Jeff Bridges Had "No Choice" But to Star in The Men Who Stare at Goats
11.01.09 by BJSprecher
The premise behind The Men Who Stare at Goats -- that the U.S. military employed "psychic spies" during the Cold War -- may seem pretty bizarre, but it's apparently based on an actual program. In fact, actor Jeff Bridges contacted Lt. Col. Jim Channon, the real-life "psychic warrior" that his character in the movie, Bill Django, is based upon for tips when preparing for the role. Bridges told the L.A. Times:
Jim Channon is alive and well in Hawaii, and he answered all my questions. He's very gung-ho, and he's really dedicated to changing the human direction. A lot of the stuff is far-fetched and easy to laugh at but in my own personal view, it's headed in the right direction. We have to find some way besides killing each other. This stuff is bizarre, but I bet whatever is really going on in the universe is a lot weirder."
In addition to getting tips from Channon, Bridges said that he used his own strange experiences to help him formulate the character of Django.
I found myself remembering my own experiences in the 1970s when I hung out with John Lilly, the man who invented the isolation tank and did experiments with trying to communicate with dolphins. I was a test subject in the isolation tank; it was a box with about 2 feet of water and 1,000 pounds of salt so you would float. John was a guy who would shoot acid -- he'd inject LSD straight into his veins -- and go in there for 24 hours.
When it comes to choosing acting roles, Bridges said that he really tries "not to do anything at all."
I only take projects that come to the point where I have no choice. Whatever sucks me in, whatever beats my resistance, those are the ones I did.
The Men Who Stare at Goats was written, directed, and produced by Grant Heslov and also stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Kevin Spacey.