LOWELL – Robert Redford revealed to a crowd at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium last night that his third-grade teacher told him he could draw a picture for a class every Wednesday if he promised to pay attention.
"My mind was always out the window. I always wanted to draw," he said. "Drawing meant a lot to me. It's how expressed myself."
"Had that not happen, I don't know what would have happened to me," he added.
That was just a few of the personal stories Redford shared last night. The night was a celebration of Middlesex Community College's celebrity forum.
The annual event presents well-known personalities for educational and cultural enrichment of area residents. Past guests have been Barbara Walters, Colin Powell and former President George Bush with former First Lady Barbara Bush.
Redford is best known for his work in such films as "The Natural," "All the President's Men," and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
He advised future actors not worrying about their "big break."
"I don't agree with the idea of a big break," he said. "The best thing you can do is develop your craft and love your craft. Wherever it takes you, it takes you."
Redford founded The Sundance Film Festival as a way to create opportunities for young filmmakers to grow in their craft and show off their work. Redford admitted people were doubtful at first on whether or not it would be successful.
"They asked me why would you put it in winter. No one would want to come in winter," he said. "Because it's weird. I think it should be weird. That makes it interesting."
The gamble paid off.
"It's been a great satisfaction," Redford said.
The actor is known for being politically active and was asked if he would ever consider running for elected office.