Burt Reynolds’ biggest regret is his famous nude photoshoot for Cosmopolitan magazine in the 1970s.
While at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, on Friday, veteran actor Burt Reynolds readily admitted that he wished he hadn’t done the shoot, in which he became the first male nude centrefold in the women’s magazine.
“I wish I hadn’t done that. I really do,” he said of the spread, which took place in April, 1972, and showed him laying scantily clad on a bearskin rug with a cigarette in his mouth. “It was really stupid. I don’t know what I was thinking. Probably, knowing me, it was like, ‘You won’t do that, you chicken,’ or something and I went, ‘Well, that’s all I had to hear,’ of course. I said, ‘Yeah, I will.'”
The 80-year-old star continued, “As long as it was only a certain amount of pubic hair showing, then I was all for it. The only rules I had was (sic) I wanted a lot drinks before because I was a little bit, well, I have to be truthful, I was totally zonkered (drunk) when we did the picture. And that stupid smile, that’s what it is.”
Reynolds was at the festival in Austin to promote The Bandit, a documentary about his friendship with his famous stuntman Hal Needham. Directed by Jesse Moss, the film gives an inside look into the making of the 1977 movie Smokey and The Bandit, which was filmed by Needham with Reynolds in the lead role.
“I was really happy that it was Burt and Hal, not just Burt or not just Hal. I was happy that it was the two of us together,” the actor said of the documentary. “I thought he was – and he was – the best stuntman that ever lived.”
Reynolds was gushing in his praise of his late friend and colleague, who died in 2013 at the age of 82. “Knowing Hal, he not only was amazing in so many ways, but he had a tremendous ego, which I loved,” he said.
And when asked if he missed Needham, Reynolds touchingly replied, “Oh, all the time. Yes.”