TIME TIME 100

Robert Redford Almost Gave Up Acting

When considering who most influenced his life, Robert Redford, who has performed with Hollywood’s finest and mentored independent cinema’s rising stars, cites a “mixed bag” of people who helped him along the way.

“There is power in an idea that you will stay with, against the odds,” he tells TIME Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs in this short interview. Whether it’s called ego or drive or stubbornness or vision, Redford endorses the impulse to “keep pushing through” in spite of the obstacles. Even failure, he notes, can be valuable, even “fun.”

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