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Burt Reynolds regrets doing nude Cosmopolitan centerfold: 'It was really stupid'

"I don't know what I was thinking," he told an audience at this year's South by Southwest festival.
/ Source: TODAY

Burt Reynolds has revealed the naked truth behind his nude Cosmopolitan centerfold.

Despite the fact that fellow actor Ryan Reynolds (no relation) appears to be a fan of Burt's exhibitionism — with Ryan tweeting the pic from Cosmo's April 1972 edition after sharing a "Deadpool" promo featuring his own bear-rug pose — the "Smokey and the Bandit" star recently expressed regrets over the whole ordeal.

"It was really stupid. I don't know what I was thinking," Burt said as a panelist at this year's South by Southwest festival, according to UPROXX. "Probably, knowing me, it was like, 'You won't do that, you chicken,' or something and I went, 'Well, that's all I had to hear,' of course. I said, 'Yeah, I will.'"

Cosmopolitan wound up selling all 1.5 million copies of his issue. But it may have come at a professional cost. According to UPROXX, Burt said he felt the photo may have been a reason he wasn't Oscar-nominated for his performance in 1972's "Deliverance."

"The Bandit" - 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival
Burt Reynolds attends the screening of "The Bandit" during the South by Southwest festival on March 12, 2016, in Austin, Texas.Mike Windle

Last November, Cosmo republished another one of Burt's recollections of why he agreed to do the shoot. That account, re-purposed from his "But Enough About Me" memoir, presents a more enthusiastic attitude toward the centerfold, pitched to him by then-Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown when both were guests on "The Tonight Show."

"Helen didn't have to talk me into it," reads the account from his memoir, released last year. "I was flattered and intrigued. I wish I could say that I wanted to show my support for women's rights, but I just thought it would be fun. I said yes before we came back on the air. (I may or may not have had several cocktails in the green room before the show.)"

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Back at SXSW, Burt indicated alcohol may have been a factor at the shoot, too.

"The only rules I had was I wanted a lot drinks before," he said, "because I was a little bit — well I have to be truthful — I was totally zonkered when we did the picture."

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.