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A scene from "The Battered Bastards of Baseball." Courtesy Fudge Photography | Sundance Institute
Sundance Film Festival a family affair for Kurt Russell
First Published Jan 24 2014 09:38 am • Last Updated Jan 24 2014 09:44 am

Park City • Kurt Russell made the Sundance film festival a family affair.

The 62-year-old actor split his time between various relatives at Robert Redford’s celebration of independent cinema, attending premieres for three films.

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Kate Hudson, the daughter of Russell’s longtime partner Goldie Hawn, co-stars in Zach Braff’s "Wish I Was Here." Son Wyatt Russell, 27, appears in the crime thriller "Cold in July." And more members of the Russell clan pop up in "The Battered Bastards of Baseball," a documentary about Russell’s father, Bing, directed by his nephews Maclain and Chapman Way. (Hawn was also in town briefly, but she left to deliver a speech about meditation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.)

"It’s time to prepare the next generation, get them ready to take over. I feel positive about my family members that way. They’re on the move," Russell said in an interview alongside his nephews.

Russell’s father was a long-time character actor — he played Deputy Clem Foster on "Bonanza" — who in 1973 decided to start an independent minor league baseball team in Portland. Bing Russell died in 2003.

"He was a dichotomy," Russell said of his father. "The thing about my dad that was interesting is that he was a very, very smart guy. He was very schooled. He was a Dartmouth grad. He was a business grad. He was a businessman. There was also this side of him — he was theatrical. He loved entertaining. And at the heart of his soul, he was a baseball player."

Russell said he hopes the "Bastards" documentary helps his own children learn about his past because he briefly played minor league baseball. He also remembered tougher times with his father.

"He was a dangerous guy. I don’t know if I said this in the documentary, but I pulled him out of not a few bars — a lot of bars. He was a strange man that way," he said. "And I mean that in a good way. He was always fun to be around, always entertaining. And you never knew where the night was going to go with my dad."

Russell has several film projects in the works, including the next "Fast & Furious" and the Alaska-set "Race to Save Nome." And there’s one other priority.

"What I’m most interested in right now is opening up the wine saloon at the 1880 Union Hotel in Los Alamos, California. I make really high-end pinot and chardonnay. I love wine," Russell said, smiling broadly.


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