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August 06, 2018 at 06:00 AM EDT

One last job. It’s a theme that’s powered many Hollywood crime stories. For Robert Redford, “one last job” isn’t just one of the loose themes in his forthcoming movie The Old Man & The Gun: The film is quite literally his final acting gig.

In a new interview with EW, the 81-year-old actor confirms he is making good on his 2016 claim that he is retiring from acting. The Old Man & The Gun is the last film in which he’ll act.

“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I’ll] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21. I thought, Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?” Redford tells EW, noting that the “framework” and the story in Old Man helped shepherd him to this conclusion.

In the David Lowery-directed film, Redford plays Forrest Tucker, the real-life career criminal in love with his self-appointed job of robbing banks and breaking out of prison. “To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” the Oscar winner says of Tucker, whose stickups spanned over 60 years. “The thing that really got me about him — which I hope the film shows — is he robbed 17 banks and he got caught 17 times and went to prison 17 times. But he also escaped 17 times. So it made me wonder: I wonder if he was not averse to getting caught so he that could enjoy the real thrill of his life, which is to escape?”

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When it comes committing to or escaping future directing projects, Redford indicates “we’ll see about that.” In 1981, the native Californian won a Best Director Academy Award for 1980’s Ordinary People; he’s helmed eight other feature films and also founded the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival.

The Old Man & The Gun, which Redford also produced, co-stars Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, and Casey Affleck, and will be released via Fox Searchlight on Sept. 28. It will be playing at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Redford kicked off his acting career in TV and film in 1960, nearly 60 years ago.

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