Paul Newman’s brutally honest confession about his relationship with Robert Redford

Although the real-life outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were close, actor Paul Newman admitted that he harbored some grudges against the young Robert Redford throughout the period of filming.

A true testament to their acting prowess, Redford as Harry Longabaugh, aka “Sundance Kid,” and Newman as Robert LeRoy Parker, aka “Butch Cassidy,” were convincing in their portrayals of the Wild West friends, notorious criminals who were eluding the law after a string of bank and train robberies.

The 1969 film, which was based on the actual outlaws, won four Oscars and is still regarded as one of the best Westerns ever produced. Four years later, in The Sting (1973), another caper movie starring two similarly attractive heartthrobs, the stars reunited.

Legends in their own right, Newman and Redford worked their magic when they were together. However, have you ever wondered how Hollywood’s A-listers get along away from the camera?

Robert Redford (left) as Sundance Kid and Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in the 1969 western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

When he was 44 years old, Newman, who portrayed Butch, admitted that he had been interested in the 33-year-old Redford’s 33-year-old character.

In a BBC Talking Pictures interview, Newman noted, “We have a lot of fun together, and we bounce off each other really well.” I would have wanted to play Sundance, he continued. With that cooled-out quality, I feel a little more at ease. It must be the simpler part, I suppose.

Redford was a budding star who won the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year in 1965 for his work with Natalie Wood in the movie Inside Daisy Clover.

After appearing in movies like Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) with Elizabeth Taylor, Newman had already achieved superstardom.

Redford was cast opposite Newman, who was winning acting and directing accolades, in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid after Steve McQueen turned down a role in the film. McQueen also declined parts in Dirty Harry, The French Connection, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

The two celebrities weren’t truly friends at the time, according to Newman’s memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir,” the BBC reports.

You can’t count on Redford, Newman remarked. You can never be certain he will show up. That is absolutely impolite.

Their differences in working styles, according to Newman’s youngest daughter Claire Newman Soderlund, whom he fathered with his second wife Joanne Woodward, may have contributed to their conflicts.

My father was a stickler for timing, and Bob never really excelled at it, she added. Dad has a lot of work to do. Because Bob was more of a free spirit and he wanted to be good and successful, he worked really hard at it.

When Newman passed away from lung cancer in 2008, Redford, then 86, reflected about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in an interview with ABC News. “It was just that connection of playing those characters and the fun of it that really began the relationship,” he said. “And then once the movie started, once we moved on, we then discovered other similarities that just multiplied over time, a common ground that we both had between us, interests and so on, and differences,” the author continued.

Newman and Redford looked into possibilities to collaborate on a third movie after portraying renowned outlaws and later thieves in The Sting, but it never materialized.

In Bill Bryson’s 1998 book of the same name, A Walk in the Woods, which was adapted into a 2015 movie, it almost happened. The plot of this buddy movie centers on two elderly guys who are out of shape and want to hike the challenging Appalachian Trail.

In 2005, Redford, who both appeared in and produced the movie, chose this script with his close friend Newman in mind.

Redford stated, “It started with Paul, because Paul and I had been looking for a third film to do together, in a 2015 interview with Yahoo. It had been a long time, and I was still unable to locate it. I immediately thought of Paul when I read this novel.

Redford, who was 79 at the time of the interview, claimed that he sent the book to Newman, who later cast Nick Nolte in the part because he wasn’t sure he could do it physically.

Since they initially worked together on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the relationship between Newman and Redford, two highly regarded performers, has significantly deepened.

The performers, who lived in Connecticut just a mile apart and started to act like brothers, are also close with their families.

Redford stated, “We both got to know each other’s flaws pretty well,” after his friend passed away. Of course, I was superior to him in that regard. Knowing one other’s weaknesses, we just exploited them and tried to fool one another. We would strive to surprise each other, and it was so incredibly entertaining that it practically formed its own scenario.

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 06: Actors Paul Newman (L) and Robert Redford attend the Sundance Institute 25th Anniversary celebration at Metropolitan Pavilion November 06, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Paul loves to laugh and enjoy himself, and he especially enjoys laughing at his own jokes, some of which are quite terrible, the speaker continued. Because of how much he enjoyed them, you eventually stopped understanding the joke and started laughing along with him.

Playing the enduring couple, Paul Newman and Robert Redford had such a great chemistry! Let us know what you think of their on-screen friendship and real-life romance!

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