Transcript:

Speaker Peter had cash man apart and then also asked if I would hang out with all the boys from the West Coast, so take a pick up on the dialogue in the inflictions so loud. All that time it allowed Jeff and I to build a relationship. And then when they brought me out to Lupe. Then I had friends here. By that time shot and I just stayed. Yeah, we but we built a great friendship that's lasted now 40 or 41 years.

Speaker Can I go back to that again and see you from Texas? Yes, I am. Are you from Archer?

Speaker I am from 90 miles down the road from Archer City. A little little town called what was at that time 41 years ago. It was a little town called Wichita Falls. My dad was stationed in Air Force there. And I just lucked out and was doing some community theater. But I was a professional Saddlebrook.

Speaker One of the youngest saddle bronc and bull riders in the professional circuit. Then I was doing community theater just for the fun of it. There was.

Speaker Air Force wives and daughters doing it all show, show. It just, you know, I wasn't always acting with men and certainly of that.

Speaker So you kind of see the movies come to town. What an amazing do.

Speaker I mean, wasn't. I mean, what serendipity is that? Because I auditioned for Gary Chazen, who is the casting director. And then then they disappeared. Went back to L.A., that very good job. And then I went back to L.A. They didn't come back.

Speaker I didn't hear a thing for a month, six weeks. And then I was still living at home, those teenager. And then mom says.

Speaker Lloyd, somebody from Hollywood had called to.

Speaker This is like and I said, oh, Hollywood, huh? Pretty interesting in it. She was. What's this all about? I didn't tell them that I had auditioned.

Speaker And they. And it was Peter.

Speaker So and then he says, I want you to do this part. So we are were you folks sign the release so that, you know, being underage so that you could do this part? And then dad then finally had to get the OK to make the long distance phone call, blah, blah, blah. And then then dad says, well, I want to read that. I've never seen a script in his life. But he wanted to be a big shot now and read the script. And Peter luckily pulled out the swimming pool scenes and all.

Speaker Anything that had any nudity or. And he had it out.

Speaker I think it already doctored any cuss words that were in it. Right. So and he'd just he'd let dad look over just parts of what I was doing. And then Dad said, well, OK, how much money is he gonna make?

Speaker So and then he finally did it. And then. Yeah, obviously. And then boom.

Speaker And it could it also could have taken such a different turn. He could have taken one of these turns that you meet Jeff, hang out with him there, you know, and that's the end of it. The movie's coming. The movies go.

Speaker That's yeah. That's so true with when you're shooting and film crews, you know, when you're working on a film, my friends, you build instant families over the period of three or four months.

Speaker Friends come and go and sometimes they in a major accumulate. But it just you build these families and then all of a sudden they go back and go on other shows and it all disappears. But Jeff, then when I came out to loop, we were all looping and I got back in touch with everybody. And so it was just an I peed. And then Eileen, Ellen Burstyn set me up with Lee Strasberg Institute.

Speaker She encouraged me to do these acting things. She says, I'll go take lessons.

Speaker I ended up living at her house and taking acting lessons for a year with with the old man himself, Mr. Strasberg.

Speaker That's nice. Yeah.

Speaker This is a kind of a wonderful story. So I'd like to hear about the two of you, though. So you meet each other. He's not a star yet either.

Speaker No, we were just kids. So, you know, the drinking and smoking kind of became that we can hang out thing. And they brought his guitar and I brought my guitar over and then all of a sudden it would become in the hotel rooms, these little jamming sessions. And he was doing rock and roll back then and write some tunes of his own.

Speaker And I was doing Country Show and was just this very nice blend of things that took place.

Speaker And we just and people on the weekends, like Simple and Timothy and the late Sam Bottoms, you know, they would drop by his room because they knew we were always do and shop.

Speaker And so it became quite the hangout.

Speaker Well, also, what an amazing moment. I mean, here. Not only do you sort of movies come and go, you can't you miraculously or not carry on this long road now. But that movie is not also like it was just a movie that came to Texas. You kind of did. You're in one of the great, great movies of all.

Speaker Isn't that incredible? I mean, it went on to be the month one of the big one of the biggest classics that we've made. I spoke with Peter. A month ago, and he was still flying.

