It's good to see Burt Reynolds, originator of one of the most iconic poses known to man, has still got style. The former Hollywood sex symbol has been in the public eye recently, talking about his mischievous youth, love, life and declined roles.
His signature good looks, playful smile and (most importantly) his moustache, made him a male pinup following his breakout role in Deliverance (1972). Over 40 years later, he is due to release a series of memoirs meditating on years that were, by all accounts, well spent.
It's fair to say his life must've been unadulterated fun – I mean, what man wouldn't like to be constantly linked to pretty much every high-profile, attractive female?
Here are some golden nuggets of Reynolds reflecting on his life, in connection with his new book, But Enough About Me. What does the 79-year-old have to say on some key topics? And what roles did he turn down?
Burt on... his youth
Being good is respectable, but being bad is fun, right? Well, it certainly was for Burt. Back in his younger days, he found himself on the wrong side of the law.
Due to his behavior, his father, who was a police chief, once threw him in prison and left him there for a couple of days. As if that weren't punishment enough, Burt said, "Every drunk he arrested he threw on top of me."
Some parents make you sit on the naughty step. But Burt's dad put him in prison. Tough love and all that.
Burt on... love
Ah, love. You've gotta love it. America's most eligible bachelor probably broke a few hearts. But Burt also had his own broken. He discussed his relationship with Sally Field, whom he met on the set of Smokey and the Bandit. The pair fell in love, but the relationship never worked. He said:
"I do miss her. I think she was one of the most underrated actresses, you know? She was the best actress I ever worked with. She's very, very, special.
"[Her mother said], ‘I know you’re going to break her heart, but please be gentle.’
“I said, ‘I don’t know how you could break somebody’s heart and be gentle, but I don’t intend to break her heart. You never intend to.”
Burt on... rejected roles
They say in life, you regret the things you don't do, more than the things you do. Well, this certainly does apply to the Boogie Nights star.
In 1970, after George Lazenby quit Bond, Reynolds was offered the role but turned it down. Instead, Sean Connery reprised the role for Diamonds Are Forever. Talking of his decision, he said:
“In my stupidity, I said, ‘An American can’t play James Bond, it has to be an Englishman – Bond, James Bond. Nah, I can’t do it.’ Oops. Yeah, I could have done it.”
But that wasn't the only big role he turned down, oh no. He also rejected the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. Can you imagine?!
“I was busy... but I wasn’t so busy I couldn’t have done it.”
I think it's fair to say, if you lead a life where being slightly busy means you turn down a role in Star Wars, you must be doing all right...
Form is temporary... class is permanent
Although he's one year shy of 80, Burt is still setting the bar high, looking stylish and suave during recent interviews. It's clear he's still badass. Maybe I'm getting carried away, but perhaps it's not too late for him to take a turn as Bond... I can still picture him saving the world!
You can see the full interview on ABC.