Robert Redford is ready to step away from the silver screen after a 58-year career.
The Academy Award winner told Entertainment Weekly that his upcoming movie with Casey Affleck, “The Old Man & the Gun,” will be his last.
“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,” Redford, 81, told EW. “I thought, Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”
“The Old Man & the Gun,” which is based on a true story, stars Redford as Forrest Tucker, a lifelong criminal who kept sticking up banks, going to jail, and then escaping prison until he was 79. Affleck plays John Hunt, a police detective who attempted to unravel the mystery of the “Over-the-Hill Gang,” a group of elderly bank robbers led by Tucker who were suspected of robbing close to 60 banks in a single year in Oklahoma and Texas, and several more in nearby states, according to The New Yorker.
Redford previously discussed retirement in a 2016 interview with his grandson, saying that he was “getting tired of acting,” and that after he finished “Old Man” and “Our Souls at Night,” which was released in 2017, he would focus on directing.
Redford told EW that the story and framework of “Old Man” helped lead him to his retirement decision.
“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” Redford said. “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?”
“Old Man,” which hits theaters Sept. 28, reunites Redford with director David Lowery, who worked with Redford on “Pete’s Dragon” in 2016. “Old Man” also marks the third collaboration between Lowery and Affleck, following “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” in 2013 and “A Ghost Story” in 2017.
In a July 2017 interview with Boston.com, Lowery said watching Redford and Affleck together on set and onscreen was “a true joy.”
“When they finally did a scene together I realized they both get that gleam in their eyes,” Lowery said. “They both get that bemused look — I don’t know what it is, but it’s an electric charge that’s equal parts bemusement and excitement when it comes to performing a scene or engaging with the material. . . . [‘The Old Man & the Gun’ is] not a melancholy movie like ‘A Ghost Story’ or ‘Pete’s Dragon.’ It’s fun and very lighthearted. It’s great seeing these two actors, who I love so much, spend time smiling.”
Kevin Slane can be reached at email@example.com.