Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Robert Redford on Paul Newman

REDFORD: 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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