I’ve always felt that craft was extremely important, since I began. I felt that knowing your craft and being good at your craft was really a requisite that was important. And so I had a lot of respect for other actors who were really about their craft, that wanted to improve their skills and be good actors as opposed to just being personalities, they were in music that suddenly came into acting, thay shifted gears because it’s a new way to attract attention. I was always more interested in people who paid a lot of attention to their craft, that they took it seriously. And they’re the best ones to work with. For example on this film, “The Old Man and the Gun”, you think about Casey, you think about Sissy, you think about Danny, you think about all those actors, all of them are experienced and all of them are highly skilled. So to be able to work with them, things fall into place easier, it just becomes easier and consequently more fun. What’s tough is when you have to work with somebody that’s not an actor, that is not interested in craft but just personality.

 

Leisure and Relaxation

RR: There are so many things. First of all, I live in the West, I live in the mountains. I have activities that I can get involved with that I love, riding horses, hiking, climbing, doing other things in that environment. The other environment that I’m a part of is in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you’re in an area that’s just wide open skies, wide open land, with no pollution because there’s no industry. So that’s a joy because you’re in a place where as far as you could look to the left, to the right, you just see sky and land. That’s pretty great. I also love the idea of mountains, I just like mountains, I like being in them, I like the comfort of mountains. So I have Sundance and I have Santa Fe and both exist in both those places. So I’m very happy in both.  Certain things you have to retreat from because you’re getting too old to do them. No I think as long as I can ride a horse, as long as I can hike, I’ll be happy. That time hasn’t come yet.

 

Staying Grounded

RR: Starting with the fact that you never want to lose the child in yourself, you never want to lose that because that was a joyous time, that was a scary time but it was a joyous time. As a little kid there was so much to discover. And as you move through life and you discover something then move onto another place, you discover something else, that was exciting. So that happened because you were young. As you get older you don’t have that many moments, you don’t have that many moments where you discover something new. So when you do it’s really exciting. And as long as that can happen, I’ll be happy.

 

Values and Routines

RR:  By always staying open, by never shutting down, by always keeping yourself wide open for experience. And I think that what I like is the idea of…you want to create adventure, that adventure can lead to wonderful things. It can have a scary side because you can get into territory you weren’t prepared for that’s maybe very dark or sometimes even dangerous. But it’s still better to go there, to try new things because as long as you can live your life and stay open enough to have new things come into it, it all keeps you alive.

 

Activist

RR: I decided some time ago as I was growing up, and always been interested in the environment because I think it started when I was about 11 years old and I had a mild case of polio at a time before the Salk vaccine was discovered. In that time that used to go into an iron and it was very scary idea. I had a mild case so I didn’t have to go into an iron lung, but I had a mild case. It took me several weeks to recover and to kind of reward me my mom took me out of Los Angeles, which I had never been out of before, to Yosemite National Park. And once I went through that long tunnel and came out the other side, at Inspiration Point and I saw what I saw, I said, hey, I don’t want to look at this, I want to be in it. I think that was the moment where I begin to think more about nature and the value of nature and I wanted to be more in it, so I did, up to the point where I could then buy land and retire it, so that would become nature that’s undisturbed. So I think shortly after that I came to the conclusion that that because we’re a development-oriented society, that’s what made us strong, that’s what made his famous when we separated from Europe, that because of that we were a development-oriented society. And so therefore that was going to continue. We’re going to continue to develop because it would bring wealth and strength to our country. But I also said, well, if you keep doing that, what’s going to be left to live with? So I decided the future is going to be about what we developed for our survival and what we preserve for our survival. And because there was such an imbalance at that time I decided to commit to preservation and to do whatever I could to express the value of preserving what we had before there was nothing left. Otherwise, why have children?

 

Role of Music

RR: I think music plays a great role because it has to do with rhythm. And I believed that…I think that when I’m acting, I hear music. I think for example, uh, the music that George Roy Hill applied to “The Sting”, Scott Joplin…George played that music for me before we did the film. So it went into my head. So as I was playing the character, I heard that music which gave me a physical impulse. So I believe that music is extremely important in film.

In film, music is a very vital part. Sometimes it’s not used, and then that’s that. But when it is used, I think you can see, you can feel it. You could feel a movie that has music in it because it becomes part of the movie, becomes part of the rhythm. So I’m a big believer in the value of music in film.

