Nick Nolte: "Yeah, I did everything... except the things Bob wouldn't do" Photo: Amber Wilkinson
Asked whether he had taken part in his own stunts, he said: "Yeah, I did everything... except the things Bob wouldn't do. We debated whether we were going to survive it or not. If we didn't think we could survive it then we didn't do it because we felt we had an obligation to finish the film.
"But it was a truly amazing area. It was about an hour and a half to the location by car or van and then there was a camel or horse and there were donkeys and four-wheeled vehicles and Bob would ride up on the horse. I was going to try the camel, but he spit a lot. So, I went down by four wheels. The trouble was, they wouldn't let Bob hold the reins to the horse, because, I guess they felt goddamn insurance responsibilities, so Bob got upset and walked up the hill, which was quite brave of him - I always admired him for that.
"Not a lot of people ever finish Appalachian trail. They are people who have walked it straight through but it's not a one-summer deal. There have been people walking it for 40 years. The trail runs about two miles from my farm in New York. It's up to the states to take care of these trails."
He said that this film, like everyone he does, changed him but that the effect was "broader".
He added: "First of all, I never imagined I would be playing a contemporary guy. I'm not necessarily at ease with a contemporary person, I have a lot of nervousness and anxiety - fear of conscription - so it was very strange to be given that. Originally, this was meant to be done with Paul Newman and Bob but Paul died. But Paul had offered me a role in a cowboy film he had, which I took a week to read three or four times, and finally told Paul, 'It's a deputy who has to transport 10 hookers from his town to another town. And I don't quite understand the humour.' And Paul said, 'That's exactly what Redford said.' So, we [Bob and I] did it."
Speaking briefly about protest movements in the Sixities and their connection with nature, Nolte considered the impact of his own childhood.
"I was a baby that was born when the World War was going on and as much as I was small, I could still fear parents' fear and worry about whether they could possibly win this war. All that subtle stuff went into it. My father, after he got out of World War II, first of all, I had never seen him since I was born. In 1945, there was this giant at the door he was 6ft 6in and 265lb (19 stone) and all we would go to up Lake Okoboji [In Iowa] and I think it was from that that I learnt that nature was an adventure because it is not going to repeat itself. The postcards repeat themselves but the real vision won't. So we looked at it as an adventure and I think if you can keep it at that - as you get older you get cynical and bored - but it really is where the surprises come from, I think."