Speaker He was flying to El Paso to introduce The Last Picture Show.

Speaker It is on the list of must sees for all student film classes like UCLA and that and New York. They have to see this show because it's a film. It was made for a roughly eight hundred thousand dollars at that time in black and white and went on to be noted for seven Academy Awards.

Speaker And then even got a couple and watched these guys who you all met. I mean, the beginnings for all of you. The absolute beginning.

Speaker See, all the veterans were Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman and and Cloo Gallagher, who played, you know, her husband in it, but he know it played symbols. And then Ben and Ben Johnson, those were the big names. And they were the ones kind of guiding us while we were shooting. You know, given us the ropes. My scenes happened with the boys and then with with Ben. And Ben was pretty laid back. You just want to play dominoes in between shots shot. And then he was pretty. I remember asking him acting tips and he goes, oh, just hit your mark.

Speaker So you just hit your mark.

Speaker How is my damage in? You know, because interestingly enough, that's early by Danovitch, too. As always, I can film for you.

Speaker Yeah. Target was before that one. And then it was a film critic before that.

Speaker So there's no question of his pedigree in terms of his knowledge of the film world. But in terms of making movies, I mean, his second film.

Speaker Yeah. And then at. But he he was young and energetic and enthusiastic. And Peter knows how to take command of the situation. So he goes INTUITY knows what he's looking for. And he's got a share. He's got a solid direction for his actors. And he likes to approach. And he's just he's he he's well studied on a shot. And what he wants. And so it makes it pretty good for the actors. Could you go in and. Now, this is what I'd like to try to accomplish from his eyes.

Speaker You have Osos as a human and as your mind remembers that he was also very open. He was.

Speaker Peter is.

Speaker You can you can get to him. He's when he has a specific direction in his directing that he's not so close minded that it's only his way. He just giving you that direction as a launch board. And then if you say but how about if I do this at this time? And he goes, let's try that. So he's open also to allowing you to.

Speaker Let yourself flow. What are your memories of Jeff then, Jeff, now also?

Speaker He's had a couple of things prior to this, but this was really the breakout for Jeff.

Speaker His first nomination. I mean, Hollywood stood on edge. You know, they stood up for this one. So Jeff is just like he is now. He's just pretty. He was always easygoing. He's always supportive, always complimentary to his actors, and if he has an idea, it's the way that he says.

Speaker What if you don't? I'm talking about a specific actor that we worked with not too long ago and he wanted to whereas to pay. And just in this scene, I think it's better if you don't have it to pay. What do you think about that? I mean, the actor go back to his room. Take it off. Rethink his character. And he showed up the next day and said, I like it.

Speaker So it's just the way he approaches everything that opens you up also. So it's warm, it's embracing, it's comforting and it's supportive more than just the coming back to loopier.

Speaker Then we sort of re knowing or just getting yourself back with this kind of people. You have been with Jeff, you have been with Jeff on this whole road and you have been with Jeff acting alongside him, but also standing in for him.

Speaker All right. As I say, I see your name everywhere, right?

Speaker Well, every time I look at I look busy and I often do stunts. And so I just kind of cover a lot of turf within the show, doing multiple things. And Jeff and I, as I said, we became such good friends on The Last Picture Show, and that continued after the looping that we would get together at his place.

Speaker When questioned, were you. Was Peter actually having you stand in for him then to not.

Speaker No. That was totally different. The standing and came. I was going to three different acting classes. Jack Ghar finds Robert Bahah rose for different. I was over DWF players and at least Strasberg's and trying to make it as an actor. So there is a couple of years in there, two or three years. It goes back to bad company. And those shows were his career. Take him off. And he had been doing things. I was seriously studying as an actor for two or three years and then working as a short order cook in a restaurant and then a waiter. And then the typical thing of being a gas attendant at night and at a gas station. So I was carrying multiple jobs and then I wasn't getting the part. So I was just I'd get one or two little one day part one liners in a year. So I wasn't getting the parts other than some stage work. So Jeff was going off to Europe and I'd call him and they'd said, What are you up to? And I said, I'm broke.

