Jeff Bridges Plays Jeff Bridges
Friday, August 19, 2011
The actor Jeff Bridges has appeared in nearly 60 feature films, and won his first Academy Award this year for his performance as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. Blake is a washed-up country singer who returns to music, reluctantly. Turns out, Bridges himself was a musician before he was an actor — he’s been playing since he was a teenager. His new album, Jeff Bridges, is filled with blues and country tunes, produced by his old friend T Bone Burnett.
Bridges tells Kurt Andersen that performing songs isn’t so different from playing a character on screen: “I’m a character too,” he laughs. “We’re all characters. I don’t really know who the hell I am anyway.”
But Kurt had to ask: does Bridges mind that, for a swath of the moviegoing universe, he'll always be known as the guy who goes out to buy milk wearing his bathrobe — The Dude, from the Coen brothers cult hit The Big Lebowski? The answer is no; Bridges is fine with The Dude, and loves Lebowski. “It’s just like mind candy that thing, just one great scene after another. And wonderful characters."
Video: The Big Lebowski “Sweded”
A couple years ago, director Michel Gondry created a special exhibit of movie sets at the Deitch Projects art gallery in New York. The project was a riff on his movie Be Kind Rewind, in which the characters attempt to remake all the movies in a video store (a practice they call “sweding”). The staff of Studio 360 decided to make a “sweded” version of The Big Lebowski, with Kurt in the title role.