Jeff Bridges reveals his "True Grit"

Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:06pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nearly a year after his Oscar win for best actor, Jeff Bridges has gained awards buzz again, teaming up with his "The Big Lebowski" directors, Joel and Ethan Coen, in "True Grit."

The film, due out in theaters on Wednesday, shows off Bridges' acting chops in the role of drunken U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn in the post-Civil War era Western, a 180-degree turn from his recent role as a tech-whiz trapped in a computer grid of his own making in the futuristic "Tron: Legacy."

"True Grit," first adapted in a 1969 film that won John Wayne an Oscar as Cogburn, is based on Charles Portis' novel about a 14-year-old girl (newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) who teams with Cogburn and a Texas ranger (Matt Damon) to avenge her father's death. Bridges sat down with Reuters to talk about the film and how his career has changed since his Oscar win.

Q: The book was already made into a 1969 film. Weren't you wondering why the Coen brothers wanted to make this?

A: "I was curious. But they said, 'We aren't remaking the movie, we are making a movie of the book 'True Grit' by Charles Portis. Have you ever read it?' And I hadn't, so I did. I could see why they wanted to make this movie. The book is wonderful and it reads just like a Coen Brothers script."

Q: How did you create a character different to John Wayne?

A: "I don't know how, but his portrayal is not something I would refer to as I'm studying my lines. I took it as a totally fresh thing. But whether subliminally something leaked in, I don't know."

Q: Your character is a pretty good gun slinger. Was that you doing the shooting, or was there a stunt person?   Continued...