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Richard Dreyfuss on Red: ‘I Did It for the Money’

"I loved the opportunity to be the baddie," Richard Dreyfuss told us on Monday night in Los Angeles, at the premiere of his new movie, Red, in which a team of retired secret agents uncover a secret government conspiracy. "The bad guy always gets the best scene and the best lines in the film, and they usually get the most days off." But it wasn't just the vacation days that drew the actor to the part of Red's evil Alexander Dunning: "I did it for money and to work with this group of folks," he said. "I'm nothing if not honest."

Since he was being so forthcoming, we asked about the film's box-office prospects. "I think the people that run Hollywood are completely befuddled about how to get an audience so they're grasping desperately to the old people," Dreyfuss told us. "Hollywood has always been good at grasping to what has worked in the past and bleeding it of every last drop of worth."

So how come Red wasn't shot in profit-boosting 3-D, like Dreyfuss's recent Piranha 3-D? "I don’t know anything about Piranha other than the work I did on the film," he said. "I worked for two days in the middle of the desert, got my check, and then I left. I didn’t understand 3-D in the fifties and I can’t say I get it now either. I just don’t see what the big deal is."

Before he ran off, we asked if the 62-year-old actor had any plans for retirement in his own future. "In my future? No, in my past," he told us. "I already retired years ago."

Photo: Andreas Branch/patrickmcmullan.com