Women of the '80s -- Then & Now

Field reflects on her late ex in a new interview with Diane Sawyer.

Her relationship with Burt Reynolds was always going to be a major talking point for Sally Field with the release of her new memoir, a subject made all the more topical after his death this month.

While speaking with Diane Sawyer on "Dateline," Field -- now 71 -- reflected on their instant chemistry while working together on "Smokey and the Bandit" in the late '70s.

"We'd known each other about three days, four days at that point, it was instantaneous and four days felt like four years," she said, looking back. "So you can see it in our faces, we were sort of deeply entangled and the nature of it wasn't just, this is a love affair, there was some ingredient between us having to do with my care-taking and him needing to be taken care of."

Though their relationship eventually burned out -- she called their pairing "really complicated and hurtful" in her book -- Reynolds went on to call Field "the love of my life" in recent years.

"I was always flattered when he said that, but, he was a complicated man," Field said, responding to those comments, which he made in 2015 and doubled-down on earlier this year.

After Reynolds' passing on Thursday, September 6, Field released a statement reading: "There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even forty years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live. Rest, Buddy."

As for why she called him "Buddy" in her statement, she explained to Sawyer, "It wasn't what I called him, but everyone at home in his family called him Buddy. It's like the little boy of him, I wanted to finally rest."

Field's book, "In Pieces," comes out on Tuesday and details their time together. According to the actress, she's "glad" Reynolds won't be able to read it.

"This would hurt him," she previously told the New York Times. "I felt glad that he wasn't going to read it, he wasn't going to be asked about it, and he wasn't going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further."

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