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Robert Redford's daughter makes her directorial debut with ‘The Guitar'

Rafer Guzmán
Newsday (MCT)

Amy Redford makes her directorial debut with "The Guitar," the story of a young woman (Saffron Burrows of "The Bank Job") whose terminal illness becomes a ticket to a new life.

Redford, 38, knows a bit about movies - her father is actor-director Robert. At the Hamptons International Film Festival last month, she spoke about the pros and cons of growing up Redford, and why "The Guitar," opening Friday in New York, strikes a personal chord.

Q. Given your background, this is something of a late start for directing.

A. One reason I haven't directed earlier is because I was waiting for me to grow up a little bit. It requires a combination of confidence and humility, to be able to understand how to work with people.

Q. Hollywood parents seem to fall into two camps: Those who encourage their children to go into "the business," and those who pray they won't. Which was your father?

A. Neither, really. Both my parents wanted to make sure that whatever I did, I did it with commitment and conviction, and if it happened to be entertainment, then that's what I had to do.

Q. How did people react to your last name?

A. When I was in college and doing my postgraduate in classical acting, I went under a different name so that I neither got false criticism nor false praise. ... But, ultimately, I felt like it was deceptive. I love my family and I'm proud of my father, and it was something that I had to inhabit instead of trying to dodge.

Q. What's your film about?

A. It's about a woman who's living a very anemic, unexamined life, and she's deprived herself of any kind of fulfillment, sensual or otherwise, as a protective device. ... And then she finds out that she's terminally ill, and subsequently makes one different choice after another.

Q. Did you see something of yourself in this character?

A. Yes. I saw commonalities in terms of how easy it is to be defined without your consent. You wake up one day, and there's things about you that you've let calcify. And I've hit that moment, and needed to make a choice whether I was going to glide in that direction or whether I was going to put the brakes on and head in a different direction.

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