Being Social and Alone

RR: I think both are important because, you know we live in a social environment. That’s part of our livelihood so you can’t ignore it. On the other hand I think there’s so much to learn from nature. I think if I go for a long walk and I take my time, I suddenly can hear things I don’t normally hear. I can hear the stream running that I might not have heard before. I can see things that I have not seen before. Plants that have buds that you’ve ignored that suddenly you really see and you understand. And to me that has great value. So I like to spend some of my time in nature so I can do that without interruption from society or anything like that. So to me it’s a balancing because you have to live in society, you have to live in a social world. But on the other hand, if you just take time to take a walk in nature and recognize there’s another language that nature has, there’s another sound in nature, I think that’s valuable.

 

Life Getting More Exciting

RR: Yes, it is more exciting, because you’re aware of more possibilities. The more possibilities the more exciting life becomes if you’re willing to go there.

 

Being Good Looking

RR: It took me a while to accept it. I’ll tell you a short story that probably doesn’t make any sense, but when I was about 13 or 14, my hair was so out of control that people used to make fun of it. It made me self-conscious, so I decided I wanted to get my hair really, really slicked down. So my dad used to use something for his hair called Wildroot Cream Oil. Wildroot Cream Oil was this oil that was in a bottle of white liquid and even just use a little bit, to get his hair, because he that was important to him to look right in his business. I always self-conscious about my hair going haywire. So one day I went in, I took his bottle of Wildroot Cream Oil and I poured tons, (Laughter) just plastered my hair to get it down tight. And I went out of the bathroom and I looked and I said, boy, now I look good. (Laughter) So I went to school, I went to the class. I’m sitting there in class and suddenly the guy next to me, he goes argh! (Laughter)  And people around were argh! And I didn’t know what they’re talking about. The teacher says, maybe you want to go to the bathroom and look at things, and I said, sure. So I went and what had happened was that the heat of my head caused this to foam. (Laughter) My hair was bubbling over. I decided I just to have to live with what I’ve got.

 

Neil Simon

RR: I owe a lot to Neil Simon because that was his second play. His first play was “Come Blow Your Horn” and it was Mike Nichols’ first Broadway play because he had done a thing with Elaine May. So there’s a lot of newness going on. Neil was nervous because it was the second play and it was very autobiographical about his relationship with his then wife who died shortly after. For me, I had not done a comedy. I wanted to, I felt I could, but I had not, I’d been playing heavy roles. So what was really interesting about that is when that play came to me, I looked at it and I said, boy, this is what I really want to do. But I didn’t have anything to show, I didn’t have any background to show that I could. I just felt I could. I owe a lot to Mike Nichols in that I put my name out and most of the people were saying, forget it, you know, you’ve got to be kidding. And he had seen me on a television segment where I played a psychopath. I played a psychopathic character. He was very intrigued that I could play this kind of a character convincingly and wanted to do a comedy. So he called me to New York to read. So I flew to New York and I read and he saw that I could do comedy. So he took a chance and Neil Simon took a chance. So I owe them both. So from that point on, Neil and I became kind of close friends over time. We just stayed close to each other and I knew his then wife and so forth. And so I just felt he was a really, really talented guy, that really understood how important laughter was and how to produce, how to provoke laughter. He just had a special skill and I was just lucky to be able to know him and stay friends with him for all those years.

 

Like to be Remembered?

RR: If I were to be remembered, it would be for the work that I’ve done. I think that that’s what I would prefer. If you were to look at all the work that I’ve done over the years, television, theater, film, that I would be remembered for that, for the work that I’ve done. Maybe the work on the environment. I think those two things.

Drawing

RR: Not in the beginning, later on. In the beginning I was just concentrating on being an actor–being the best actor I could be. But once I got established as an actor, I could then bring drawing into the picture as I got ready to direct.

 

Fashion

RR: My character is chic, but we won’t go into detail. Fashion? I don’t think I fit that category.

Bucket List?

Bucket list? No. No, I don’t think that way. I believe in living in the moment, not thinking too far ahead. And particularly about a point when you may no longer exist, I don’t look at that. I’m living in the moment.

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