Sally Field on her ‘instantaneous and intense’ relationship with Burt Reynolds: ‘A perfect match of flaws’


Sally Field admitted her relationship with Burt Reynolds was “a perfect match of flaws.”

The 71-year-old actress, who appeared on UK’s “This Morning” Tuesday, reflected on her romance with the Hollywood star, who passed away of cardiac arrest in September at age 82.

“It was instantaneous and intense… we were a perfect match of flaws,” described Field, who dated Reynolds between 1977 and 1982 after befriending him on the set of 1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit.”

The former couple appeared in four films together before calling it quits.

However, that initial encounter almost didn’t happen. When Field first saw the script for the now iconic film, she thought it was “a piece of poop.”

It took some coaxing from Reynolds for Field to take on the project – a decision she would never regret.

“I think he said something like, ‘I know this is a piece of poop,’” said Field. “… He thought we could sort of ad-lib our way through it. … I had just done my first film and I thought, ‘Why does he want’ – it was impossible for me to get a role in a film. And yet he was calling me to be in this film. And I couldn’t figure out why. And he said he always loved me in ‘Gidget.’ And I thought, ‘Loved me in ‘Gidget’? That’s why he wants me next to him for a whole film?’”

And the attraction between the pair proved to be undeniable.

Burt Reynolds first spotted Sally Field in "Gidget" during the '60s — and was captivated ever since.

Burt Reynolds first spotted Sally Field in “Gidget” during the ’60s — and was captivated ever since.

“We went together very well, but not necessarily for the right reasons,” said Field. “… I say in [my] book many times, if I could have been different, would he have been different? And I think you get lost in the reality that you’re reacting to things that didn’t just happen.”

When co-host Phillip Schofield asked Field if Reynolds was controlling during their time together, Field responded, “He was who he was. He was a man of his time and needed the women that he was with to represent him in a certain way. But would he had been different if I had said, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it?’ But I couldn’t. I couldn’t be myself. I was absent. I was behaving the way I was taught. That is, to be loved, I had to disappear. So I disappeared.”

Field would go on to detail their relationship in her memoir titled “In Pieces,” which was published just days after Reynolds passed away.

“It was kind of horrifying that it was so close,” said Field. “And I certainly never wanted to hurt him any more than I already had. And I knew this book would hurt him. Even though I tried to paint him as the colorful human being that he was. So I don’t know. He will always be in my heart and in my history. He will never not be there.”

Sally Field and Burt Reynolds in the 1978 film "Hooper."

Sally Field and Burt Reynolds in the 1978 film “Hooper.”
(Getty Images)

Shortly after Reynolds’ death, Field announced that her years with him would “never leave my mind.”

“There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away,” Field told The Associated Press in a statement hours after he died.

“They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will always be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy.”

In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Reynolds told the magazine that Field was the “love of my life.”

Reynolds said he wanted Field to star with him in “Smokey and the Bandit” but was told the actress was not sexy.

Reynolds said he wanted Field to star with him in “Smokey and the Bandit” but was told the actress was not sexy.
(Getty)

Reynolds admitted that ending his relationship with Field was probably one of the biggest mistakes of his life.

“I miss her terribly,” he shared. “Even now, it’s hard on me. I don’t know why I was so stupid. Men are like that, you know. You find the perfect person, and then you do everything you can to screw it up.”

Back in March, Reynolds stressed to “Today” show host Hoda Kotb that Field was indeed the love of his life. Reynolds also explained he wanted Field to star with him in “Smokey and the Bandit” but was told the actress was not “sexy.”

“I said, ‘You don’t get it, talent is sexy,’” said Reynolds.



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