American icons will always have Paris. Following in Clint Eastwood’s footsteps last year, Robert Redford was feted in the French capital, receiving Gaul’s most prestigious prize, the Legion of Honor, at a fancy and intimate ceremony Oct. 14 at the Elysee Palace hosted by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Sarkozy’s fulsome compliments overwhelmed Redford, who said he was still trying to “digest” all the praise. He added that the French honor had a special meaning to him.
“I came to Paris in 1957 after I dropped out of college to search for a different kind of education, to find a way to express myself in a different way. I had just enough to make ends meet and I didn’t know the language but I had the chance to meet and become friend with some arts students who were so active and involved in their country’s politics,” said Redford, upon accepting the Legion of Honor.
“In many different ways, that’s where I really got an education.”
The ceremony was attended by directors Costa Gavras and Gaspar Noe; Pathe exec VP Francois Ivernel; and French film org CNC’s topper Veronique Cayla, among others.