Perhaps best known for playing an immature, stoned-out slacker, Jeff Bridges is actually one hardworking, deep-thinking family man. Having portrayed everyone from an Old West sheriff in True Grit to the leader of a futuristic dystopia in the upcoming film, The Giver, the Oscar® winning actor reveals his knack for shape-shifting in the August/September issue of AARP The Magazine. And whether he's advocating for children through his nonprofit, the End Hunger Network, or practicing the art of Zen Buddhism, the om-chanting scion of Hollywood royalty maintains his Lebowski-esque persona, while managing to achieve something that has eluded many movie folks—maturity.
The following are excerpts from the August/September issue of the AARP The Magazine cover story featuring Jeff Bridges, available in homes today and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On growing older:
"I've got two conversations going on in my head. One says, 'Hey, you've got a lot of stuff you want to do, man. Now's the time, because you're gonna kick the bucket pretty soon.' The other says, 'Oh, Jeff, you want to make the rest of your life a giant homework assignment? Just relax, man. Just relax."
"You inhale, you exhale, and you get on with it."
On his outlook on acting:
"I realized that fear doesn't necessarily go away, but you befriend it."
On his 37 year marriage to Susan Geston:
"What they don't tell you about marriage is that it just keeps getting better on all levels—emotion, sex, intimacy. Intimacy is what we're all looking for. It's kind of a big high."
On his efforts to end childhood hunger:
We work in a local way, avoiding the political pea soup in D.C. We're trying to make sure kids who come to school have enough nutrition to learn."
The Giver Director Phillip Noyce on Bridges:
"He thinks deeply about every word, every gesture, yet he leaves space for moments of spontaneous combustion. He avoids confrontations and ego struggles. Jeff's vibe really helped us through some difficult days during filming."
On his Hollywood upbringing with actor parents:
"I had a pretty great childhood. [Dorothy Bridges] was kind of a spectacular mom."
On his father, actor Lloyd Bridges:
"He had such tremendous fun with what he was doing, and the feeling was contagious."
Actor Beau Bridges on his brother:
"Our parents were wondering if he would amount to anything. I kept assuring them, 'Give him time-he's got great gifts."
Longtime friend and stand-in Loyd Catlett on Bridges' marriage:
"Sue brings Jeff down to earth. In this business, you've got everybody telling you how great you are. In a loving way, she says, 'All right, honey, let's get down to reality.'"
I graduated from CSU Dominguez Hills in 2003. I was a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for the Carson Rainbow (I didn't name it, I just worked for them.) I was a writer for a local trade mag, called TDMonthly. I started there in MARCH 2007 in their Toy Buzz section. Recently, I just became a TWO-TIME WINNER- scoring a share of over $27,000, on the You-Tube inspired game show: Trivial Pursuit-America Plays! Right now, I'm a Consulting Producer (recently promoted) for Def Productions, makers of Win What's in Craig Reid's Left Pocket. I just signed up our first sponsor. It's the Veggie Grill.