Redford fights claustrophobia in 'Clearing'

July 24, 2004 at 2:46 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 24 (UPI) -- U.S. actor and filmmaker Robert Redford says one reason he stared in "The Clearing" was because it forced him to confront his real-life claustrophobia.

The kidnap drama is about a successful businessman, played by Redford, who is kidnapped by a laid-off worker, played by Willem Dafoe, is held for ransom in the woods. His wife, played by Helen Mirren, frantically works with the FBI to bring him home.

Redford spent much of the film held against his will, something he said made him feel very uncomfortable, he admitted to reporters.

"(I liked) the story because it was offbeat ... I liked what I thought the theme underneath it was, which was the two sides of the American dream," said the 66-year-old actor. "I was drawn to the character because of the challenge of being in a claustrophobic situation."

The Sundance Institute founder revealed that he was very claustrophobic.

I do not like to sit too long in a chair. I don't like to be confined," he said. "I hated it, but it was good. That's the reason for the close photography in the film because in the film, (is about how) how this event, this shock, is affecting their lives."

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