Long before Watergate and a starring role in All The President’s Men, Robert Redford knew there was something off about Richard Nixon.

Chatting last night with LA Times “Indie Focus” reporter Mark Olsen at his new Sundance Cinemas on Sunset Blvd. after a newspaper subscriber screening of The Company We Keep, the actor-director remembered the time he was presented at age 13 in Santa Monica with a high school athletic award. “I didn’t know who he was,” Redford said of the 1949-50 school year encounter. “He was just a guy in a suit. But it was Earl Warren, the governor, and Nixon, then a senator. When Nixon handed me the award and shook my hand, it was just a vibe. I thought, ‘I don’t like this guy.’”

There was also some great reminiscing during the Q&A about how Redford gradually became interested in the investigative efforts of Bob Woodward and  Carl Bernstein. ”When I read an article about them, I realized one was a Jew and one was a WASP,” Redford recalled. “One guy was a Republican, the other was a radical; one guy was a very good writer, the other wasn’t so good. They didn’t like each other, but they had to work together. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s fascinating, that’s a great story.’”

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