Actor Jeff Bridges: "I'm a Very, Very Lucky Guy"
Jeff Bridges is an easy guy to like. He's been called one of the most under-rated actors in Hollywood. An 'every man,' who makes you care about the character he plays. Whether it's the role of Roster Cogburn in 'True Grit,' or an alien who inhabits the body of a human in the 1984 cult classic 'Starman'. And the secret to his success? Bridges says he chooses his roles based on "something I'd want to see myself."
Friday he stars in 'R.I.P.D.' playing a dead law enforcer, alongside Ryan Reynolds, assigned to protect earth from aliens who look like us. "It was a very bizarre plot," he tells Portland's Afternoon News," which is why I was attracted to the project." He says it was fun to make, and it looks like it could be a guilty pleasure to watch.
Bridges won an Oscar for the 2009 drama Crazy Heart, and started in the stoner classic 'The Big Lebowski,' which he admits has become his most quoted work (just ask any 'Duderino' fan).
His other passion is music. He's been touring this year with his band 'The Abiders' and will perform later this month in Jacksonville, Oregon. And this time, he's bringing family along. His daughter Jessie will be the opening act. She releases her first album later this month.
"I'm so proud of what she's done," says Bridges. "And selfishly, she's been my assistant on my last three movies, so we've been playing together and spending a lot of time together and I'm so glad she's going to be opening for me, I think folks are going to love her music."
Music and acting both run in the family genes. Dad, Lloyd starred in the popular TV show 'Sea Hunt', and later was discovered by a whole new generation of actors in the comedy classic 'Airplane.' Bridges admits he enjoys doing comedy, which is "one of the reasons why I took this role." Even though both his parents have been dead for several years he says time doesn't make the loss of a parent any less poignant. He still has the urge to pick up the phone and call them when one of his movies opens.
"Oh yeah, I think about my folks all the time. Whenever we talk about them, like we're doing right now, I feel them kind of come into my space, you know. They were such a great influence on me, I really miss them, and would love to share some of these movies with them."
When he's not acting, or on the road performing with his band, Bridges works as the spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry Campaign of the organization Share our Strength. The goal is to find a way to end childhood hunger in this country.
He's often been quoted as saying he's 'lazy,' and got into Hollywood because his dad's name opened doors. But when pressed, he laughs and admits " I know, isn't it funny man, I think of myself as kind of a lazy guy, but when I look in the rear view mirror, I see a lot of stuff that's gone down. I've got a lot of things going on a lot of different fronts."
But sounding laid back, like 'The Dude', Bridges says he's in a good space, is enjoying his continued success, and is looking forward to seeing his new movie open this weekend. "I'm a very, very lucky guy."
'R.I.P.D.' opens in theaters Friday. Jeff Bridges performs with his band Wednesday, July 27th at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon at 7:00pm.