Robert Redford has a lot of respect for the Hollywood heartthrobs that came after him.
A much younger Redford is showcased on the October issue of Esquire, and in an interview with the magazine, the 81-year-old actor reveals what he really thinks of Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.
Redford starred alongside Pitt in the 2001 film Spy Game, but prior to that, he directed him in A River Runs Through It. The Oscar winner admits that he saw a lot of himself in the 53-year-old actor when casting him for the role of Paul Maclean in the 1992 movie.
"[This is] the character I would have played if I was younger -- being seen as the golden boy but having a dark side," he shares. "I felt we needed somebody who appeared to be a golden character and then we would find out that there was a flaw that would lead to his demise."
Redford adds, "[Brad] had that. When he first came in, he had a look about him. I said, ‘Yeah, you’re looking at it. He’s going to succeed.’”
“He was fun to work with. I like him a lot. He's a smart guy," Ford says before bringing up Gosling's time as a Mickey Mouse Club member. "I mean, he's a f**king Mouseketeer -- he's been doing this since he was six years old or something. He knows what he's doing.”
In July, ET spoke with Gosling about what it was like working with Ford. "I was kind of in a constant state of [nervousness while filming]," he confessed.
Check out more of our exclusive interview with the two-time Oscar nominee: