“The Company You Keep,” the new film directed by and starring Robert Redford, also features an impressive supporting cast including Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliott, Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson, Stanley Tucci and Nick Nolte. In its story of a group of 1960s radicals who are being flushed out of hiding after decades living underground, the film provides a platform for a range of actors of a certain age and associated with a certain era.
But with costars Shia LaBeouf, Anna Kendrick and Brit Marling, the film also makes a strong springboard for a younger generation of actors as well. Rather than fill those roles with lesser talents, which would keep the attention more squarely on the older actors in the film, Redford wanted every role to be played by the best person possible.
“To me, there is no secondary thing. Every actor is important,” Redford said during a recent Q&A as part of the Indie Focus Screening Series.
LaBeouf has certainly seen his name in the press quite a bit lately, and in the film he plays an ambitious young journalist trying to make his reputation by exposing and finding the political activist played by Redford. In one light, the character is an analogue to the type of crusading journalist played by Redford himself in "All the President's Men," while in another, his motives are much more self-serving.