“Start with yourself and see what kind of lines up with the character” – Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges can make a hundred more movies in his lifetime (and let’s hope he does), but he’ll still always be most associated with one film role — Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski from the Coen Brothers’ 1998 classic The Big Lebowski. However, Bridges tells the New York Times that he sees pieces of himself in almost every character he portrays, including his character in the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water.
Bridges explains, “The different parts I play, start with yourself and see what kind of lines up with the character. You might magnify those aspects of yourself that work with the character, or keep those parts of you that don’t match to the curve. With [Hell or High Water] a couple of things come to mind. One, my grandfather, Fred Simpson, on my mom’s side, was from Liverpool. He was a terrible teaser. I think my brother [the actor Beau Bridges] inherited that gene, too, because Beau was a great teaser, still is. And that was part of my character. I remember when my brother would tease me and get me crying, and my mother would say, ‘It’s just because he loves you so much,’ you know? That helped me with the stuff I had with Gil Birmingham [his co-star in the film, who plays] my partner who I enjoy working with so much.”