Speaker You want to go to Europe, you understand in. That was the beginning.

Speaker She really does do this. He's got this. I mean, one of the things in this short while I've known him now in the short while I've been around him, the inclusion of the people who touch him and the inclusion of the people who do become his friends and the way he keeps you all in. I think this is an extraordinary edge.

Speaker He is the center of the family element for the film group that we're surrounded with because he's just embraced the issue.

Speaker And it's, you know, making films and doing art much like this. It's a collaborative effort. Not just one person does it. And also he embraces that and make that even more, give the collaboration even more a boost. You have to bring everybody in and get their ideas and you have to make them comfortable.

Speaker Tell me, tell me. I mean, I'd love some stories along the way to I. Oh, I know what I wanna do before that. Then you come back 20 years later and you make Texasville, all of you. Yeah. And you and you're there is you again.

Speaker That's why I'm there as Leroy. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, your character give back is yourself again or without whatever that is.

Speaker Which is also an extraordinary moment in in sort of cinema history to that this entire cast can pick itself up and we. Renew itself those many years later.

Speaker And it was a family reunion. We all. Peter pulled us all back together. Waited to make sure everybody's schedule worked. And that was my hometown and I hadn't been back for 20 years. So the 20. That was a reunion for me also. I mean, people that I used to hang out with as a child, they did a. Which Davalos newspaper did a front page spread? Me coming back and then all of the sudden the production office was getting these notes sent to him and some of the people I remembered from high school, some I didn't.

Speaker But it was it was great to go back. And I hope. Knock on wood, we go to finish this with Dwayne.

Speaker Depressed when the light goes and Rhino Ranch.

Speaker Well, he talked about that a little bit and so did Peter. I mean, we're sort of talking. I mean, who knows? But Peter was saying, wouldn't it be great to go back to and now do sort of the third part of this this sort of once again, which would be remarkable. It would be remarkable. And the other thing that the other thing that Peter told me about which I would love to get my hands on was his director's cut of Texasville.

Speaker That's the hope. I just watched it. Have you got it? I have. It was a big deal for me to get it. I bought it off Amazon on the old laser disc. Have you got it?

Speaker I've got it at the ranch and I hope you do. Why would I have to do to borrow this from you? Do you have an all laser disc player? I think I had to go dig that out of storage myself. I mean, I went out. Right. I know I said that. He said he said it only existed on these. It did. And it.

Speaker But I think I got it for eight dollars off Amazon.

Speaker I don't know. I used to I have to get it somewhere where we can transpose it to something. But one of the things he said about it and one of the things and you talking about it going on. Wouldn't it be amazing to go into its third incarnation was that the whole idea had always been to show them together to screen the two together. Last picture show in Texas.

Speaker Exactly. There's was the it because of the span of life and the age difference, and it takes you to the next stage in their life.

Speaker I think it's very unique that Larry McMurtry has.

Speaker Taken the story from when they were teenagers and carried it right up to their elderly years, and they won't give away what happened in Rhino Ranch, but it pretty much. Traverses the course of their entire life. Now I have all of those actors. The director and the writer come back, it'll be probably the first time in cinema history that you've taken the same actors and then when it all comes out on DVD and a book. In a collection, then you have you can literally watch the actors age all through their life. So it be cinematic history.

Speaker Absolutely. And it's also then it's not just the sort of saga of a family that you make everybody up as they get older. This is a saga.

Speaker This is the saga of this family, this group of people and all of these actors in their own without making it, without having to go to the makeup and make them look, you know, 40 years older in the same film. Right.

Speaker Does to you what life does to you as your own in your own self and what life did to the characters.

Speaker This is a really lovely, great concept. Great. Yeah. I would love to do it. And hopefully we will.

Speaker I hope so too. It would be wonderful. I so other films. I know you were in Lebowski. I mean, I know you've been in so many with them. I'd love you to sort of recount some of that. I'm sure they're hilarious tales and just some of the experiences of some of these other films and things that stick out in your mind. You know, just moments that I couldn't.

Speaker There's no way you could direct me into getting that. We let's go to again stall. Let's go to that. Let's do that. Since you mentioned Taylor were in Kabul. We're in Cozumel. We're shooting this the love scene with Jeff and Rachel in the.

Speaker Hut. The grass root hut. Wherever she was hiding on the beach. Beautiful location. But to get to this beach location, it had about a mile of dirt road that went down to it. We'd wrapped. We were leaving, it was a convoy of cars getting it out. Jeff and Rachel were in the first car.

Speaker And I come to a stop.

Speaker I'm about three or four cars back. I'm looking out to the shotgun window there in the passenger seat. Why? What are they doing? And Rachel, start to roll down the window and lean out. What are they looking at? The other guys behind me, the grips and thereby were gone. Oh, how long we gonna sit here? We're ready to go. Put an end to this day as well. I go check. I'll get out of the car. I walk past the cars. I get up there and there's this thing.

Speaker It looks like a possum. A cross between a possum and a raccoon.

Speaker Later, I discover it's called a Kouda Monday. And there's this thing at her door scratching at the door and it. Got shaving cream all over its face. All right. Oh, wow. That's pretty interesting. And I get closer and it drops and mint takes off. It runs at me. So I'm watching it now. Wow. It's foaming at the mouth. One wearing lifts to get me to Jeff's height. So you get these two and a half inch lifts on in a.

Speaker Dirt road and I take off running this thing. Grabbed the back of my pant leg. I kick it and it flips around and lands on the hood of the car. It comes right down off the hood of that car and charges back at me. And I return around around around another car. As I run around. I can't get to the other side. Here it comes out from under the car. So it's still after me and I jump on the hood of the car, run over the top of the little car, jump on a van. And it's right there at every jump and everything. I'm trying to get the other guys roll down the window so I can get in. Nobody nobody's opening any doors and nobody's opening any windows. And everybody is just sitting there like. At this thing. So I and I was telling, you know, and Jeff and Rachel were looking out the back window at.

Speaker And then I'm motioning, drive, just drive, I'll hang on the top of the car, just drive. Get us off this road. Nobody's moving. So we're standing there. And then the van behind me says, all right, we're going to open the door real fast. And you as soon as you get here. Jump in. So I jump off this guy's new Cadillac, which put Dent in it, and then I run to there and as soon as I get there, here's the thing is on my pant leg again. So I kick it and it flips off the road into the jungle a little bit.

Speaker And then from about eight cars back, the production designer wants to know what all the commotion is. He gets out and he starts walking and I think stops cheesing, made a beeline right to it. And they open the door. I get in. And then here he goes, running in this at all after his heels.

Speaker He runs so fast. He had tennis shoes on. So that's why he was faster. So anyway, run so fast, he gets out there to the road and they say there's a bus coming. Then grabs his pant leg. He flips it again. So there's buses coming and the bus driver sees it and he just opens the door real fast. So their production designer jumps in.

Speaker And just as that, here comes the Kouta Monday to get on the bus and the bus driver clap wham with the door closes it on a good Monday a couple of times. And then the good of money falls out and a drive up. And then we're all like, wow, we got to get out of here.

Speaker But that required a couple of drinks at the bar to get over with. They got a rat that could have seen myself. Nineteen eighty two. Eighty three, four. That's when it came out probably. Yes. I said the show. Yeah. I could have seen my back then. They still had to do the 15 injections into the enable the navel for the rabies.

Speaker Whatever rabid Kouda Monday chased me through the jungles and everybody watching with their own little all in amusement, nobody really wanting to allow me entrance into their vehicles.

Speaker Thought that was so rude. So rude.

Speaker Tell me tell me things that were more specific to your relationships and you know what was going on with you and Jeff in various movies in various.

Speaker I mean, I know that these a great you know, as of you in the flying scene, in the dream sequence. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Speaker But yeah, you're asking me to go back and search the quagmire of my mind for the little bitty specifics that you can find that. That. Yeah. But but you got me on the spot. So things don't don't just sort of merge instantly on this type of thing. But there has been so many wonderful adventures.

Speaker But to I honestly can't think of.

Speaker Drawn by. Did you you want to read just now? How is it that we haven't yet? We could talk about this because this is one thing we're heading into this film. This film is due to sort of just sort of air in tandem to the whole True Grit opening. And I don't have any True Grit stories, True Grit.

