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Robert Redford pulled the curtain on his decades-spanning career this past weekend with the release of David Lowery’s The Old Man & the Gun, a film the actor claimed would be his last. The director revealed that the recent retiree sent him David Grann’s article of the same title in the New Yorker chronicling Forrest Tucker, a career criminal and prison escape artist, which led him to script his latest entry.
“It’s a really great true story. It’s one of those stories that’s too good to be true, yet it is,” Lowery told The Hollywood Reporter In Studio. “The idea of telling this particularly story with [Redford] was too good to pass up in its own right.”
Lowery admitted that although he took some liberties with the source material, it was most important to stick close to the spirit of the original story and to the character himself.
“Forrest Tucker, he was a fellow who really self-mythologized,” Lowery continued. “This is a guy who saw himself as a movie version of a bank robber instead of a real bank robber. And so what I thought was, ‘Why not just tell the story that he would’ve wanted to see?’”
The crime-comedy linked Redford with fellow Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek for the first time as she plays his love interest, Jewel— a fictional culmination of Tucker’s wives. The actress attributed their onscreen chemistry to the film being shot in sequence, their mutual admiration for horse riding and her character’s inherent disposition.
“I always thought that Jewel gave him a safe place to fall, but he just didn’t stay down. He just had that itch that he had to scratch. It was too quiet on the farm for him,” said Spacek.
Lowery remained optimistic that he could reunite the duo for a future project and that Redford might be able to walk back his previous statement regarding his retirement.
“I would love to write another continuing adventure of Bob and Sissy. [I’d like to] keep that trend going because I think this movie is only like 90 minutes. We could use a couple more hours of that in our lives.”
Watch the video above to hear Spacek reveal the character she’d most like to revisit in her film career, Lowery discuss how he found the film’s rhythm and more.
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