Speaker You were playing against. I had an insane hour long meeting with Terry in a hotel, and when I when I left this insane meeting, as I was going downstairs, I saw Amanda Plummer coming up on the elevator and we both went, oh, you'd be so good. And then we both went. Good luck. And we passed each other in the night. And then about a week later, I was called out to California to read with Jeff. Nobody told me that I had the role. And I thought Jeff was marvelous.

Speaker And a couple of days went by. I had lunch with Terry and finally I called the casting director and said, do I have to do the part?

Speaker And he said, Oh, yeah. You've had the part for a long time. I said, Nobody told me. Nobody told my agent. And I said, pardon me for a moment. And I went outside and I just screamed. So that's Terry for you. He this went out of his mind to tell me he had cast the movie.

Speaker But reading with Jeff was really interesting. I don't either. I think after Jeff's reading, I don't know if there was any doubt in anybody's mind.

Speaker There was no doubt in my mind that that the heroic journey was gonna be his.

Speaker In that movie.

Speaker Tell me what you mean by interesting. Because I love getting inside sort of the processing the processing parts of these things, how these how these performances evolve.

Speaker Well, I don't know if I can tell you how his performance evolved because it's such a private thing.

Speaker And even when we are actors talk about it, we usually talk about it in a very cagey way, because mysteries are mysteries, because they're mysteries, often even to us. But when Jeff read this is based, this that movie was based on on the story of the Grail Quest.

Speaker And so, Jeff, tell me about the three books that he Schiewe.

Speaker Yeah, but also, oddly enough, I had done my my I was an English major in college and I had done a a master at not a Masters. I'd done a senior project on on the Wasteland.

Speaker Oh, yeah, we're we're sneaking in here because we've had this.

Speaker I asked you to start that again. M..

Speaker I love the little hair bubbles. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker Isn't it amazing?

Speaker This is a carpeted hallway.

Speaker Of people walk, he has the cheapness of the building. You know, because you're walking on some kind of, like, thin plank that goes boom.

Speaker You don't hear it. If you're in here, I would never even noticed for the minute you're trying. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So you and your earnings range.

Speaker I was an English major and I did my senior private project on T.S. Eliot's Wasteland, which is also based on the grill mythology. Three. I was an English major and I did my senior project on T.S. Eliot's Wasteland, which was also based on the Grail myth.

Speaker As he she and we were.

Speaker And so I was fascinated with it, fascinated enough with it to have continued reading about it. Through, you know, Carl Young and the very other other sources of of of information about the Grail myth. And when I had my meeting with Terry, I was like, oh, the Grail and this and that. And I knew everything. But a week later when I met Jeff, I thought.

Speaker There was this idea of the perfect, gentle night. That was part of the courtly tradition. At which which made the grill, which happened at the same time as the grill myths, popularity and the perfect, gentle night, he was courteous. He was brave. And he was a seeker. He was a seeker after something. And that something was not material, that something was spiritual.

Speaker And when I read with Jeff, I thought it would be a damn shame if they don't use him because he's a perfect, gentle knight.

Speaker Well, he is a seeker and he is a seeker. I mean, that pops up in every also everyone we've been speaking to these weeks is, you know, he, first of all, has this Buddhist bent. He certainly has that open, very open, not not judgmental about a situation. Now, same time, I think he is always seeking whatever whatever it is, it's inside it and open to accepting whatever it is, it's inside, open to taking whatever the journey is. Yes.

Speaker He was he was extremely gentle to me and very careful that in the love scenes that I felt comfortable and. And even I remember before the first one going for a little walk and he held my hand and he said, this is gonna be you know, they're always a little difficult, but this is gonna be fine. You're gonna be fine.

Speaker And he was his protective.

Speaker And a there was a little there's a quality about him of a kind of.

