Preloading

Why Jeff Bridges Almost Walked Away from Acting

Season 5 Episode 507
Aired on 12/06/2015 | CC tv-14
Actor Jeff Bridges found success at an early age. After learning the ropes from his father—legendary actor Lloyd Bridges—Jeff was nominated for an Oscar at age 22 for his role in The Last American Picture Show, which was his first major film.

Despite the success, Jeff was still wondering if he really wanted to be an actor. In fact, when director John Frankenheimer called and offered him a role in The Iceman Cometh alongside an all-star cast, Jeff initially turned it down, saying "he was bushed." Shortly after, director Lamont Johnson, who Jeff had just worked with in Last American Hero, called and said, "You’re bushed? You’re an ass."

Jeff says it was this phone call that got him thinking about the idea of becoming a professional actor, because "when you're a professional, you've got to do what you don't feel like doing."

Find out how Jeff's experience on the set of The Iceman Cometh saved his acting career—and the one thing professional actors can never get rid of.

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