Speaker I think if Joe had back you up a it.

Speaker Speaking of Lubarsky for one moment and then speaking of you get here you have the Coens and two very separate, two very different. I was doing kinds of films. Yeah. I cannot imagine the True Grit in any way conjures up anything that was happening on the basket.

Speaker And I'd love to hear a little bit of, you know, your you know, my similarity is with Jeff's character in True Grit as opposed to the dude or in in in in unison with the dude. Is that Rooster Cogburn?

Speaker Is probably the dude. Great, great, great grandfather. Because they both like their substance.

Speaker One has a white Russian, the other's in two is is is whiskey, one smokes a doobie, and the other one rolls his own cigarette butt. But we're probably looking at the dude's ancestry.

Speaker Doing their a little bit of bad Blake along the way for the ancestry that Blake were chosen to see. Oh, crazy. Because I saw. Well, that's probably that's that's probably his uncle on his father's side. So I think it's all a family tree, if you ask me.

Speaker Well, I like that. Yeah, I agree. I like this because I do. Yes. Keep going. I j.

Speaker And I think they'll find with them more so with rooster kog burns moves and things my you know, eight. He's definitely not the dude. Just the family tree. So you'll find that there will be the way and in his sentence structure, the way he he thinks you might get an insight as to what. Gave birth genetically to the dude, even though it was after.

Speaker Oh, yeah. So here it is. Interesting what you're saying they start a family tree because.

Speaker Well, there's a judgment. Is it Josh, my. This is just my. But I like my spin on it.

Speaker I like you guys when when you watch films as a audience person, you watched it. When the film comes out, you may or may not, you know, like this one as opposed to that one more. But you don't watch them the way I've been watching them now, again, because I've gone back now and rescreening every to be screened these films. So I've been watching them and in big clumps together and not necessarily in order. But there is a genealogy here.

Speaker There is. There is certainly in my thinking so. And I like it and.

Speaker But working with the Coen brothers on end are fabulous. Working with the brothers on The Big Lebowski. I feel that that Big Lebowski was an easier shoot for them. It was more controlled. And they they went and they're very open, they're very open for Jeff. I just want to bring it. Let's see what you got. Just look, let's just explore every element of it. But they have specific things that they like to get to with the Saints. But True Grit was a very it was an incredibly difficult shoot. Just to give you first of all, it's a Western. Ninety five percent of it takes place outdoors.

Speaker With horses, with elements, weather elements in just the first.

Speaker Give you another example, our very first day of shooting was on the top of a mountain. It was a ranch. We stayed at the ranch. It was two hours from Santa Fe. About an hour. And so outside of a little place called Las Vegas. New Mexico. And. It was nice. We barbecued the night before Jeff and I stayed at this ranch in the main house. We barbecued the night before and then we woke up in the morning to two feet of snow. So once we got up here, we spent half a day. Wherever body and it was unpredicted, we waited for. This is Terry Gilliam, whether this is what happens to him. Yes. Yes, Terry. Terry's got that. That cloud deck debt that follows him around. But we got Tarim and we didn't know what we could do that we aren't set up to shoot anything out. So come back eleven o'clock with the brothers decided, well, maybe we ought to just pack.

Speaker We couldn't get the trucks off the mountain, couldn't get the dressing rooms off the mountain, that we'd just have to pack up a stake. Ben. But camera film. What little things we need. And when I've drive two and a half hours out in the desert with the horses and just shoot some long shots.

Speaker And so our whole day, which was was scary and to get something on film. And then the next day. Weather turned 78 degrees. It turned to mud. We still couldn't get the rigs off the mountain. So we ended up we only had a handful of days that were covers. That's in the coverage.

Speaker That's where in case of increment weather or something, you had some some incident that occurs.

Speaker You have an option of something you can go to. That's inside on a soundstage that you can shoot. So we had like five covered days on this entire air cover set, on this entire shoot. And the second day of shooting was beautiful, hot outside. And we ended up burning up one of our covered days. Now, this weather, this cloud that followed, that happened, the entire shoot.

Speaker Until we got to Texas.

