Jeff Bridges Talks Oscars and True Grit
02.11.10 by Ryan
Jeff Bridges has been nominated for an Academy Award five times, starting almost 40 years ago with 1971's The Last Picture Show and most recently with last year's Crazy Heart. In between, Bridges was nominated for 1974's Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 1986's Starman, and 2000's The Contender. However, Bridges has yet to win.
He told Movieline that Oscar campaigning has changed since his first nomination.
Well, you know, 40 years ago there really wasn't — or I wasn't part of — any campaign. It was pretty much you just wake up at 5 o'clock and somebody says, "You've been nominated for an Academy Award." Nowadays it seems more and more like the "business" in "show business" is underlined, and there are campaigns, and it's all part of getting people in to see the movies. Which is a good, important thing — especially for a movie like this, where you don't have a big budget to buy commercials and ads and that sort of thing. It brings attention to
the movie and gets people to go see it. So that's a good thing. It's quite a bit different.
Before Crazy Heart, Bridges was well known for his role as The Dude in 1998's The Big Lebowski, a role he is very proud of. Bridges is finally reuniting with Lebowski creators Joel and Ethan Coen in the upcoming True Grit, which Bridges reminds is not a remake of the 1969 movie starring John Wayne. Though playing the same role, Bridges says Wayne's performance will not influence how he approaches the part.
It doesn't, really, because the brothers are basing their script on the novel by Charles Portis. I don't think they're really considering it a remake of that film, but rather a remake of that book. So I'm looking at the book and the character who's written in the book. I admire John Wayne; I think he's a wonderful actor, but I'm not going to reference him, really. I'm just going to do the book.
Bridges says he's "looking forward to working" with fellow cast members Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in Grit, and that the role of the 14-year-old girl who aids Damon and Bridges in finding her father's murderer has not been cast.
Well, it's a large role. Any role that big is going to be a challenge
for any actor, but for an actor of a young age, it's going to be even tougher. But we know it can be done; look at Tatum O'Neal [Oscar winner for 1973's Paper Moon]. She did a wonderful job. There are lot of terrific young actors, and as a matter of fact, I might even take my statement back because I've worked with some really wonderful child actors who've had no training
whatsoever, and they turn out to be great. A lot of acting is just about pretending, and kids are certainly good at that.
Bridges will also appear in the upcoming sequel Tron Legacy later this year.