Robert Redford Announces He’s Retiring from Acting at 81 — But Admits He’ll ‘Never Say Never’

The Sundance Kid intends to enjoy his sunset years.

Robert Redford, 81, is retiring from acting, the Oscar winner exclusively revealed to Entertainment Weekly. His final project is The Old Man & the Gun, which comes out on Sept. 28.

“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21,” Redford explained to EW. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s enough.’ And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”

He may not leave Hollywood entirely. When EW asked him if he would still direct films, he said, “We’ll see about that.”

Redford made his Broadway debut in 1959 in Tall Story and hit the small screen with various roles in 1960. In the illustrious career that has followed, Redford has earned two Oscars, six Golden Globes, and one BAFTA, among several other accolades. He has starred in dozens of films, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidThe StingThe Great GatsbyAll the President’s Men, and Out of Africa. He has directed critically acclaimed movies like A River Runs Through It and Ordinary People, and he founded the Sundance Institute.

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Speaking with EW, Redford reflected on The Old Man & the Gun, which also stars Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, and Tom Waits. His last role finds the actor playing Forrest Tucker, which EW describes as a “real-life career criminal in love with his self-appointed job of robbing banks and breaking out of prison.”

“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” Redford told the outlet. “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?”

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Last year, Jane Fonda, 80, dished about sharing romantic scenes with her longtime collaborator, with whom she starred with 1967’s Barefoot in the Park and 2017’s Our Souls at Night. “In Barefoot in the Park, I couldn’t keep my hands off of him,” Fonda said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I was constantly forcing myself on him. In Our Souls at Night, the dynamic of my character to his character was somewhat similar. I just love the fact that these films bookend our careers.”

“I live for sex scenes!” she added. “He’s a great kisser. It was fun to kiss him in my 20s and then to kiss him again in my almost 80s.”

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