Timothy Hutton has more and more “Leverage” going into the future, but his Oscar-winning past remains present for him, too.
The actor starts his fourth season of the TNT series about a con-artist team Sunday, June 26, but he enjoyed a recent reunion with the other principal players of “Ordinary People.” The winner of a best supporting actor Academy Award for the 1980 film, Hutton regathered with director Robert Redford and fellow stars Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch and Elizabeth McGovern for a photo for the annual “Hollywood Issue” of Vanity Fair magazine.
“It was really a great afternoon,” Hutton tells Zap2it, “like we had never left each other. I’ve stayed in touch with Sutherland and Mary on and off; I hadn’t seen Judd and Elizabeth in a long time, but I’ve seen Redford quite a few times over the years at different events.”
Being guided through “Ordinary People” by then-debuting director Redford, who also won an Oscar — and whose personal and professional times are recounted in Michael Feeney Callan‘s new book “Robert Redford: The Biography” — was “a very special experience,” Hutton recalls.
“I was trying to wrap my head around this very complicated role (would-be suicide Conrad Jarrett), and there was Redford, every step of the way … discussing every detail and every nuance of the character, wanting to hear what I thought about it. It was really quite an amazing time.”
Among the other reunions since has been the premiere of Hutton’s own feature-directing debut, “Digging to China” (1998), at the Redford-run Sundance Film Festival. The son of the late actor Jim Hutton (“Where the Boys Are”), Hutton says that in becoming a filmmaker himself, he took inspiration from Redford’s “naturalistic way of communicating whatever the needs of a particular scene might be.
“That was before video playback and monitors, of course, so a director would stand right next to the camera and direct you from there. You don’t see that much on sets anymore.”