Speaker Well, melancholy or tristesse is too strong because there's a joyous, buoyant laughter inside that man. But there is also this this little motif of a kind of melancholy there, a quietness. Maybe it's just that he is very reflective, but he's not he's not a stranger to sadness. Maybe I could just say that one senses that in him and and it inspires trust. He was at that time as his daughters were little and he was sending regularly back pictures and sketches to them. I could tell how much he loved them and how real and important they were to his daily life. And he told me once that his mother. He was very close to her. I think. And he said his mother gave him and his brother an hour of her time. Did he tell you this story?

Speaker He has a sister as well. Yeah. Yes, she this is very. Every day.

Speaker Every day. A full hour. And during their hour, they could do anything they wanted. You know, they could suggest and it was I guess this all started in adolescence maybe.

Speaker And maybe even before that it was as soon as they were kind of able to the conscious in ways of really sharing that time and not having to be entirely mother dependent. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker But he said I a lot of times just ask for a back rub for an hour. And I thought, why isn't that lovely. And he, he, he, he grew into a man who likes and trusts women.

Speaker And I associate that fact with that story, except that you have a very interesting part with him in this story, because you don't you don't couple you not come together with him until he's broken, really broken. Even if he was broken before he perhaps didn't know before. So, you know, at the point in which now he is absolutely in Raleigh, you know. Transposed into this into somebody who just completely full of his own demons and full of his own doubts and full of his own fears and feeling and not now loving and warm. Really is you. It's the you character who's quite loving and Mormon who sort of accepts this is remnant of the guy and sort of trying to build him back up again. You trying to help him find his way back?

Speaker It's an interesting story, the Grail mythology. I could go on about it forever. But you start with a man who in his very successful at what he does. He's very successful talk show, radio talk show host. I mean, he's got a following. He's a he's a he's a rock star and a certain, you know, area.

Speaker But. How integrated is he? He's not a happy man. He's he's valuing things in his life which are transitory and will only lead to greater dependencies and eventually an eventual disappointments. But he doesn't know that yet because he's blinded by his celebrity. He's blinded by his power, his power, you know. So what has to happen to him is the same thing that happens to the Quester in the Grail mythology. He has to get lost. He has to get lost in the dark wood where there are no no paths. And he experiences the full disintegration of his personality. And what happens in the end is not that he gets broken. He was broken to begin with. He just didn't know it. What happens is the same thing that happens to the Quester. He integrates himself all the parts of himself, the good, the bad and the ugly with with.

Speaker Between you and Robin, the writing, the very, very character equally. Broken that broken for a whole nother set of reasons. Yeah, and also needing to seek himself again. So seek bring this book. I mean, the fact that this is because the two of them sort of went swimming upstream together, one backstroking, you know, sort of that in this.

Speaker In a way, yes. In the story of the Grail mythology, the Grail is in. I'll I'll, I'll, I'll simplify it because there are many different stories with different features.

Speaker But generally speaking, the Grail is in a place called the Grail Castle. The Grail Castle has a ruler living in it, a king. And his name is the Fisher King. The Fisher King has a wound and the requirement is that a perfect, gentle knight finds his way to the Grail castle and asks the right question. And the question has something to do with compassion. It has something to do with courtesy.

Speaker It has something, interestingly enough, not to do with the warrior, but with the perhaps more feminine side of the man, the caring side that the Yan'an is in or the yin and yang I can remit. But it has to do with that. That's the linchpin of the question. And at first, the question doesn't understand that and and asks other questions.

Speaker So he has to go back into the dark wood again and totally navigate his way through it and come back to the place where he was the first time. Now, knowing how to ask the question what? When he asked the right question. The Fisher King is immediately hit, healed, and he finds himself in the presence of of the Grail, which is the unifying principle, the unifying symbol. It's so I could talk about this forever.

Speaker And that is it is so interesting about it is actually each one of those characters, you, Amanda, Robin and Jeff, you're all doing this all the time.

Speaker Possibly the most grounded character of the whole film is you, not Jeff, but I too am on a search and a journey to quote Van Morrison from something I too, because every human the Grail mythology, while it is essentially the male in the Western world, the male myth of male maturation and and coming in to his maturity as a man.

