Jeff Bridges Reddit AMA
Jeff Bridges participated in an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit yesterday. Fans asked him the hard hitting questions about his starring role in The Giver, his favorite quotes from The Big Lebowski, and whether he prefers crunchy or smooth peanut butter. He also wrote his own Six Word Story! Read a few of his answers below.
Hey Jeff, big fan! You’ve been involved with efforts to bring The Giver to the screen for years, originally envisioning your father in the role you’re now playing. What drew you to the book, and how does it feel finally seeing it made after so many years?
Well, it feels just wonderful to finally get it made. And I had a great time making it, had wonderful people to play with on this movie. And what initially drew me to it was the desire to direct my father in a movie, because my kids were quite young, and I wanted to make a movie that they could see, and so I was reading children’s book catalogs, and I came across this photograph of a cover of a book, with an old grizzled guy on the cover, and I thought “oh, my dad could play that guy.” And I also noticed the big Newbery award stamped on the cover, and I thought it was a must read. So I looked at the book, and found it to be a wonderful children’s book, but it also really affected me as an adult. And then of course I later found out that the book was being taught in schools, and they had curriculums about the book, I was excited, I thought it would be quite easy to get made, but that turned out not to be the case. Probably because a lot of the financiers were concerned about the darker aspects of the book. And I’m so grateful that Walden Media & the Weinstein Company were courageous enough to help me get this movie made.
Can you describe The Giver in just six words?
What would you sacrifice for comfort?
How do you feel about playing The Giver when the role was initially intended to be played by your father? Does the role and/or story have a bigger impact on you?
Well, I often use my father in my acting quite a bit. I kind of conjure him up and invite him to come into my being, and so I’m sure he was with me a bunch when we were shooting The Giver, or I was with him, however you want to put it. Like I was saying, so many of my roles, I think of my dad – but this one was a little different for me. I think about my dad all the time when I am working, and maybe with this role it was a little bit more.
I’m very excited for The Giver since you and Meryl Streep are some of my favourite actors! How was it like to work with her?
Oh, it was terrific. We’ve known each other for years. As kids, we used to play soccer together. Yes! We met briefly during those times. And I admired her, as most people have, for so long, and was eager to work with her, and was so happy that she was onboard for The Giver because she’s just a really remarkable actress. She brought a realism to this whole fictitious world. And I was just amazed by her freshness – it’s like, she’s been doing this so well for so long, one might think she would get complacent, but she really cared so much about the movie, and was so engaged and that kind of enthusiasm is contagious, and it spreads throughout the company, and whenever she was on the set, everybody upped their game and rose to the occasion. It was great to be able to do it with joy, you know? You could sense the love of her craft, you know, her art.
If you could give us all some wisdom, what would it be?
Open at your own speed, but open.
Dig what’s happening to you.
By “dig” I mean get into it. There are lessons for you there. And when it gets uncomfortable, that’s an important time to open and dig. There’s treasure in them thar hills.