Why Kurt Russell Took Four Years Off From Acting

kurt russell quits acting

Kurt Russell is currently in his late sixties, but he hasn't seemed to slow down much at all in recent years, and is in both blockbusters The Fate of the Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this summer. However, there was a time just a few years ago when Kurt Russell did take a four year break from acting, between 2007 and 2011. He recently revealed to Bill Simmons exactly what happened. His unusual reason for taking a hiatus? He was making wine:

I got interested in wine. I'm doing Death Proof with Quentin Tarantino. He's my favorite filmmaker. I think he's the Orson Welles of our time. I think he's great. And he's a blast and he's brilliantly talented. And I'm doing Death Proof, having a ball, playing this Stuntman Mike character, just having a ball. But I've always wanted to make wine. A friend of mine was talking to me about it at the time, and saying, 'If you're going to do this, you need to get going on it.' I said, 'Yeah, I do. I just don't know how to do it or what to do.'

What Kurt Russell ended up doing was taking time off after Death Proof to make a Burgundian Pinot Noir. He told The Ringer that he met a couple with a vineyard in Santa Rita Hills to make his wine, GoGi. And while you would think that he could probably act and create wine at the same time, the actor makes it sound like he wanted to immerse himself in the experience. He says he became a "wine apprentice" and reached a lot of goals in terms of learning his craft, which is different than what a lot of celebrities in the wine-making business do. He couldn't have done that if he wasn't fully invested.

Honestly, it sounds like a good thing that Kurt Russell took a break. He also described a scene in death proof where he was driving "90-100" miles per hour with Zoe Bell strapped to the hood--a dangerous stunt--and all he could do was daydream about making wine.

Hopefully, they've shut down all the roads because we're going to literally be doing 90 to 100 going down this road. And the camera car is in one lane, you're in the other, and there's no room for anyone else coming the other way. As I was waiting, I was looking at this vineyard, daydreaming, thinking, 'I'd love to own a vineyard; I'd love to make one.'

These days, it's less that Kurt Russell has given up on his dream of making wine---his wine is sold throughout California and even at Disneyland, but it seems he accomplished his goal and could get back to doing the thing we love him for most. You'll be able to catch him in The Fate of the Furious starting today and again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when it hits theaters on May 5. Here's what we know about the latter movies.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.