Jeff Bridges: After his Oscar win, the actor -- and Dude -- abide


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As in charge as Mo’Nique was backstage, best actor Oscar winner Jeff Bridges was just that laid-back. Present, alert but definitely the essence of the Dude -- even in talking about his career.

‘Well, you know, [it’s been] up and downs, strikes and gutters, man,’ Bridges said, carrying Champagne rather than a White Russian. ‘That’s about it.’


But now that he’s officially an achiever, Bridges revealed the secret of his success: his wife. ‘She holds that kite string that lets me go -- woo -- way out there. And I love coming home. She pointed out the other day we’ve been apart 11 of the last 14 months, so I was -- woo -- really far out there.

‘But my wife and my girls -- I guess the girls are the tail on the kite that kind of keeps me centered like that. My girls, my darlings.’

As grounded as Bridges seems, he said he was able to identify with his ‘Crazy Heart’ character, Bad Blake, most in terms of music. ‘I’ve been writing and playing music since I was a kid, and I’m sure that’s what happened to Bad.’

So does that mean we’ll be seeing more music from the actor?

‘I don’t know about forming a country band; it sounds like a good idea, maybe,’ said Bridges.

Later, when asked what he would do with his ‘newfound power’ after winning, he said: ‘Yeah, that’s uh ... certainly, the music. That’s gonna bloom for me. That’s something I’ve been doing for a long time, and this is going to help me continue that.

‘But there’s upsides and downsides of fame -- downsides, you lose some of your anonymity, and for an actor that’s kind of tough. But the upside is that hopefully this award will help bring peace and understanding and prosperity to our world. No, really, movies are more than just entertainment. They’re connecting us. And music is the same way.’


And at the very least?

‘I hope a lot of people are going to see ‘Crazy Heart’ because of this.’

-- Scott Sandell and Amy Kaufman

A new Times database puts readers on the sidewalks of Hollywood, using more than a century of archives to track the lives of the stars, including current Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges, James Cameron, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep.

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