Jeff Bridges' Crazy Year
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."
Jeff says the person who grounded him that night is the same woman who's been doing so for 33 years: his wife. "She looked so beautiful that night. She always looks pretty, but she looked really beaming," he says.
Being apart from his wife is the hardest part of his job, Jeff says. "She told me the other night, she said, 'Do you realize over the last 14 months we've been apart 11?' That's no fun, to be separated from someone you love so much," he says.
So what's the secret? "Having my folks as role models really helped. They were married over 50 years and loved each other very much, and I saw how they struggled with all the challenges that come up in marriage," he says. "But if you've been married as long as I have, 33 years, you're bound to have some bumps. And it's how you do that together, you know? Those bumps can really be wonderful opportunities to make your relationships all that much stronger."