If ever there was an actor we wanted to “ask anything” Jeff Bridges might be our top choice. Luckily for us he did a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” yesterday and many of our questions were answered. As well as several we never would have thought to ask, but were glad someone else did.
He titled it, “Jeff Bridges here, abiding with you all,” because of course he did. He’s Jeff freaking Bridges.
Here are just a few of the highlights…
Q: I read that you’ve been married to your wife since 1977. To what do you attribute the success of your marriage in an industry notoriously hard on relationships?
A: Well, that’s certainly true. This industry is tough on relationships. I’ve always thought that my wife should have a credit up alongside mine, because I couldn’t do what I do without her support. And like the questioner asked, or said, we’ve been married since 1977, we knew each other for 2 years before that, so she’s been able to do all these films with me and we’ve managed to get through them all together. The toughest thing about making movies is being apart from your family. One of the things I try my best to do is call my wife every day, to keep up to speed with what’s going on in her life. And tell her what’s going on with mine. Often when you’re apart from your loved one like that for so long, your connection kind of atrophies unless you keep engaged, even if it’s small everyday kind of stuff. But another aspect of keeping a marriage together, I think it’s important to – you’ll think I’m silly – but to love each other, which begs the question: “what is love?” Words that come to mind are openness, understanding, gentleness, kindness, and kind of working on those things, because everyone has a light and a dark side, I think, selfish aspects, and to kind of recognize those in each other and realize that we are going to have our own particular story at any given time, and those stories, they might not be the ultimate truth but they are certainly true for each of us, so to understand that we are each going through our particular version of reality, to respect that, and to nurture being in love, you know? To nurture that.
Q: I am a huge fan and loved your Oscar nominated performance in True Grit! How much did you draw from John Wayne’s performance in the original versus creating your own version of the character?
A: I didn’t draw from John Wayne’s movie. I remember when the Coen brothers first asked me if I wanted to make this movie, I was surprised because I thought John Wayne did a very successful movie, and I said “Why do you want to do it again?” and they said “Have you read the book?” and I had not, so after I did read the book I understood why they wanted to make the movie again. It read like a Coen brothers movie. So I jumped onboard, and I didn’t really reference the John Wayne performance, it was mainly taking my cues from the character in the book.
Q: Do you really like white russians?
A1: On a rare occasion, I will have one when I am feeling like having something particularly sweet, like drinking a dessert. I like my russians without too much milk, not too much Kahlua, just the right proportions.
A2: I always like to drink my White Russians with a little straw!
Q: Hey Jeff! Huge fan! What was your favorite scene to film in Big Lebowski?
A: Oh man, that’s a tough one! Because each scene is so good, you know? The Coen brothers wrote such a brilliant script – I don’t watch many of my movies on TV, but whenever I’m flipping the channels, and I’m a big flipper when I watch TV, when Lebowski comes up, I think “Oh I’ll just watch a few scenes” and then I get sucked in, because the scenes are so funny. I particularly like that scene where I’m in the car with the Big Lebowski and he hands me that toe.
Q: I heard for the Big Lebowski, the jellies worn by The Dude were actually a pair of your own. This true? Do you still wear said jellies?
A: That is true! And the costumer for The Big Lebwoski (and also True Grit and many of the Coen brothers films) came over to my house, and went through my closet, and there are quite a few articles of clothing that they used for The Dude from my closet. The baseball shirt with the famous Japanese baseball player on it I stole from my brother Beau, that is in the movie. And there might be some other ones, but nothing is coming to mind, I would have to look at the movie and see.
Q: How many people call you ‘the dude’ on a daily basis?
A: You know, it changes from time to time. I am headed out to Comic-Con right now, so tomorrow when I get there, I think it will be a good dozen people. It changes from day to day. When I’m at home with my wife, it may never happen.
The Dude, ladies and gentlemen.
Check out the entire thing here as Bridges also talked about Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr., whether he prefer playing good guys or bad guys, and so much more. Fantastic stuff.
Jeff Bridges image by Tom Hirtreiter/Shutterstock