Speaker It would either be snowing and then 80 degrees and then muddy. Then it would then it would be so windy that you could barely hear the dialogue. We would have to traverse. We could. We had mountains that we had to get the horses to the top of, but we couldn't get to the vehicles up there. So we all had to carry the film. We had to carry the sticks. We had ever dept had to carry what they needed up this mountain. And then we'd get to the top.

Speaker And then a strong wind would show up, come blowing through and. We couldn't you know, we couldn't do anything because the wind was killing us on all of the dialogue or the hair or or the makeup or we're chasing Hatch the entire show, we were plagued with it, plagued with this that by the time we got to Texas for the last.

Speaker Month of shooting and we left. Santa Fe. And it had a foot and a half of snow on the ground the night we left and we get to Texas and it's 92 degrees and the humidity is soaring.

Speaker A heat spell had come in.

Speaker And all of these will close these overcoats. The perspiration coming from under the hat. It was a whole other series of obstacles that had to be dealt with chasing sweat off the brow remake up.

Speaker So I think and it was not quite what I think it was a harder shoot for the Coen brothers.

Speaker And it seems to me a very different. Piece of storytelling. I know they didn't remake True Grit in that in the John Wayne tradition. They went from the book now, which also Peter talked about how great, you know, how great this book is. Charles Portis, his book. Yes. And but also it's against this. Is an interesting I look at the choice of Jeff again. And I understand this choice. It's interesting that you said this about that it was this I understood this choice from Crazy Heart, but it's very interesting casting on the part of the Coens as well to come back to Jeff here for two.

Speaker I think so. I think there wasn't anybody else that would be. I don't think the film had been made.

Speaker Had there been any other actor or had Jeff turned it down? I just don't think. I don't think there was another choice out there that could fill the shoe. And it's pretty bold on Jeff's part.

Speaker After. To step into a shoe that John Wayne. The boots are John Langfield her I've looked on the I MDD at some of the messages that have come up, Neuse a lot who are for it. And then there's a lot of the public who are against it because they don't want to they say, put it put it to rest because the Duke did it and he wanted the Duke. Well, look, the two D. It it's perfect.

Speaker So they I think everybody is going to be pleasantly. Surprised at the outcome of this because. Wouldn't it be something if. They go down almost as a joint. Peace.

Speaker Because it's totally different. It will have no similarities.

Speaker With anything to the dude, I'm into the the Duke and.

Speaker The casting is more real this time around. All of the the actors are so well chosen and so believable that we don't have the the bad acting that I saw in the original. Now, there'll be some similarities to the story because both were taken from the book. So there will be a similarity there. There'll be a line of a flow of similarity there.

Speaker But the the outcome and how they reach each scene will be totally, totally different. And I love the brother's style and where and where Roger Deakins, the DP, had put the camera because it.

Speaker Lower. A little little. Not so straight. Not so choppy, not so well. Well lined out like you saw with the the original. And in the original, you know, this all supposed take place in what?

Speaker Not Mississippi, but maybe Alabama or Missouri or someplace like that. And you didn't get that hint in the original. And even in this story, they traverse in ours version of their day, traverse a great distance of land on horseback. And we have and there's a lot of diversity in the scenery that you see.

Speaker And it shows is interesting, too, that it kind of comes back around full circle to a western Texan, Texas. Not that he's done yet by any stretch of the imagination, but it's interesting that True Grit takes you kind of back to Texas now. He has a great Americanness, I think. And I've said this sort of all the way through this, Jeff. It's a it's not a stretch in any way that Jeff is used to convert now in some way.

Speaker He he fell into that was just it was just a perfect evolution in his career that he played this part of it just to me. It was fascinating to watch him.

Speaker Do his character and get into his character and eat it. There is no. Like I said, no similarities to what the Duke did. It is truly. The genealogy of of of the bridges evolution in characters.

Speaker Speaking of that, you've watched him get into a lot of different kinds of characters. I'm thinking now about Gilliam a little bit, too. I'm thinking about sort of between the two Gilliam films. It's also interesting that he has a couple of directing situations where he's worked with Madonna, which a couple of times he's worked with Gilliam a couple of times. He's now worked with the Coens a couple of times. So this is interesting when these guys come back again.

