Robert Redford on Heading into Retirement and His Final Role: 'Never Say Never'

No, legendary screen actor Robert Redford will not be stepping in as the next James Bond, but he did borrow a line from the franchise when discussing his forthcoming retirement.

"Never say never," Redford told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview, "but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I’ll] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21."

And what's the "this" he's referring to? Redford has completed filming on the 2018 biopic The Old Man & The Gun, and, it seems, he's set on this being his final role.

The 81-year-old actor shared how he came to this conclusion, saying, "I thought, 'Well, that's enough.' And why not go out with something that's very upbeat and positive?"

The Old Man & the Gun is the story of real-life criminal Forrest Tucker (Redford), who in 1979 at the age of 70, escaped from San Quentin State Prison. And that wasn't even his first jailbreak; he also escaped from Alcatraz, but the former is his most famous.

Once on the outside, he went back to what he was good at: robbing banks. According to the film's synopsis, the unprecedented string of heists "confounded authorities and enchanted the public."

In the trailer for the film, Tucker is chatting with a potential love interest, named Jewel (Sissy Spacek). She asks him what he does for a living, and he replies, "Well, that's a secret. Because if I told you, you probably wouldn't want to see me again."

Her unfazed response reveals that he may have met his match: "Who said I was going to see you again?"

You can see here how the rest of the story unfolds:

The film dramatizes a last hoorah for a man in his senior years, and while Tucker and Redford chose different career paths, this seems like an appropriate role for the actor to end on.

Redford's first on-screen role was in the 1960 TV series Maverick. Some of his most memorable performances include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), The Way We Were (1973), The Natural (1984), and Indecent Proposal (1993). More recently, we saw Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

And, of course, he's been busy off-screen with the Sundance Film Festival, which he founded in 1978.

The Old Man & the Gun premieres on September 28, and also stars Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake) and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman).

Do you have a favorite Robert Redford role?