- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Robert Redford’s latest film, “The Company You Keep,” in which he plays a former radicalized activist, may represent a full circle walk for the aging actor.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulis, Mr. Redford professed that he felt compassion for 1960s-era radicals such as the Weather Underground in his early years.

“When I was younger, I was very much aware of the movement,” he said Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “I was more than sympathetic. I was probably empathetic because I believed it was time for a change. Whether that was change was a revolution or not, I don’t know. But I was very much for what was going on.”

“Even when you read about the bombings?” Mr. Stephanopoulis asked.

“All of it,” Mr. Redford said. “I knew that it was extreme and I guess movements have to be extreme to some degree. Years later, I thought this is an interesting story but we’re too close to it and I thought, when this gets — when we get some distance from this … then I might be interested [in a movie about it] and now that’s that time. So that’s why I decided to make it now.”

Mr. Redford, whose character is forced to flee after a reporter reveals his identity and background, said he still felt compassion for the true-life radicals after making the film.

“Yeah, I’ve bled a little for those that look back and realize what they did in their youth when they were full of passion and intensity, that subsides over time,” he said.

Conservatives are sounding the alarm about the movie. Blogger and columnist Michelle Malkin railed against the “romanticizing of murderous radicals,” calling the movie “an affront to decency.”

The movie is set to open Friday.