Sure Jeff Bridges will always be known for his role in The Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski but a quick look at his work in True Grit now on screens across the country is a testament both to his talent and his longevity. Finally at 60 he won a much deserved Oscar for his role in last year’s Crazy Heart and during a panel over the weekend promoting his American Masters profile at TCA he came across as a down-to-earth guy who loves his “sweetheart” (wife Susan Geston) and playing guitar in his band and acting.
Unlike children of other film dynasties, Bridges admits his career began through nepotism, when he and his older brother, Beau, were featured in Sea Hunt along with their very famous father, Lloyd. His parents encouraged him to go into show business and he did and the rest is history, right? His first major movie role was in The Last Picture Show, for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor when he was only in his early 20’s. I lusted after him in Against All Odds…and was enthralled and disgusted by him in The Jagged Edge, opposite Glen Close. He was hailed by critics for his work in Fearless, but during the American Masters session he spoke of his role in a film I saw recently on cable called The Amateurs about a group of men in a small town who set out to film a porno movie. I personally loved him in The Contenders, starring Joan Allen.
So unassuming and thoughtful during the panel, I can only imagine how good his profile will be on American Masters. I’ll be watching and so should you.