Monthly Inspiration: Robert Redford

I was talking with a group of people recently about our inspirations. Everyone agreed upon most of the usual suspects (Tarantino, Scorsese, Kubrik, etc), but somebody in the group brought up Robert Redford (imdb.com). It took me a minute to scan through everything he’s done, and after that minute, I had to agree.

redford

5195312243a700a880293f1ca9cf0baf4bb7573Redford is an actor, director, and producer. I grew up watching him in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (imdb.com), Jeremiah Johnson (imdb.com), and The Sting (imdb.com); and the direction in The Horse Whisperer (imdb.com) and The Legend of Bagger Vance (imdb.com) are truly stunning. But, with all his 54 years of experience in this industry, what I find most inspirational is his attitude.

robert_redford_on_twitter_and_50_years_in_the_bizA few years ago I saw him speak at the San Francisco International Film Festival and it was one of the turning points in my career. Up to that point I had wanted to move into the camera department, but hadn’t committed to it yet. Is openness about his own career and about following your true passions is a big reason why I made the leap.

 

628x471The other reason seeing him speak was so amazing was because of his reaction to the students in the audience. I’m a big proponent to the “sharing knowledge” trend that is happening within the industry now; and Redford was more than happy to answer questions from up-and-coming filmmakers. While many well known actors and directors may scoff at the newbies, his attitude was right on track to propel people (such as myself) into a career in film.

 

Butch-Cassidy-and-the-Sundance-Kidmovie21193Robert Redford’s acting career spans over 5 decades, and every genre and style you can think of. He’s one of the most versatile actors I can think of. His acting credentials are littered with some of the biggest films of every flavor. Whether if it’s westerns (Jeremiah Johnson, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), sports (The Natural (imdb.com)), war drama (A Bridge Too Far (imdb.com)), or even romance (Up Close and Personal (imdb.com)) Redford constantly delivers solid performances.

river_runs_through_it__a_v2ordinary_people_us1shWhile his directing career isn’t as long as his acting career, it’s just as awe inspiring. He’s worked with some of the best actors of all time, on some of the most life altering films. He started with Ordinary People (imdb.com) in 1980, and it scored him Best Director at the 81′ Oscars. From there he went on to work with Brad Pitt (imdb.com) on A River Runs Through It (imdb.com) in 1992. He’s worked with Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep (Lions for Lambs) (imdb.com); Matt Damon, Will Smith, and Charlize Theron (The Legend of Bagger Vance); and with Shia LaBeouf (The Company You Keep)(imdb.com). His directorial repertoire is just as diverse as his acting, and winning best director your first time out is nothing short of an inspiration.

The Legend of Bagger Vancejeremiah_johnson_ver1_xlgIt might be needless to say, but I’m a big fan of Robert Redford. But, my enjoyment of him as an actor and director goes beyond just fandom. I remember watching The Legend of Bagger Vance over and over in high school; and it was the first film that I looked at shot-for-shot in film school. The way he tells stories is riveting and his acting skill is legendary, combined with his openness and positive attitude to newbies in the business is what makes him an inspiration for me. I can only hope to have half the career he has.

7 Comments
  • Monica Way
    Reply

    Robert has always been important to me. Besides his great looks. He inspired me to become an actor.
    I started acting at 50!.After my first important gig as a stay at home mom! Its never to late.
    Roberts eyes give away his seriousness and witty and deep personality that is who he is and how
    he lives.
    My dream is to go to SUNDANCE. Ive always wanted to meet Robert, perhaps I will and when I do
    I will shake his hand and say “Thank you” for loving and living what you do. And for sharing all you
    do with us!
    Monica Way

    July 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm
  • Thomas Voelker
    Reply

    You didn’t even mention his involvement with the environement, American Indian, Sundance Institute, political activist, climate change, etc.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm
  • Gloria L. Pierce
    Reply

    Agreed, his attitude and outlook on what is truly important has and still is what makes Robert Redford still my favorite person – and that is before we even talk about his looks.

    July 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm
  • Robert besides being an excellent actor, he is interested in making our world a better place. The world could use more people like Robert Redford.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm
  • Mr. Redford has not only portrayed in charactor as an great advosary for the life of our horses, but has greatly demonstrated the desire to help in the fight that many have been fighting for a very long while for the preservation of this part of this countrys’ heritage. He understands what the horse symbolizes in the American history and the humanity reasons for stopping the slaughter of this majectic gift given creature. Let’s welcome Mr. Redford aboard! We are proud and indebted to the people of this stature that stands in plight for the battle we fight.

    July 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm
  • Susan Chambers
    Reply

    Robert Redford is amazing… I Love the Sundance Channel, the movies are always Fabulous and I love that Robert gave so many people in the Entertainment field the opportunity to show their talents and skills through the Sundance Channel. What a guy… absolutely one of my favorite Actor’s and I hope to see many, many more of his works!

    July 30, 2013 at 3:15 am
  • suzie saltuel
    Reply

    All these years,Robert Redford has been an inspiration to me for many reasons…but most of all,he takes you into where he wants you to be! He gas also inspired me to do more with helping out the environment! Thankyou, Robert Redford! You’ll always be my favorite hero!

    July 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

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