Timothy Hutton Recalls Getting Ignored by Robert Redford on 'Ordinary People': I Felt "Very Isolated"

The actor credits Redford's method with helping him to win an Oscar. Of his new show, 'American Crime,' he says creator John Ridley keeps him and the cast in the dark about what's ahead for their characters: It was "challenging at first, but then became kind of interesting."

American Crime star Timothy Hutton says he is fortunate to work on a show founded on brilliant writing, which made him more trusting as he went into the filming process without knowing much about what was ahead for his character.

Of creator John Ridley’s process, Hutton says, "We didn’t know anything about the future episodes. We were kept in the dark about it. He wanted us to just live in the moment of the day of the character, which was challenging at first, but then became kind of interesting."

Nothing was revealed to the actors about their character, either, Hutton said during The Hollywood Reporter’s Television Drama Actor Roundtable discussion: "To play a character where you don’t know anything about their past — no backstory, no exposition — was really interesting to me."

The actor is also one of the youngest Oscar winners in history, having taken home the best actor award at the age of 20 for his lead role in Ordinary People.

"That was an incredible book, and an incredible role," he says, again stressing the importance of the writing as the foundation for worthy work.

He recounts feeling "very isolated throughout the experience" of shooting the film, later finding out that director Robert Redford told everyone to stay away from him, leaving him ostracized and unsupported in a spiral of his own worry, just like his character.

The actor joined Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), David Oyelowo (Nightingale), Justin Theroux (The Leftovers), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan) and Clive Owen (The Knick) for the Roundtable, where some the year's hottest television actors discussed their current roles and dramatic process.

The full Drama Actor Roundtable aired on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 11 a.m. EST on Sundance TV. Tune in this Sunday for the next episode.

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