Speaker A woman has a very similar journey. This is generally represented by the story of psyche.

Speaker That's a whole other that's a whole other can of worms.

Speaker But but but the fact is, at the Mitzi's, all of us, this life itself can be defined in terms of a journey. And the journey has to do with finding wholeness with an ending. This feeling of dis integration inside ourselves and becoming integrated.

Speaker Well, you speak of this sadness that you feel that you have me with this calling this journey to seek wholeness I think is the truth of Jeff's life. Perhaps that character is particularly resonant, although many characters of his over his can have some of that same characteristic. And is he? I'm not sure that he's told you this and he's told it to us through our efforts throughout. It's very difficult for him to make a decision about taking on a role. He resists always sort of the. Well, I do this. I don't think I should do this. Am I right to do this? Terry's in this wonderful thing about him, about how he everybody would sort of, you know, and he felt that especially with you and Amanda, you were stage accurate actors. This was different. Just not a method guy. Robin is a whole nother arena of energy and way of working with the jazz.

Speaker Very meticulous, very you know, he kept lists and he watched and he paid attention and he listened. And he and he while he appears to be spontaneous and appears to be with great ease from everything I've gathered and watching and listening and even looking at the work over and over again, he is there.

Speaker There is a seeking of some sort of wholeness in him, I think.

Speaker I was always aware that his work was the result of introspection and examination.

Speaker And there's there's nothing there, though. There are obviously there are moments that are are tremendously spontaneous, but that's spontaneous, the spontaneity in his performances.

Speaker I think unless I'm really wrong, that those spontaneous moments are won by a great deal of meditation and thinking and and just hard homework. Yeah.

Speaker I think he's a student also. I mean, for example, I know that he had that great guy who helped him with understanding how to be a. Yeah. Yeah, he has he has repeated mentions of people like that on this film that feel let me be a drug from a guy who was drunk, learning his magic to be a junkie. Thailand. The next thing he did with Terry, you know, learning to be a junkie from a junkie. So he so he aside from his own introspection, then he enters the world of somebody else's, if it's not introspection, their own reality. So that he can find his own way through that. So that there's a sort of realness to it.

Speaker I've never worked with a more humble actor. And he knows and knew early on an act. He knows a principle that a lot of us actors have to come to over a lifetime, which is the one lesson that keeps on giving is the lesson of humility. He knew it. He's his most humble actor I've ever worked with. And so that made him tremendously agreeable to work with. One always felt it. He his generosity, he he gave you a sense that working with one, it was a learning experience for him and that he was getting something for you from you.

Speaker And he he just has a tremendous generosity that is rare, a generosity of spirit that is rare in artists generally.

Speaker I mean, when I when I was in the Academy Award audience at the night that I was up for the award and I went onstage, I came back, I was back in the audience again.

Speaker You go through a gauntlet, you know, and I'm back in the audience and somebody taps me on the shoulder and gives me a telegram right there in the audience who was from Jeff congratulating me.

Speaker I mean, my God, that that's beautiful and generous and and and.

Speaker Ever everything that is coming to him has as come by an honest route, which is so also exquisite in the environment that moviemaking can be.

Speaker It's it's, you know, it's Babylon out there. But he he and he also he's also a tremendously.

Speaker American knight errant, you know, in the great tradition of a Will Rogers get Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood, the quiet men at the Bogarts. You know, he's not like any one of them. He's only like himself. But he is in a great tradition of American hero.

Speaker I've said this on about me, but this is the thing. This Americanness is unmistakable. He is an American. Period. Not even an American actor. He is an American man. Yeah. And it's absolutely.

Speaker You just see it just as you say. You know, he he has this humility that's just human. That's just him to his.

Speaker He's just that's a quality. And that quality is just also went to me also makes him quite unique in the tradition of those. Yeah, exactly. As you're saying to us, his own you know, he comes to it in this generation now with his own, you know. We've had you know, I always sort of laugh about him, and I think they were just the most supremely in beaver level. You know, something is so genuinely real. Yeah. So genuinely just what we sort of think of as American boys.

