I’m looking forward to seeing Jeff Bridges appear at the 92Y in New York on Friday night. But which Jeff Bridges will I encounter? It’s not a simple answer.
Bridges has made his fair share of American movie classics. He has played a lounge-lizard piano maestro with a bad attitude, the great entrepreneur, a washed-up country singer and, of course, not just any Dude. He is charismatic, smart and easy to like in just about all of his performances. He never chews on the scenery, choosing to be more economical than melodramatic. He brings it in every movie performance. He looks like a guy you’d want to hang out with on a rainy afternoon in Kansas City or Tulsa.
Or in Manhattan, where he’ll be speaking on Friday night.
People in the audience tend to get one shot at asking the guests a question, either by lining up at a microphone and hoping that you get called on before time runs out or submitting a piece of paper in advance and hoping that they’ll pick yours. It’s not an ideal system, in any event.
1) What do you see The Dude doing in a sequel of The Big Lebowski?
2) Some of the most memorable scenes in the movie consist of you riffing with the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. What do you remember about working with Hoffman?
3) What was going through your mind while Michelle Pfeiffer was making whoopee in the fabulous The Fabulous Baker Boys?
4) In that movie, it sure looked like you and your brother Beau Bridges didn’t have to stretch much in the sibling confrontation scenes. True?
5) What’s more satisfying, acting or performing your music in front of an audience?
6) What’s the best advice T-Bone Burnett ever gave you about performing?
7) Who is the most eccentric or unpredictable actor or actress you’ve ever worked with and why?
8) Who’s wackier, Robin Williams or Bob Dylan?