Jeff Bridges and His Band, The Abiders, Enjoy Playing "Big Lebowski" Festivals

Actor Jeff Bridges — who starred in 2016's "Hell or High Water" and remains beloved for his role in "The Big Lebowski" — discusses his early resistance to acting, his first kiss, and memorable gigs with his band, The Abiders, in this wide-ranging interview with W.

Released on 4/5/2017

Transcript

00:03
I struggled with really committing to being an actor.
00:07
My father, Lloyd Bridges,
00:10
was so enthusiastic about all his kids
00:13
going into show biz and you know,
00:15
what kid wants to do what their parents want them to do?
00:18
The whole nepotism thing, so I resisted it quite a bit.
00:21
The first time I really realized, no I can do this
00:23
was kinda late in my career.
00:25
I had maybe ten, twelve movies under my belt
00:28
and then I got to work with Fredric March,
00:31
and Lee Marvin, and Robert Ryan in The Iceman Cometh,
00:35
directed by John Frankenheimer.
00:37
And working with those old time masters,
00:39
I felt oh yeah I can do this,
00:41
yeah this will be something I can do for a long time.
00:45
Hell or High Water the movie's called,
00:47
it was originally called Comancheria,
00:49
which in other countries it will keep that title.
00:53
I was a bit resistant, I'm good at resisting stuff.
00:59
I try to resist as best I can
01:01
and then when it's just too cool, it pulls me in.
01:04
This script happened to be just wonderful,
01:08
you're following these characters,
01:09
you don't know what's gonna happen.
01:11
It really draws you in.
01:12
My character's necessarily a good guy.
01:15
In fact, that's one of the interesting things
01:17
about my job, is examining those guys
01:20
that you don't think are so good guys,
01:24
see what that other side feels like.
01:26
I remember doing an interview years ago,
01:30
the interviewer asked me that question.
01:32
Are you one of those actors
01:33
that takes the part home with you?
01:35
Do you stay in character?
01:37
I said no, not really.
01:38
And my wife Sue happened to be in the room
01:40
and she goes (laughs) laughs,
01:43
I said what are you doing that for?
01:44
She said you don't think you do, but you do.
01:47
And I happened to be playing a terrible person at the time,
01:51
you know a killer or somebody who buried people alive
01:54
or something like that.
01:56
Yeah I was surprised that when The Big Lebowski came out,
01:58
it wasn't received so wonderfully here in this country.
02:02
It became a hit in Europe and then splashed back
02:05
on these shores and people started to appreciate it more,
02:08
to the extent of having festivals,
02:10
these two day long festivals that celebrate the film.
02:15
I've attended a festival or two, those wonderful events.
02:19
Had my Beatle moment you know, I have a band, The Abiders
02:23
and we played a festival here in Los Angeles
02:26
to a sea of dudes, you know you dress up
02:29
to dudes and bowling pins and Maudes.
02:33
And ladies and gentlemen, the dude!
02:37
It was kind of a wonderful thing. (laughs)
02:39
You know love scenes are very challenging.
02:42
It's such a major part of our lives, making love,
02:45
how we do that and feel about it,
02:47
but it's challenging.
02:49
You know, it often pulls people out of the film
02:51
to see these actors going at it.
02:52
I thought the love scene in Breaking Waves wasn't that good
02:57
but yeah, they really pull that off well, I thought.
02:59
Oh man.
03:01
I don't know if this is my first one,
03:03
but the one that popped into my mind when you asked that
03:06
was Debbie Olson in UCLA at the you know,
03:10
what's that, the Botanical Gardens at UCLA.
03:13
That's where I was, yeah.
03:14
She was my classmate and now you're bringing up,
03:17
you know what comes to mind
03:19
is all my old high school girlfriends.
03:22
I don't know about the first one.
03:23
That must have been in like a spin the bottle
03:25
or seven minutes in heaven, these were games,
03:28
I don't know if the kids play those anymore,
03:30
spin the bottle?
03:31
Yeah but let me just say, my best kiss is my wife. (laughs)
03:36
That's for you, sweetheart.
03:38
You're the best baby. (laughs)