In an interview with AARP The Magazine for its March/April cover story, actor Robert Redford opens up about life with his younger wife, his aging and the loss of his baby when he was young.
With his second wife, younger than himself, Robert Redford says he has a new perspective on life.
“She’s a very special person,” Redford says of his current wife. “She’s younger than I am, and European, which I like, so that’s a whole new life.”
The 74-year-old actor and director has been married for two years to Sibylle Szaggars, a 51-year old German-born artist.
Redford has always loved nature. Age doesn’t stop him from engaging in his favorite activities.
“I ride horses, ski, play pretty hard tennis. I still have energy. When that starts to shut down, I might start to think about age,” he says. “When you get older, you learn certain life lessons. You apply that wisdom, and suddenly you say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a new lease on this thing. So let’s go.’”
Usually discrete to the media, Redford also talks about the death of his baby Scott in 1959 due to sudden infant death syndrome, when he was only 5 months old, and his mother’s death, aged 40, when he was a teenager.
“It was really hard,” Redford says on losing a child. “We were very young. I had my first theater job, which didn’t pay much. We didn’t know anything about SIDS, so the only thing you think is that you’ve done something wrong. As a parent, you tend to blame yourself. That creates a scar that probably never completely heals.”
The actor still has projects for the future as a filmmaker and actor. On being a celebrity and managing to keep a low profile, he says: “When I got into the business, I had this naive idea that I’d let my work speak for me. I just was never interested in talking about myself,” he tells AARP. “However, we’re in such a different time and celebrity is so much in the mainstream. I thought, ‘I might as well enter this zone, but go a toe at a time.’”
“I dealt with it the way I wanted to,” Redford adds. “I felt that if you were fortunate enough to have success, you should shadowbox with it but never embrace it, because it has a demon side.”
Image source: AARP