I thought my closest brush with fame this week would be nearly taking out James Redford with a boom mic last night.
But then I accidentally touched him inappropriately, and later, cornered his father.
Son Redford presented Everything’s Cool at the special pre-screening last night, giving a glowing account of the film and announcing the family’s plan to protect 2,000 additional acres of land in the beautiful area known as the Sundance Preserve. This is when I accidentally hit him with the mic. It didn’t seem to bother him; perhaps this happens often.
Later, I awkwardly tried to squeeze behind him en route to the cheese, inadvertently touching his buns. This too probably happens a lot, since he didn’t seem to notice.
It looked like the event would be light on the Redfords, ’til Papa Redford himself flew in from L.A. just in time for the post-screening gala event. Someone promptly shattered a wine glass at his feet.
Unshaken, the Sundance Kid continued to mix and mingle, talking climate change and open space and filmmaking — and looking shockingly attractive for 70.
Folks that looked important were milling around him, but I figured as long as I didn’t drop wine on him or touch his butt, I could totally swing saying hello.
But what after that?
“So, uh, Mr. Redford, are you carbon neutral? ‘Cause that’s hott.”
“I can’t remember if I’ve seen any of your films, but my mom says you were way sexy back in the day.”
Wait, this is easy: global warming. Robert Redford hates global warming.
So I snagged a few minutes of his time:
Why did you decide to have this special event with Everything’s Cool?
Well, first of all, we have our investor’s circle here, we have our labs here, and we’re just starting our Sundance Preserve, which is the umbrella organization that pulls all these things together — the environment, conservation, and commerce. And at the center of that is going to be a conference that brings people with new ideas about a sustainable future. So all of this comes together here. It’s a place that’s active — people do things here — or a place where people witness things being created. So the emphasis is environmental preservation of the land around us. We bring artists in, we give the artists a place to work, and then let the public in so they can witness the creative process.
Did you get to see the film tonight?
No, I just got in. I’m in pre-production; I’m starting a film in Los Angeles, so I had to leave the rehearsal.
What do you think is the hope for getting it out to the public?
Well, you’ve got Al Gore’s film, and I’ve been involved in global warming now for about 20 years, and we’ve done a lot of smaller things. And now it’s at a tipping point, where the facts can’t be denied. We want to now follow that with a wave of mixed support. You get energy companies, you get industry, you get environmentalists, you get scientists, coming together. One thing is the awareness, but the more important thing is, what are you going to do? There are so many wonderful, exciting things to do about it — new technologies, new jobs — built around renewable energies rather than non-renewable energies like oil and gas. It’s time to move on from that, particularly since we’re so dependent upon foreign imports from unstable governments.
As a filmmaker, you’re coming at it from that perspective. What is it that film can do for the climate-change movement?
Film tells the story, and the story has to be told. Film animates the words. People have to see. They have to see the evidence. Not that they’re not feeling it in their own back yards, but film is a great bridge. And who better to use than our filmmakers?
So there you have it. “Bob” hates global warming, I didn’t drop wine on him or touch his behind (sorry mom), and he puts on a good party.