One of Hollywood’s most legendary pairings was that of Burt Reynolds and Sally Field who starred together in four movies including the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit. But, their real-life relationship was anything but ideal, according to Field.
In a new interview with Variety, Sally Field addressed statements made about her by Reynolds prior to his death. In 2015, three years prior to his death of a heart attack, Reynolds told Vanity Fair that Sally was the love of his life.
“I miss her terribly,” Reynolds told the magazine. “Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”
Following Reynolds’ death, Field released a memoir that detailed their tumultuous relationship and said that the late actor was controlling and hateful.
“By the time we met, the weight of his stardom had become a way for Burt to control everyone around him, and from the moment I walked through the door, it was a way to control me. We were a perfect match of flaws,” she wrote. “Blindly I fell into a rut that had long ago formed in my road, a pre-programmed behavior as if in some past I had pledged a soul-binding commitment to this man.”
In her new interview with Variety, Field added to her previous statements about her relationship with Burt and said that his feelings toward her had more to do with wanting something he couldn’t have.
“He was not someone I could be around. He was just not good for me in any way. And he had somehow invented in his rethinking of everything that I was more important to him than he had thought, but I wasn’t,” Field said. “He just wanted to have the thing he didn’t have. I just didn’t want to deal with that.”
In the years prior to his death, Reynolds spoke often about Sally Field and seemed to have deep regret about how he treated her and how their relationship ended. In 2016 he told Daily Mail that he “screwed the relationship up.”
“That sense of loss never goes away. I have no idea what Sally thinks about it. She could pick up the phone and speak to me but she never does. I spoke to her son recently. He said that his mom talks about me all the time. Maybe she’ll phone me one day. I’d love to have that conversation,” Reynolds said.
But, Field seemed to have found closure in her and Reynolds’ friendship, even paying kind tribute to him following his death in 2018 with statement that read:
“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”