Is Anyone Cooler Than Jeff Bridges?

By Bernstein, Jacob | Newsweek, August 29, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Is Anyone Cooler Than Jeff Bridges?


Bernstein, Jacob, Newsweek


Byline: Jacob Bernstein

The slacker hero is having a career renaissance. His next big move: going country.

The idea of branching out from acting to singing could turn even the sanest veteran of the stage and screen into a nervous wreck. Russell Crowe, Lindsay Lohan, Danny Aiello, Kevin Bacon, and Robert Downey Jr. have all released music over the years, and none could honestly tell you it significantly affected their careers for the better. But ask Jeff Bridges if he is concerned about this transition--his self-titled major-label debut album comes out Aug. 16--and he just shrugs and says, "Not really."

It isn't arrogance, Bridges explains. Just a certain "Que sera, sera" about his next chapter. "I don't really think in career terms," he says on his cell phone, which he's using in the back of a chauffeured car that's taking him around Southern California on a recent evening. (Last stop: a pretaped interview with Piers Morgan for CNN; next stop: his Santa Barbara home.) "I've been doing music since I was a kid."

Plus, he recently had some good practice. In 2009 Bridges starred in the film Crazy Heart, playing an aging country singer. What floored people about the performance (and won him his first Oscar) was not just his uncanny understanding of the toll alcoholism can take, but also his surprisingly adept crooning. After doing the movie, and after shooting Tron: Legacy, Bridges and his Crazy Heart musical collaborator T Bone Burnett headed back into the studio to produce a full album.

No one spent a whole lot of time belaboring or overthinking the process. "It all happened quite quickly," Bridges says. "We cut something like 17 songs in a week. Over-dubs and mixing took longer, but it was fast." The result: a quietly impressive collection that embellishes, rather than detracts from, his career. He's supporting the album with a handful of live shows this summer.

Bridges has always given off a supremely mellow, slightly ho-hum vibe. He just does what he does and does it well. One adventure takes him to another, and he enjoys the ride.

"I'm not that ambitious," Bridges says, transitioning to a discussion of his childhood in California, where he grew up the son of actors Lloyd Bridges and Dorothy Simpson. "I'm a product of nepotism. One of the hardest things for an actor is getting a break, and my dad was so gung-ho about getting me into the business, things came easily."

At 23, Bridges earned a best-supporting-actor Oscar nomination for his role as a football player in The Last Picture Show, and he's worked steadily ever since.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Is Anyone Cooler Than Jeff Bridges?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?