Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010

Jeff Bridges

Crazy Heart

There were plenty of props — from the homegrown (potbelly) to the manufactured (glasses of booze) — to help Bridges embody Crazy Heart's alcoholic singer-songwriter Bad Blake. He talks about putting "fire ants in my underpants" to simulate Bad's hemorrhoids, and you almost believe it until you hear that familiar rocking, rolling laugh. Bridges, 60, has not yet won an Oscar, though this is his fifth nomination. That's fine. "I get my jollies off the actual work," he says. What mattered most to the role was the high-octane mix of hope and fear he imagined in Bad's mind, which plagues him until he hits rock bottom. That's when Bad's bleak lyric "I used to be somebody/ Now I am somebody else" takes on a second meaning. "You don't have to be who you think you are," Bridges says. "That's a wonderful thing, to think you can be reborn."