If there's one thing that Robert Redford knows how to do as a director, it's getting an amazing cast together. All eight previous Redford directorial efforts have had absolutely stellar casts, from Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton and M. Emmet Walsh in Ordinary People to James McAvoy, Robin Wrigh, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood and more in The Conspirator. For his next project, The Company You Keep, the filmmaker has already wrangled some impressive names, including Brit Marling, Richard Jenkins, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon, and now he's added another one.

Variety has learned that Stephen Root, who was also part of the Conspirator cast, has signed on for a part in Redford's newest film. Described as a political thriller, the plot centers on a young journalist - played by Shia LaBeouf - who exposes a former member of the Weather Underground - played by Redford - who has been on the run from the FBI for 30 years. In the film Root will star as Billy Cusimano, a man who "Redford's character represented when he got busted for drugs." Based on the novel by Neil Gordon, the story was adapted for the screen by Lem Dobbs (Dark City, The Limey).

I have a deep respect for character actors and Stephen Root is one that exists in the upper echelon. A guy doesn't keep getting roles in Coen brothers movies unless he has serious skills and Root most definitely does. It doesn't sound like his role in this project will be too big - my guess is that he shelters Redford's character at one point in the story - but you know that he'll make the most of it.

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