Despite the accolades, Jeff says he passed on the role of Bad Blake when he first read the script. "It didn't have any music attached to it, and without the right music, that movie wouldn't be half the movie it turned out to be," he says. "Then I ran into my dear friend [producer and composer] T-Bone Burnett about a year later, and he asked me about it and I said: 'Why? Are you interested in doing Crazy Heart? And he said, 'Well, I'll do it if you do it.' And then we were off and running."
Jeff does all his own singing in the film, including the vocals for the "The Weary Kind," which won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. "[I've been singing] ever since I was a kid," he says. "The real birth of the music for this movie goes back 30 years to Heaven's Gate, where I first met T-Bone and Stephen Bruton. Kris Kristofferson, the star of Heaven's Gate, brought all of his musical buddies on board on that show, and we used to play for six months while making the movie. We'd play day and night with those guys, so that's where it all started for this."