Speaker But Fisher King in Thailand couldn't be more on the opposite. Exactly. Exactly. I thought it was fabulous, Atitlan. I mean that. That drew ahead. And we didn't get a hand of that dude in that, did we? But that's probably as close as you get.

Speaker Or did you get a hint of bad Blake in that? Do you get a hint of crazy out there?

Speaker You know, with the music and every year, you know, it's it's definitely in the genetic makeup, I think.

Speaker And then when you look at Fisher King, in a way it's not. So she's still got music done.

Speaker Always the music, but it's not so much that he's a Jack Lucas before he has the breakdown. Character is a different guy, but once he has the breakdown, there's that's also still that same sort of disintegrated.

Speaker The new obsession comes into his life gun maker. That's what. That's what I look for in the. In most of his leading roles as well. What's his obsession here? That's deep down inside because his acting style is unique in a lot of ways to just him. And, you know, every day, you know, even with all of us, life has to have some form of obsession. The thing we're driven to know and and in each of his characters is.

Speaker There's different Mercedes, you'll see something very interesting, and you're sort of making me think of this. She made the comment that there's always a little something very enigmatic, always a little bit about him. There's always something she said. You just don't quite know. What does he not giving you just in a both in character and as somebody to play against. But also, she said you also sort of know that there's a little bit of. And she said she wasn't sure she wanted to call it melancholy, but she said this. You know, this sadness is not a stranger to him. And I thought that was a very remarkable statement because I hadn't heard anybody say that. But I think there's a truth in that, as joyous as he also always seems to sort of be and as much as he evokes that.

Speaker It's interesting. He embraces all the emotions that we all have. He doesn't hide from those emotions like a comedian. Come out and be happy and always joking and George will be all right. But. A lot of times there they suffer through depression. He embraces it and by embracing it, comforting it, exploring it, it becomes real. And you don't have to live it, except and he lets the films, his characters allow him to explore those.

Speaker What Mercedes is saying is pretty right on. A lot. Let me go to a lot of actors for my observation will come and approach this scene.

Speaker And on each scene, they they're usually well schooled, so they have learned to try to hit. Sharm. Some some point, some emotion, some crescendo. And the scene so that the audience knows what they're going through. Ah, what's going on? That does not say. And Jeff doesn't make any suggestive stuff. He keeps it inside to make it. And it allows us as real people we'd only let people see what we want them to see. So he just lets the audience think about what you're going to hear. So and he does is preparation on it is to is to each studies hard. He learns his lines to where their second nature. Then when he gets on the set, he's not thinking about the lines. They just come in the timing off of what the other person said, which allows him to listen to what the others are saying.

Speaker You know, you.

Speaker His father passed away to the other line. The other Big Lebowski. Yeah. He told them, he said. He tells us and tells us that he's.

Speaker He told us, darling thing to me about how Lloyd would say to him, now, don't just wait till I finish the sentence. This is my kid when he's eight years old doing sea hunt. You know, don't just wait till I finish the sentence. Listen. Listen to what I'm saying. So we are talking with me.

Speaker Exactly, exactly, because I still see a lot of actors today, and especially if they only have small part.

Speaker You know, one scene or if they have just a couple, three shange that when when they're supposed to be listening. They are. I can see it in their eyes. They're thinking of their next lines. And that cost me my. The emotional magnetism of what's going on in the shein, because then I become aware of the performer. And Jeff doesn't do that, he literally clings to what they're saying and then he goes and then it's then he's busy with. Some business that that keeps him grounded into his character. And for that, it just. He's real. He becomes a real person, so he's living in the moment of the scene as opposed to getting through it and acting through the moment of the scene. And when I go to movies, I don't want to be told what to think. I want to discover what I think. I want to have my emotions. There's been there was a big blockbuster just last year that I the majority of the world's population loved. And I didn't.

Speaker I had problems with it because every step of the way I was told where they were going and what they were going to do, what they were feeling. I wasn't allowed to have my moments.

Speaker And reflect on my, you know, whatever might be analogous to my life in terms of the emotions that a generator to.

