By Kaye Foley
Legendary actor Burt Reynolds has been working in Hollywood for nearly six decades. At 81, he still knows how to command a scene on the silver screen. His latest film, “Dog Years,” the tale of an aging movie star, is debuting at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Reynolds sat down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric to talk about his new film, its parallels to his own life and career, the roles he regrets turning down and his friendship with President Trump.
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Reynolds plays Vic Edwards, an actor whose story is similar to Reynolds’ own life and career, from his choice in movie roles to his reputation as a ladies’ man. He said it’s right on the money showing the difficulties of aging in Hollywood.
“I am wrestling with that,” he said. “But it must be good because I’m getting all kinds of offers. I think they like the struggling actor. He works harder.”
Reynolds’ famous 1972 nude centerfold photo in Cosmopolitan magazine makes an appearance in the movie. At the time, there was some backlash to the photo, but all 1.5 million copies of the magazine were sold. Still, Reynolds told Couric he regrets it.
“I look back on it and shudder,” Reynolds said. “What an ass … an egomaniac would do something like that.”
Reynolds joked that he’s probably done about 50 good movies and 50 bad ones, but of all his films, his favorite is “Smokey and the Bandit.”
“There was Sally, who I hadn’t met before. I fell in like, and I fell in love,” Reynolds said of his “Smokey and the Bandit” co-star and former flame, Sally Field.
Over the course of his long career, Reynolds turned down some iconic roles, including James Bond and Han Solo.
“I would have done a good job,” Reynolds told Couric about the Bond role, saying that missed opportunity hurts the most.
Reynolds spoke with Couric about some of his past loves, including his ex-wife, Loni Anderson, Dinah Shore and Field.
“I screwed it up, like I did everything else,” Reynolds said of his relationship with Field, the one he says got away. “I should have stayed with her. She was terrific. She had everything — talent, sweet, two great kids. She was wonderful.”
Reynolds also spoke with Couric about President Trump and the 2016 election. He’s friendly with both Trump and Hillary Clinton, so he found it difficult when it came time to vote. Although Reynolds said he thinks Clinton would have been a good president, he voted for Trump.
“It was real close, but I voted for Trump,” Reynolds said. “I thought that he would grow with the job and get better. And I pray that I’m right.”
“He’s done a couple of good things and he’s done a couple of bad things. We have to get rid of the bad things … he has to realize it’s not about ego.”
Reynolds told Couric that he has no plans to retire.
“I’m going to keep working until they shoot me and take me off and bury me,” he joked. “And I hope they film it.”