Paul Newman envied Robert Redford on screen, but in real life, they had different bond

Amid the camaraderie of Hollywood’s legendary figures, Paul Newman disclosed his mixed sentiments toward a youthful Robert Redford during the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Despite their acclaimed portrayals of the infamous outlaws, Newman revealed a certain rivalry with the rising star, expressing a preference for Redford’s character, Sundance.

In an interview with BBC’s Talking Pictures, Newman confessed, “We have a lot of fun together, we bounce off each other real well… I would have preferred to have played Sundance.”

At the time of filming, Redford, recognized for his Golden Globe-winning performance in Inside Daisy Clover, was establishing himself as a prominent actor, while Newman had already attained superstar status.

The collaboration between Newman and Redford stemmed from Steve McQueen’s rejection of a role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, leading to Redford’s casting alongside Newman. Despite their professional synergy on-screen, their off-screen relationship was reportedly strained, with Newman expressing frustration over Redford’s lack of punctuality.

Newman’s daughter, Claire Newman Soderlund, attributed their tensions to their divergent work ethics, highlighting her father’s meticulousness contrasted with Redford’s more relaxed approach.

However, over time, their connection deepened, with Redford reflecting on the camaraderie forged during the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Despite Newman’s passing in 2008, their friendship endured, with Redford reminiscing about their shared experiences and mutual respect.

Their on-screen chemistry and real-life camaraderie captivated audiences, leaving an indelible mark on cinema history. While their collaboration extended beyond Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to The Sting, their plans for further joint projects, including A Walk in the Woods, did not materialize.

Despite the passage of time, the bond between Newman and Redford remained unbreakable, transcending the confines of Hollywood to become a cherished friendship. Their enduring legacy continues to be celebrated by fans worldwide, reflecting the timeless appeal of their cinematic partnership.