What was it like working with so many exceptional actors?

I’m an actor at heart.  That’s how I started, and casting is key for me.  I like to get really involved in it.  I respect craft. I respect actors that have been in the theater and developed skills through stagecraft. You can give them one moment and they know where to go and what to do. They try different things, create different options for you to play with. There are character actors that just make you breathe a sigh of relief. You’re on a tight schedule, you’re on a tight budget, you don’t have time to play around.  You sure want somebody to come in with their character prepared. All of our cast in The Conspirator had that quality. It was truly a pleasure.

Robert Redford

About Robert Redford

Director Robert Redford offers his insight into the talent, themes, and making of The Conspirator, now in theaters (April 15).
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14 Responses to What was it like working with so many exceptional actors?

  1. kim says:

    Just wondering why the talented actor, Johnny Simmons, who plays Mary Surratt’s son, is not listed on the marquee.

  2. Angela Hinton says:

    Casting Robin Wright as Mary Surratt was an absolute stroke of genius. Her performance was wonderfully nuanced. Strong and quiet. It was truly fantastic.

    • Gregory Wright says:

      From the trailer I’ve seen…my sentiments exactly. Robin Wright was born to portray Mary Surratt.

    • King says:

      I have been watching the finmilg at Fort Pulaski this past week and I can tell you Robert Redford is an incredible director (and still pretty hot looking) and the script closely follows the events surronding Mary Surratt’s trial and execution. For those that doubt this and that Mary Surratt was indeed innocent please educate yourself. An excellent place to start is the book Manhunt by James Swanson, a well written and factually correct hour by hour account of the 12 day chase for Lincoln’s killer.

  3. Tom Tye says:

    Just saw the movie at a special showing at Creighton University in Omaha. Excellent film. Thank you for producing and support this project. I also appreciate what Joe Rickets and the American Film Company are trying to do with making historically accurate films. I look forward to their next several projects. By the way, our all time family favorite — The Milagro Beanfield War! Take care, Tom

  4. LongHairedSfFan says:

    Saw the movie tonight in Boston. Excellent film, very well done.

  5. Gregory Wright says:

    The manhunt for John Wilkes Booth and David Herold would make a great film in its own right. Numerous stories and sub-plots unfolded over the 12 days from the moment Booth assassinated Lincoln to Booth’s fatal demise at the Garrett Farm.

    • Laurie Verge says:

      James Swanson’s riveting book, Manhunt, has been set for an HBO production, I believe. It would be an excellent follow-up to The Conspirator.

      BTW: For anyone interested, Surratt House Museum has been doing narrated bus tours over the escape route of Booth and Herold since 1977. There is a six-month waiting list to get on available tours. Check out http://www.surratt.org for further details, if interested.

      • Romu says:

        “redford sure as hell ain’t no dominik?”You’re nuts. Redford is a faistatnc director save for his last movie (I’m told). Dude did “Ordinary People” and “Quiz Show,” both awesome movies. Dominik is a very good director, but he hasn’t proven himself to be a better filmmaker than Redford. To suggest otherwise is a little ridiculous.

  6. Michael Pyle says:

    I agree with the previous post. The Boston Corbett story alone would be eye opening to most Americans. Samuel Mudd is another subplot that’s fascinating. Great choice for a film. Not an international story of intrigue, but a good ‘ole down home all-American murder mystery. After ” A river runs through it”, everything Redford ever does is going to get a look from me.

    • Suecia says:

      Having run with some civil war historians, who beveile that it was Lincoln’s Secretary of War who plotted Lincoln’s assasination and was the master mind not John Wilkes Boothe. They beveile, as do I they manipulated all the events including making sure Surratt’s son escaped conveniently while his mother Mary hung along side the other so called conspirators. The force of which the trial, hanging of a woman as well the very well planned and executed Reconstruction for the south all had the same sting and smell of a yankee rat. My grandmother, who died at 104 had many stories of growing up in the south post reconstruction and how it affected them for years. I beveile the Lincoln Assasination was the very first wag of the tail manufactured, manipulated and fully benefited by Lincoln’s staff, cabinet and others rich yankee men in power who wanted the south to suffer badly.

  7. Happy Moyer says:

    We saw the movie over the weekend. It is great! The story flowed and kept us interested. The actors are all great but especially Kevin Kline, Robin Wright, and James McElvoy.
    Thanks for bringing such a fascinating story to us.

  8. history detective says:

    My husband and I saw this movie and could not stop talking about it on the way home!!! What makes an excellent movie? The desire to advance the reseach of the topic and discovering there are still more questions to be answered!! Thank You Mr. Redford for educating us with this flawless film. WE APPLAUD YOU!!!!!!! The acting was true to the story line, emotional!!!

  9. Diana Paul says:

    Robert Redford, as a director, has focused on the tragic deceptions people commit in order to save themselves. He has chosen his cast wisely. Robin Wright is the vulnerable pallid-faced prisoner, stoic and fiercely loyal to her son and daughter. The actress is virtually unrecognizable, practically silent throughout, but riveting in conveying subtle expressions weighed down by the burden of grief and bewilderment. At the heart of “The Conspirator,” is the interface between fear and injustice, the crushing of human rights. Who really is the conspirator and who is listening?
    For full review, see http://www.unhealedwound.com

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