Transcript: Robert Redford Says Goodbye to Newman

I mean, that's, I think, what hooked us up. Respect for privacy, personal privacy, that's another common connection. Family, that Paul's concern and his commitment to his family is huge.


REDFORD: The thing that moved along is that Paul really likes to have fun and he loves to laugh and he really especially loves to laugh at his own jokes, and some of them are just really awful.

So the fact that he enjoyed them so much, you forget about the joke and you'd start to laugh with him because you're so caught up in his enjoyment of them.

Then he's just a man who really loves fun. Well, I guess that's the kid in you. You know, I feel the same way. So we played these tricks on each other.

And we were at a restaurant once and the idea was you would never acknowledge the trick that was played on you. So we were at a restaurant once in California. The waiter came up to me at the table and he says, "Oh, Mr. Redford," he says, "Mr. Newman, Mr. Newman's in the next room."

I said, "So?" I said, "Can't you see I'm busy?" The guy was so completely shattered. And when I walked out of the restaurant, this woman charges up to me and starts shaking my hand. She seemed like a crazed old bird, and she was shaking my hand.

And I thought, oh, she's -- this critic that had savaged both of us was apologizing and saying, "You must hate me." And I thought, well, this is Newman, he's put this person up to it, and it was the real person.

There were a lot of times we played these gags on each other and they were great fun. And one of them was that he used to -- when he went into racing, he just drove me crazy talking about racing, because he was obsessed with it, and, obviously, great at it -- by the way, great at it.

And I said, "Geez, can't we talk about something else?" He said, "Well, I want to take you up to the track and we'll do this and we'll do that." So for his 50th birthday, I happened [to be], in Connecticut, to find a trashed Porsche and it was just totally demolished and I had them wrap it up and leave it on his kitchen back step, wrapped in paper with a ribbon around it, that said "Happy 50th."

And so a couple weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, and then I went up to my house a couple weeks later and walked in the living room and there was this gigantic box in the living room, and it was so heavy you couldn't lift it.

In fact, it was so heavy, it had created an imprint on the floor, and this was a rented house. Well, by the time I crobarred it out, there was just this block of metal that had been taken down.

The [towing service] came and took it away ,and they said, "This is great." I said, "OK, look, hang on." And I called a friend of mine who was a sculptor in Westport.

I said, "If I give you some material, can you create a sculpture." He said, "That's great, absolutely." So these guys come take the thing over to her, and she did a sculpture. I said, "Make it a garden sculpture."

So she did. Had the towing guys take it to Newman's garden and just plump it there. Now, to this day, neither of us had ever spoken about that, never even -- that was -- there were many other situations like that, but that was ...

QUESTION: No one ever says "gotcha?"

REDFORD: No, no. That would diminish it. No. The idea was you just never acknowledged it.

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