Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Every time I see him, I remember "Tucker: A Man and His Dream," a film with Jeff Bridges as Preston Tucker, an automobile manufacturer, who passionately believed that the auto he created was the best in the world.

And every time, yes, EACH time I see Jeff Bridges in a film, I am enthralled by the way he seems to connect with me -- the real me who came from my life, my daily routines, my home -- who bought a ticket and is sitting in the theater . Even though I'm an invisible part of the audience, just a watcher, it's as if he has picked me out, knows me, is telling me, showing me who HE is.

For me, Jeff Bridges, has a power, a presence that no other movie actor has. I get connected with the man of the man he's playing -- it's the man Jeff Bridges himself is, as well as the guy on the screen.

Compare actor Jeff bridges with whom? With Cary Grant, Richard Burton, John Travolta, Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, or others about whom I've written and put on my list of favorite male actors?

My favorite actors invariably leave, in my mind, feelings about the story and the man they portrayed, and no matter how many times I've seen the film, their star qualities -- looks, diction, humor, passion -- whatever is special about the actor, delights, amazes, and touches me again.

Jeff Bridges doesn't belong on that list of mine. Bridges, creates a new man, somehow -- a whole person whom you meet, get to know, follow, like or dislike and gradually get to understand as you absorb the man's confusions, delusions, and what he wants. This creative thing the actor Bridges does is unique, and it's magic. It isn't the movie star, Bridges, that has stayed with me. It's that other man that I've gotten know.

I don't love all the films in which Jeff Bridges has appeared as a character. Actually I haven't seen all his films, but of the ones I've seen -- even when the story, the plot, the environment isn't my cup of tea, I'm interested and involved with the person Bridges becomes.

So who is the real man? He's 62, married to his first and only wife, has three daughters, a couple of homes, six Academy Award nominations and an Oscar in 2009, for his portrayal of Otis "Bad" Blake in Crazy Heart. He's been nominated, and won many other awards, (too many to list here.)

He is what I call "movie royalty." Son of Lloyd Bridges, the actor who starred in a number of TV series, and is best known as Mike Nelson in "Sea Hunt."  Jeff Bridges has made more than 70 films, and is very busy right now with making a music album, and shooting another movie.

What made me write about him? I saw the PBS, Master's documentary on Bridges. I am quoting the wife in Arthur Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman," who says: "Attention must be paid."

I want to say -- not what I'd say to Al Pacino, or Robert De Niro, or Dustin Hoffman, or any of the other great actors or my special favorite actors -- I just need to say "Wow, I'm glad I met you."

If you want to remember the films he made that still knock you out, here's International Movie Data Base's (IMDb's) mini bio.

And a clip from the PBS's "Masters" that I loved.


Carola said...

I heard the recent NPR interview of him. He sounds really nice. I never could see the attraction of The Big Lebowski, but many of my friends loved that film.

Mary Russell said...

I also adore Jeff Bridges. One of my favourites was "The Fisher King" with Robin Williams.

Michael Seese said...

The three actors whom I would watch "reading the phone book" are Johnny Depp, John Cusack, and Robert Downey Jr.

Anonymous said...

I still love Brad Pitt!! Richard Gere, Johnny Depp. but I like Christian Bale, Daniel-day Lewis for character actor.

Anonymous said...

I like Jeff Bridges and enjoy watching him in films. He seems a down to earth sort of guy and nice when it comes to being a big star. Great informative blog and tribute to him Em. Hats off to Jeff Bridges. kam

Anonymous said...

We all see different in who we like as actors in the male area. I personally like Depp who has played many different parts in movies. Jeff Bridges was not one of my favs. However I will say one thing for him, it is great he out of so few is still married to his first wife, and to me that is wonderful.

Unknown said...

Jeff Bridges in Starman is a must see for you then Emily.

Unknown said...

Jeff Bridges in STARMAN and also the Fabulous Baker Boys are must see's for you then Emily. If you haven't seen these 2 films as yet I promise you that you will love them. Hugs to you and John always xoxo

kitjoegia said...

Yes agreed a real survivor in the industry.My daughter is crazy about him and she is only 17.
I love Tom Wilkinson he is superb.