Speaker Yeah, but it is it is it is spiced up.

Speaker And Jeff said it by that indefinable thing.

Speaker Excuse me. That's my phone going on. So I'll start this again and shall I just get it. Thank you. Yes. It is just just keeping his friends around and having these guys around.

Speaker They're always kind of. I was just hanging out with you.

Speaker And you know what? I think that's about to. I'm when I first went on Entourage, I thought, oh, these these guys are too cool for their shirts. You know, I met Hannah and you talked to them, and then they have actually turned into the characters they're playing to a degree. And it took going on a couple of times to find the.

Speaker What is this?

Speaker See, now that's that's some kind of stairway that's all made of, you know, steel and iron.

Speaker Any of these floorboards is where this whole place is just terrifying place.

Speaker No wonder they have so much security down there. Well, you'd have to do is walk into the lobby down there and say bomb and the whole place would explode. We start inside. Oh, yeah, there is. There is a sort of. OK. Here's another wonderful concept from the Middle Ages, from my I remember from my college age that this idea of a coming tatis, which was in the Middle Ages. A group of soldiers who would a small five six, not a big who would make a pledge to each other to cover each other's back. Well, the modern commie tortoise is entourage.

Speaker Is what you see. You see this among male actors in in L.A. a lot. And Jeff does it. It's it's.

Speaker It's it's a it's a difficult thing to be an actor, it's easier to be an actress. Almost all great actors. Brando. Olivier. Have questioned playing make believe. As as Burton, as a grown man's job and vocation, to pretend to be the soldier, to pretend to be the hero, to pretend to be to get the money and the adulation. But what are you doing? You're making believe now for a girl.

Speaker That's it. That that's a perfectly sensible, you know, vocation to one. Maybe not sensible, but it make it's something one can do without losing some essence of one's self-respect.

Speaker It's a little harder for men. I think so. So yes. Yes.

Speaker I spend my life pretending in front of an audience and a camera. Well, that doesn't, you know, summing up, you know, masses of, you know, thoughts of testosterone in my name and meanness.

Speaker But in fact, some of the great actors, the ones that I was talking about, the American hero tradition, they actually have given us leadership that they've almost been like in a way like high priests.

Speaker I mean, the Western theater came out of the Greek temple.

Speaker They they show us what a man in the process of becoming honourable, of developing his character, of finding this integration.

Speaker Bogart. Clint Eastwood.

Speaker Jeff Gary Cooper. These men. And there are others that I'm not naming that because they're not coming to my mind right now.

Speaker But but they are actually the best of them. Show us how to live. They perform a priestly function. It is a very noble thing to do, in fact, for a living. And I think it's it's it's set a pretty noble pitch with Jeff.

Speaker Well, I think also that you would you need to hear as these typical creatives also, they are really curious because we actually do look to them as being the they are the embodiment of what we want the great men to be.

Speaker They've become the embodiment of what young men want to be when they think of themselves as great men. They are the embodiment of what young girls want to marry because they seem to be great men that they you know, they perform a very important function in our culture, the best of them.

Speaker And you don't get to be a Jeff.

Speaker Do you think you would be why? Was. Do these guys and what they convey and and.

Speaker Well, yeah, I was thinking that you don't become a Jeff or a bogey or or a kook. Cooper you know, Gary Cooper, just because you guess what it is to have character, you actually have to do some bad with life to be able to embody that man and convince us all.

Speaker So there's Jeff Hicken. I don't know what his private battles have been, but he's he's he's he's fought them clearly in such a way as to develop a pretty admirable personal character.

Speaker Wonderful. I love it, too. Can we go back in time and just individual scenes with you? I mean, you've got such great. You have guys you've got a great chemistry in this film with you in a very counterintuitive way.

Speaker Yeah, I think we were. So he didn't spend a whole lot of time socializing once in a while.

