New York — "Following my father's footsteps wasn't easy," Amy Redford said as she sipped a cup of decaf cappuccino in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse. "It's really asking for a very particular kind of scrutiny."
Redford was just down MacDougal Street from the Players Theater, where she opens today in a new play, "Golden Ladder." Yes, she's Robert Redford's daughter. Yes, she understands that she's always going to be his daughter.
"But people in this city are great," she said. "They take me for myself.
"Other places, they ask me about my father. They say, 'Do you like your father?' Well, come on! What the hell do I answer to that? So I smile and say, 'Yes, I do.' And I do."
Tall, slim, blond, with deep blue eyes, the 31-year-old actress is the youngest of the three Redford children. (Shauna, 41, is a painter. James, a writer, is 39.)
Redford lives downtown with her husband of 18 months. He's a photographer, but she keeps his name secret. "He's a very private person," she says.
"Getting married it's probably the most optimistic thing I've ever done." She smiles.
She has been working mostly in theater, the last time in October, in Donald Margulies' "Collected Stories." She drew raves in David Van Asselt's suspense drama "The Messenger" (2000). Her first movie, "Casanova Falling" (1999), was named best romantic comedy at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival.
In Donna Spector's comic drama "Golden Ladder," Redford plays a woman whose mother is Christian and whose father is Jewish. The religious conflict launches her on a three-decade spiritual odyssey, testing various religions and beliefs with often hilarious results. Appropriately, her undergraduate degree is in religious studies and humanities.
Going into acting was her call, she said. Her father did not influence her.
"It kept calling back to me. Going to London to study was the final push," she said. "I knew then I was serious about it."