Burt Reynolds Is Okay

Burt Reynolds sat for a q & a this evening at Key West’s San Carlos Institute folllowing a screening of Jesse Moss‘s Bandit (which isn’t half bad). Good old Burt. His usual, familiar smoothie self — cool and collected, deadpan humor, mellow vibe. But with a beard and tinted shades. The audience was laughing, applauding, in love. Burt’s legs are on the frail, shaky side but he walked out without a cane — good fellow. Here’s an mp3 of the whole thing. The interviewer was Rolling Stone critic David Fear.

Reynolds, who resides in Jupiter, Florida, teaches an acting class every Friday, he said, for students ranging “from ages 18 to 88.” He’s recently acted in a couple of smallish films (I didn’t write the titles down but he described one as kid-friendly with a feel-good vibe) and he’s got another couple of roles coming up.

I was sitting in the front row and raised my hand right away when Fear asked for questions. HE: “If you could do it over again would you still turn down Jack Nicholson‘s role in Terms of Endearment (’83)?” Reynolds: “I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my time, but that was one of the dumbest…no, I’d do it.” He actually may not have said the word “dumbest” (I haven’t transcribed the recording) but the thrust of his response was basically “yeah, I fucked up.”

After the half-hour chat ended Reynolds stood up, leaned over and began speaking to a good-looking little blonde boy (maybe six years old) who was sitting with his family in the second row. “Wow, you’re really gorgeous,” Reynold said, and then cautioned the kid to be careful and use his head. It’s a good thing David Ehrlich wasn’t there. He would have been enormously upset by this, a reminder that sometimes attractiveness really does help in certain ways.

Again, the mp3.

Duplicate of the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am muscle car driven by Burt Reynolds in Smokey And The Bandit.
  • Jeff

    While Williams deserved an Oscar at some point, his victory over Reynolds in Boogie Nights will always stand out as a mistake. Reynolds have a world class all time performance there that holds up 20 years later.

    • Reynolds was great but Forster was even better.

      • Raygo

        Maybe it’s my age, being a 70s kid, but Reynold’s captured something so specific and rueful about that time, in his eyes, it’s an incredible performance.

    • blake011

      Agreed but it didn’t help that he trashed the film constantly and Anderson. I’m not sure why he just threw away his comeback. I also found it amazing he still hates the movie and Anderson. I mean what did Anderson do to him that was so unbelievably terrible.

  • YCo

    I love, love love Burt, even with all his PC in-correctness and pseudo-macho posturing.. Because there was always that self-deprecating and self-aware wink. He was funny and I while imagine he was no saint with the women, there was charm and an underlying vulnerability on-screen. Tarantino needs to stop with his recent infatuation with current A-listers find a project for him.

  • John

    Glad you’re enjoying your Key West adventure. It’s a special place. Come back for Fantasy Fest…..

  • blake011

    As much as I like Burt its fascinating to look through his IMDB page and realize he made a very large amount of awful films.

    • Lou Rawls’ Ego

      There’s not that many great scripts.