Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges remains one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors for his huge body of work and his affable personality that he has demonstrated in countless interviews. On top of that, he also receives critical acclaim for just about any role he appears in — and the FX thriller series The Old Man, in which Bridges portrays an ex-CIA operative on the run, is no exception. Bridges spoke to Gold Derby about his approach to acting and why he finds “jamming” with other actors to be his ideal way to work on a project.
Bridges notes that he’s encountered actors with various approaches to performing, but he shares what he’s found most effective for him in his lengthy career:
“I think there’s a couple of different approaches to acting. Well, there’s a lot of approaches, I suppose, and they all can be very useful and successful. The two extremes are probably the ones where actors say, ‘Please call me by my character’s name, and I’d rather not have too much contact with you. Let’s do all our contact on the film.’ And I’ve worked that way with some guys, and that you can come up with some great stuff that way. The other way is kind of the antithesis of that, and this is the way, what I lean into. And that is we only have a certain amount of time to come up with the goods. And again, we’re talking about relaxation. And I find intimacy helps me relax, and the truth to talk about our anxiety. I certainly have tons of anxiety when I go into a show, and the more terrific the story is, the more apprehension and anxiety I have to pull off this magic trick we got to do. So I tend to get into it with the fellow actors and say, ‘We’ve only got a little bit of time to get into this. Let’s get to know each other so we can relax and let the good work come through us.’ And that’s my approach.”
The Big Lebowski actor goes on to note he looks at his approach as similar to a band jamming. He continues, “Yeah, that’s the basic idea, is just to relax and tell the truth about what’s going on and what a great opportunity to jam with all these other artists, man. I mean, I wish the world could work that way. You’ve got all these different philosophies coming together, but everybody’s there to make a beautiful movie. And I think that’s a good way to look at how we might survive together on this planet. Look it, we’re all in this together, man. Let’s make something beautiful.