Robert Redford on Deep Throat: Thought it was FBI, But Guessed Wrong Man

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By: Greg Mitchell

Robert Redford, who starred as Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in the movie “All the President’s Men,” said Tuesday night that long ago he came to suspect that Deep Throat was connected to the FBI — but guessed it was director L. Patrick Gray, not another top official there, W. Mark Felt.

Woodward confirmed earlier Tuesday that Felt, indeed, was Deep Throat.

Redford, who also produced the movie — which featured several memorable meetings between Woodward and Deep Throat in a parking garage — said on Chris Matthews’ MSNBC program Hardball, “A lot of names were discussed but over time I came to feel it was either a vendetta or someone who felt an institution was being threatened.” Certainly the FBI felt threatened by the Nixon White House, he noted, but “I guessed it was Gray, not Felt.”

He added that there’s a lot of “revisionism” today from people who say “I always knew it was Felt,” but he would not join in.

Redford said he was “attracted” to the Deep Throat aspect of the story because of its “cinematic” value. Did he ever ask Woodward to identify Deep Throat? “Bob chose not to reveal that, and I honored it. But part of me was glad, for cinematic reasons.”

Redford described his background with the film, saying he was interested in the two “lower level” reporters’ sleuthing as early as 1972, “before anyone knew it would mushroom. I got to know them and they said they would give me the film rights to the book they were writing. Then I had to wait another nine months while the story exploded.”

Redford recalled “a lot of obstacles we had to get over” to be taken seriously, so they paid extra attention to accuracy. “I learned far more about Watergate than I ever expected,” he said, adding that the filmmakers originally planned to use the actual Washington Post newsroom as a set — but the employees and the whole scene there were “too out of control,” so they built a replica in Hollywood.

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