Redford: Radicalism Not 'Romanticized' in New Film

Director and star of "The Company You Keep" responds to critiques of his new political thriller.
3:45 | 04/02/13

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Transcript for Redford: Radicalism Not 'Romanticized' in New Film
What a spectacular career robert redford has had. Won just about every award in hollywood and in his new film "the company you keep" the oscar winning director also stars as a FORMER '60s RADICAL WHOSE QUIET Life underground is exposed by a hungry young journalist played BY shia LaBoeuf. Take a look. Sir, mr. Grant, look, I'm just trying to put pieces together. Listen, I didn't take the case because I'm a single parent with a practice. Too much on my plate. If I could have helped I would. Are you sympathetic to their cause? Do you agree with their tactics. Clearly you have an agenda. I don't have time for this. I don't care for either side. Does that make you fair and balanced? It's a funny thing, 30 years ago, a smart guy like you probably would have been involved with the movement yourself. Joined now by robert redford. Thank you very much for coming in. My wife and I watched the movie over the weekend. Completely engrossing. And it seems to me at least that you packed a lot of your passions into a single movie. Political commitment, love and family life, journalism, I just wondered where did the spark come from on this one? Well, first of all, that's a great descriptn. You ought to get on the marketing tease. When I was younger, I was very much aware of the movement. I was more than sympathetic, i was probably empathetic because I believed it was time for a change. Whether that change was a revolution or not, I don't know but I was very much for what was going on. Even when you read about bombing. All of it. I that it was extreme and i guess movements have to be extreme to some degree. Years later I thought this is an interesting story but we're too close to it and I thought, when this gets -- when we get some distance from this so that we can look back on it as a piece of america history then I might be interested and now that's the time. So that's why I decided to make it now. Do you come out of the experience with the same kinds of empathy that you had going in? Yeah, I've bled a little for those who look back and realize what they did in their youth when they were full of passion and intensity, that subsides over time but the only thing that sticks is the thrill of that moment, the thrill of that movement when they were committing all of themselves to something they believed in. I've noticed already some critics have come out and said that you're romanticizing radicalism. How do you respond to that? Well, that's not so. It's not romanticizing, it's looking at it with a kind of historical perspective because there's a lot of resentment in there, you know, for the movement. What a cast you put together to bring it to life. shia LaBoeuf. Julie christie. Films like this don't get the budget they used to so you're forced into an independent category so therefore there's not a lot to work with and so the fact that all these people who I consider colleagues and they're good actors came on board because they believed in the project or they thought there was a good role, I mean i was very honored. It's quite a cast. The little girl who plays your daughter, jackie ivan co-the singer, what a remarkable performer. I'm casting the little girl sitting in a hotel room. Four nights before we're going to film. And it's not cast. I'm really depressed. I'm surfing the tv and suddenly this face comes on, this angelic face, beautiful angelic face. ♪ Each day ♪ I get the casting agent and say find this person. I don't know where she is. She won the lottery. She won the lottery. Shows up three days later. She was so real and so lovely, well, you'll see when she comes on. That was a joy. One of those wonderful risks that works. Thanks a lot for coming in.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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