Speaker At the end of a shooting week, he'd say, everybody over to my trailer and you'd have to kill and whine and everybody get a little loaded.

Speaker It was fun. Yeah, it's fun. He was the only one in did that really. He was he was great about that. We made sure that he took care of his peeps, you know.

Speaker But we didn't we didn't develop that close of a relationship at that time. But I. And I know that he had done major, major roles in films. And by that time, I had done a couple of fairly major roles in films, but nothing like his background. And so he helped me along and he was very patient with me.

Speaker There was a scene where I had to slap him at the very end of of the, um, of the movie. And, you know, when you have to do a slap, you try to kind of get it on the jaw where it it it hits the hard, you know, but doesn't you know, it doesn't thwack the side of the face where it can really, you know, knock your lights out. I mean, it doesn't it hurts, you know, is what is it. And if you're if you're in the heat of the moment and you're trying to remember, gotta hit the john. Gotta hit the jaw. Believe me, you're going to hit every place. You hit here, you hit here, you hit it. And we had to do it again and again and again. And I saw his face. I saw his face getting just a little bit tense for everyone. But by the sixth one, I could tell another man would just say, excuse me, get a bat and have hit me over the head. He held on to that last one. He did walk away without a word, but he was he was utterly professional about it.

Speaker Well, he told the story that's kind of similar. It was the end of fearless, I guess. And is it who is it? It's Peter where I guess you said. Yeah, okay. This going to be torturous. It's kind of the last scene, I guess is a slow and I. Did he do that. I felt think there was so much to look at. I looked at this. But I'm going to have to look at this because it's one of those ones that I mean, he is sort of same thing. I'm just going to talk to you here and I'm telling you about this right now. So in a way, I think he you know, he certainly gives over to understand what's going to have to be wired at any given moment. Yep. Does it. He does it. He does it. He just everybody everybody looks at future. King talked about one scene that I like to talk about because it's funny the way you remembered it and the way it's shot. He was taught the scene in which after the dinner, which we have to talk about that scene because of that scene, is so completely Darly, especially when the news and it reminds me of a quadruple threat or a double. Tom Jones is sort of that everybody. Yeah. Yeah. But it's a scene after that. When you come back, E.D., and you've kissed and you come upstairs, you just think and actually he's now subtly moving on. Yeah. And you are talking to him, talking to him. And then you say it sort of you sort of see and we see it, the audience sees it. The way Terry remembered that scene was that the camera was not you.

Speaker It was on. Yeah.

Speaker It's not shot that way. It's just you shot your both.

Speaker You're both actually. What happened was and now there was another moment of great. It was the morning after it was the morning after the dinner party. The dinner party ended apparently quite happily for everybody. But the next which is why you then were suddenly feeling I'm talking about getting an apartment in Brooklyn Heights and all the things we can do.

Speaker And he's saying, you know, I'm I'm I'm just thinking maybe of his fateful words. We should take a little time away from each other just to ourselves, just for a little while. And she's, like, gobsmacked. She didn't see this coming. And it does nothing for a while. What sinks in? What then?

Speaker And I we had. First this, we had gone to this hotel that I was staying at and Jeff, true to form, said, let's go out to lunch. Let's talk about this scene. It's our hardest scene together. I said, let's go back. And just you and me rehearse it, just nobody else around. So we did and went to sit to a certain place.

Speaker And that night, I thought to make this really work for this woman, this woman's got to fall apart because in life has just fallen apart. And I didn't. I had a couple of thoughts up my sleeve, but I'd never played it full out. And the first time I played it full out, I thought, well, first time the cameras rolling, you better go for it. Well, I picked up, you know, tapes and I.

Speaker Well, the madam and I, I, I knock things off, too. Nobody asks. And I was actually expecting it myself. I didn't know what I was going to do. And it's like, whoa. So that was good. But then I kept pushing that scene because I knew I would be able to bring it around to tears. But it's going it was gonna take me a little while, you know.

Speaker And Jeff kept saying, You got it. You happy now? Yeah, around the seventh take. And I just kept saying one more.

