“I could be kinder to my body,” Jeff Bridges tells Rolling Stone about his fitness regime. “As an actor, a role can be a great excuse not to be in shape. I mean, you wouldn’t want to see the Dude with a six-pack, so you eat that Häagen-Dazs. My weight goes up and down.”
Bridges is one of those actors who you’ve seen in some of Hollywood classics like “The Big Lebowski,” “Crazy Heart” and “True Grit.” Currently, he can be seen in the critically acclaimed drama “Hell or Highwater,” where he portrays an almost-retired marshal who tracks down a pair of bank robbers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster).
The actor has had a long career as a movie star, and with it, his fair share of box office hits and misses – something that he doesn’t take personally. In a new interview with the publication, Bridges shared how he deals with his movies bombing, the advice that the late Mike Cimino told him that will always stay with him and much more.
But going back to his now-famous role of the Dude, would he be bothered if the first sentence of his obituary referred to him as his “Big Lebowski” character? “Oh, no. That would be great. I’m proud of that movie. God, it’s a wonderful film,” he replied.
The 1998 Coen Brothers-directed comedy helped launch his long career and has cemented itself into cinema history. While he’s never achieved huge superstardom, he’s kept a low profile and enjoys diving into different characters. “In my career, I really set out not to develop too strong a persona, so that you wouldn’t have a hard time imagining me in any given role,” Bridges explained. “I wanted to pleasantly confuse the audience on who I was.”
So how does he deal when his roles and films do poorly at the box office?
“When a movie comes out, I’m working on something else and my attention is there. Also, I’ve already been paid,” he laughs. “This new one, ‘Hell or High Water,’ is such a cool movie. That doesn’t happen all the time, so when it does, you go, ‘Yee-haw!’”
Taking a look back at his career, he recalled some of the advice that his actor father gave him growing up as well as the words that the late “Deer Hunter” helmer Mike Cimino told him. Bridges, who worked on Cimino’s first film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” was in his early twenties and confessed to being very insecure and anxious about taking on the role.
“I didn’t feel like the guy I was supposed to be playing; I just couldn’t relate to the character,” Bridges recalled. “The day before shooting started, I told Mike, ‘If you wanna fire me, I won’t blame you.’ He looked at me and said, ‘You know the game of tag? Well, you’re it.’ It ended up being a great vote of confidence. Now, whenever I’m in a situation I don’t think I’m up for, I think, ‘Tag, I’m it.’ You’ve just gotta do the thing, man.”
Read more of his interview, including his secret to a lasting marriage, by clicking here.