Speaker What's with these I we had something that I just.

Speaker But yeah, I mean, there's I think there's a very big truth in that about him, is that he you. I think you identify with him in all of these various characters because there's that we honest that comes out all the time. And you're sort of in it with him and you're watching it with him and you're watching it like you're watching life. It's not like you're watching a film. You're not watching performance.

Speaker That's right. And he goes to anyway, as Jeff goes to nothing less in his mind, he settles his mind right before we start. Right before a roll. And they do a rehearsal and then he takes a moment to himself.

Speaker It might be. Two minutes to five minutes.

Speaker But he sits there and gets to a Zen spot where he stops his mind.

Speaker And he gets to nothing so that when he comes into this scene, it's a fresh thing. And, you know, when you do change, you do fifteen takes. It's hard to find freshness because, you know, it starts to get a bit redundant, IMO.

Speaker But he still finds this this place of peace to come from in his mind that allows him to each scene to beat a new start each time. And it's for me that it's refreshing and a does not try to bring too much. To his performance, it may pick a couple of scenes in which group? And he says one out, this one's a high emotional scene, so I'm going to have to give it here. And then he'll pick one and say, well, this is the build up to this, so I got a half throttle here. But all the rest, he's going to get back to that. That. That initial first step from nothingness, from a clear mind, a piece for sort of alpha wave that he'd come, that you have only had one of the most interesting vantage points of anybody on this career.

Speaker As I said, listen to you. You've watched probably every single damn near every single performance.

Speaker I haven't missed any that I know of except for Saturday Night Live. And then when I'm done doing my bit in front of camera and then I go to monitors and watch him do his stuff. And then I'm right there with a script in his SHIJUN. And if he. He's got his notes because he studied hard. He really is a true studier and he's very disciplined and trained in his study project. And then when he gets a and then when he gets on camera. It goes it looks natural, it's just easy. Go and show from his hard night of study the night before and he'll stay up late with the Bible. Is Bible the script and study that. And then when he gets there, he's got to remove that. He's got it there. Second nature, he's got to remove that and then get back to reality and peaceful. I got to, you know, approach to the scene.

Speaker Have you are you surprised sometimes by. The rain he has developed, you have. Have you watched a performance and suddenly gone, my God.

Speaker I mean, I don't expect it sometime. I read the change the night before. And then I thought, oh, I. I can I. Predict what I think he's going to do, because a lot of times I have to go in an hour too early ahead of him to get the scene set up. So I when I don't get the chance to see the rehearsal, then I go and I go. I think he's going to do this. And when he gets to this line, he'll go over here and do this and pick this up, you know?

Speaker So I second guess some of his movements and I'd say about 75 percent of the time I'm right. And then he comes in and totally blows me away and I go, wow, how come I didn't think that it showed it? So naturally the right progression of the. And I even see the director go, oh, I did it to themselves. I can see it in their face. They didn't expect. They didn't even see this color coming in there. So. Yeah. Yes. I am totally surprised and and always impressed. And to me, the man is a constant source of inspiration and love.

Speaker That's great. But I have to ask you to work with. OK.

Speaker One is I'm also interested in designers thinking about before and lost track of you did study the method. I mean, you did studying with Strasberg. Now, the interesting thing about him, too, is there's none of that in him.

Speaker He's helped me get rid of the crutches. That I established. In all of this training. Because we go to those the things that we're taught, but today, acting is a different game than it was in the 50s and the 60s because then it was a method. And now it seems to me the method is to get more like you and I on screen, to get more natural to less convoluted in structure and more e.g go on. And, you know, possibly Carrott, we're seeing characters that may have a little bit of forgetfulness and them and did things that, like you just went through thinking of your question, you know, we're getting back. Today's acting style is more reality than show.

Loyd Catlett
Interview Date:
2010-11-04
Runtime:
0:48:38
Keywords:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
N/A
MLA CITATIONS:
"Loyd Catlett, Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 04 Nov. 2010, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/588
APA CITATIONS:
(2010, November 04). Loyd Catlett, Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/588
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
"Loyd Catlett, Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). November 04, 2010. Accessed May 29, 2022 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/588

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