Robert Redford as a heavy? No star has been more diligent about burnishing his public image.
As benefactor of Sundance, he has assumed the position of an elder statesman/guru of independent film.
His press interviews have been rare; the few that occur are with journalists he has known for many years. Even on a recent Charlie Rose TV interview, he chose his words carefully and was instantly guarded.
It’s some surprise, therefore, that Redford is emerging as something of a bad guy in the new book “Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film,” to be published in two weeks by Simon & Schuster.
The book is written by Peter Biskind, author of 1998’s “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls,” a book about the films and filmmakers of the ’70s.
The early buzz about the Biskind book is that Redford is depicted as a paranoid filmmaker and star who is intellectually insecure and habitually nonconfrontational.
While Harvey Weinstein gets more than his share of jabs in the book — especially on the grounds of interfering with the film editing process and reneging on deals — Redford also is described as someone who wields the scissorhands. Per the book, he once locked a filmmaker out of the editing room on a film Redford was producing.
No word has been heard from the Redford camp about the book. And it was unclear whether he cooperated in any way with the writer.