Burt Reynolds sat for a q & a this evening at Key West’s San Carlos Institute folllowing a screening of Jesse Moss‘s Bandit (which isn’t half bad). Good old Burt. His usual, familiar smoothie self — cool and collected, deadpan humor, mellow vibe. But with a beard and tinted shades. The audience was laughing, applauding, in love. Burt’s legs are on the frail, shaky side but he walked out without a cane — good fellow. Here’s an mp3 of the whole thing. The interviewer was Rolling Stone critic David Fear.

Reynolds, who resides in Jupiter, Florida, teaches an acting class every Friday, he said, for students ranging “from ages 18 to 88.” He’s recently acted in a couple of smallish films (I didn’t write the titles down but he described one as kid-friendly with a feel-good vibe) and he’s got another couple of roles coming up.

I was sitting in the front row and raised my hand right away when Fear asked for questions. HE: “If you could do it over again would you still turn down Jack Nicholson‘s role in Terms of Endearment (’83)?” Reynolds: “I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my time, but that was one of the dumbest…no, I’d do it.” He actually may not have said the word “dumbest” (I haven’t transcribed the recording) but the thrust of his response was basically “yeah, I fucked up.”

After the half-hour chat ended Reynolds stood up, leaned over and began speaking to a good-looking little blonde boy (maybe six years old) who was sitting with his family in the second row. “Wow, you’re really gorgeous,” Reynold said, and then cautioned the kid to be careful and use his head. It’s a good thing David Ehrlich wasn’t there. He would have been enormously upset by this, a reminder that sometimes attractiveness really does help in certain ways.

Again, the mp3.

Duplicate of the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am muscle car driven by Burt Reynolds in Smokey And The Bandit.