Robert Redford, honored at Monday night’s AARP star studded Movies for Grown Ups dinner in Hollywood, talked to our Leah Sydney exclusively. Redford, one of the good guys, continues to be the most vocal celebrity on the subject of the environment. Deeply critical of the last Bush administration, Redford told Sydney that improvements have been made, but with caveats. “It’s already been treated poorly, nothing worse than in the eight years before Obama, so he has a pretty big hole to dig out of. What concerns me, as far as we know it’s the only planet we’ve got-and we better treat it as our home, and we all belong on it. I think we’re abusing it in the interest of short term profits and money and the corporations that are not interested, like mining, gas and timber and oil companies are interested in profits rather than sustainability, that’s why I’m an environmentalist.”
Redford also addressed the crowd (see Larry Hagman story) including Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner, and a host of stars. He was clear about one thing. Even at age 74, he is not about to entire into retirement.
“The AARP is about retiring, but I’m not about to retire. There is just too much work to do.”
Redford then went on to talk about his “Morphing from a painter to an actor-along the way I had a broader focus about my country and realized that America is more complex, complicated and multi layered. I wanted to tell that story. As a kid growing up I was given one level, a propagandized, sloganeering level. I wanted to tell the story of America that I love and grew up with-warts and all. The honor and accolades are always welcome and I’m grateful but it’s always been about the work and the climb up the mountain. Success and accolades are fleeting but the work remains. That’s the joy. You can only keep trying and do the best you can do.”
Redford’s next film that he director, “The Conspirator,” a very cool historical drama starring Robin Wright and James McEvoy–great performances–about the Lincoln assassination–opens on April 15th.