Burt Reynolds receives career achievement award at Key West Film Festival
'Smokey and the Bandit' star reflects on making of 1977 film
KEY WEST, Fla. – Actor, director and producer Burt Reynolds was honored Thursday night at an event in Key West for his long career in film and television.
Reynolds received the Golden Key Award for Career Achievement from the Key West Film Festival, where he attended a screening of the documentary "The Bandit," which chronicles the making of the 1977 movie "Smokey and the Bandit."
During a discussion with David Fear of Rolling Stone magazine, Reynolds reminisced about director Hal Needham and the role that made Reynolds a star.
Reynolds said Needham handed him a script that he had co-written. The title was "Smokey and the Bandit."
"I read it and I said, 'Hal, this is the worst script I've ever read in my life,'" Reynolds said. "And he said, 'Yeah, but will you do it?' And I said, 'Sure.'"
Reynolds, who grew up in Palm Beach County and played football at Florida State University, spoke about the fun he had making the movie with fellow South Florida resident Jackie Gleason, whom he praised as a master of the vaudeville school of entertainment.
"I never studied my lines, because he never said his lines," Reynolds said. "I never knew what he was going to say, so whenever he stopped talking, I would just throw something in."
The Key West Film Festival continues through Sunday.
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