Whiskey goes well with "Crazy Heart" Jeff Bridges

Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:09pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - To hear veteran actor Jeff Bridges tell it, he had the time of his life in his new movie "Crazy Heart" playing a drunk -- and so far, no bad hangover.

In fact, Bridges has enjoyed critical acclaim and movie awards buzz for his portrayal of hard drinking country singer Bad Blake in the film, which is now playing in U.S. theaters.

"I'm very excited about its success," Bridges told Reuters recently. "Sometimes you just have fun making it, and that's happened on several films. But on this one, I hit it all. I had a great time making it, and I love the way it turned out."

Bridges, whose father is the late screen star Lloyd Bridges and brother is actor Beau Bridges, has been nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe, for his portrayal of down-on-his-luck country singer Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart."

A four-time Oscar nominee, Bridges got a little help on his latest movie from his friend, the composer T-Bone Burnett, who wrote much of the music for the independent film.

First-time filmmaker Scott Cooper said he fashioned his tale after the lives of outlaw country singers like Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, who enjoyed monster hits but also played their share of dive bars and honky tonks.

But the movie's success -- it earns a 90 percent positive rating at rottentomatoes.com, which collects and scores reviews -- has been less about the tale, and more about Bridges' work.

"It's a mark of how fine a performance Bridges gives that it succeeds beautifully even though the besotted, bedeviled country singer has been an overly familiar popular culture staple for forever," wrote Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Jeff Bridges poses at the gala screening of "The Men Who Stare at Goats" at Roy Thomson Hall during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival September 11, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>