The former Sundance Kid is actor, director, and producer of western romance ''The Horse Whisperer''

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated September 05, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

Certain costars, it seems, are less than dazzled by Robert Redford. They should be acting their hearts out, given what he has gone through to get to The Horse Whisperer‘s remote Montana set. After months of delay, during which scribes adapted and readapted Nicholas Evans’ 1995 best-selling tale of an injured horse, his trainer, a mother, and a daughter, Redford is furiously at work on this stormy August day, dashing amid his directing, acting, and producing duties. And the equine stars couldn’t care less.

”It takes four or five horses to make the one,” says Redford (who plays the trainer in the film, due out in December), ”and one in particular supposedly does a lot on command. Actually,” he says sotto voce, ”he only does it sometimes. This is not Trigger.”

Luckily, others on the set are more cooperative. Kristin Scott Thomas enthusiastically took on the mom’s role after Emma Thompson passed. And Scarlett Johansson stepped into the part Natalie Portman vacated due to scheduling conflicts. Redford feels he ultimately got just the right cast. ”Scott Thomas is a good actor,” he says, and ”Scarlett has a lot of dimensions.” Too bad there aren’t four or five of them.