Speaker And Jeff said, Do you have what you want? One more and one more. And one more. And one more. She was so generous. But when I finally saw that the final cut in the biggest place where I fell apart, the camera was on his reaction and it was the only lose. The only thing I said to to Terry and to Richard Lugar revenues a who wrote it. I said in in on that set when that moment happened, I guarantee you, nobody was looking at Jeff because I was having a meltdown of massive proportions. Everybody was looking at me and I said, please, please turn the camera around.

Speaker Just that moment we're talking about two and a half seconds. Catch me. And they did. They did. They were so generous. And Jeff was right there. I mean, of course, you know, was saying, yeah, yeah, turn around.

Speaker And the other interesting thing is that I was also just going to jump forward for a minute. One of the lines of these people said about that as well. He would take this and I would wait a minute. This started much sooner, you know, being on the other the female character who actually said no.

Speaker Yeah. For me. Yeah. This doesn't work for me, luckily, you were talking this movie sounds like a construction site, GYO construction garbage. But I mean, that's what I mean in a way that there's a kind of intuitiveness to the two of you together, because while you accept, accept, accept, accept, accept. And knock yourself out right away, trying to take care of you. I can't give in this environment so that you can get better. Get well. Get he'll get home. Then you just lose it.

Speaker Is it? It's great.

Speaker Well, what's interesting, intuitively interesting about the writing is what she was doing. There is something that a lot of women do. If I just keep loving and loving more and loving more and loving more and I just keep taking it. And I keep saying, you know, this isn't actually working for me, but let's work together, working together.

Speaker What this woman had to figure out was how to regain her own. To pull herself back together and become herself again. How to become whole again. Because she had Frank mended herself trying to serve this man. And all that was happening was they were both becoming more miserable. So until she stood up and said, basta, you know, that was the beginning of her integration.

Speaker Well, they also this is such an amazing song. When you think of it, you Jeff, Carrie Lee had a good time.

Speaker They they were amazing people to be on set with. Terry is mad the way you would wish the whole world to be mad. Robin Robin could be very private if it was just you and he in the makeup trailer at five thirty in the morning. The minute somebody else came on, an audience was there.

Speaker Now we are three and and he with is such a performer. He's always rehearsing material. Well, we're talking about Robin anyway. Christ, it isn't.

Speaker He isn't. It is. I just. I'm so sorry.

Speaker No, that's all right. What can you do then? Start again, Robin. Yeah. Would be on that.

Speaker I remember a couple of times coming on the makeup wagon and just Robin was there and I felt this tremendous shyness around him and he seemed to feel very shy around me. We just exchanged a couple of words. But somebody else would come on and bingo, he was off to the races trying out material, working material, you know, is just coming up like a like a geiser, like a fountain that would never stop giving forth.

Speaker And there were times I mean, I some I sometimes think the genius is visited on ordinary people.

Speaker It's the G it. It is something. It is.

Speaker It's a lightning that goes through them. And that is that they do. Maria Callas, you know, anybody. They have to just contain the lightning that they've been chosen to be the conduit of. And that's genius. And that was that was what it was like to work with him.

Speaker All of you guys, as I say, just you look at that. I have some sense for you and Terry.

Speaker And it's just it's the first time I ever saw Amanda Plummer. It was, I think was off Broadway in a taste of honey some time, I guess, in the 70s. And I was blown away. I've never seen an actress like her. She was remarkable and remarkably herself and remarkably true because she cannot do anything that is untrue. But in that she's like Jeff, he he'll do he'll. He will just stop and do something very quiet, very, very low-key rather than do something that's not true.

Speaker He will not go into that zone, I think, and yet having seen him as I've seen. We just don't know. Well, I tend to say that I do know.

Speaker But he's all of those characters and he's none of those. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker It's an extraordinary some peace. And they feel. Yes. Is a truce. You feel that it's so nice to find the truth and the truth for you. And yet when he says he doesn't want to pretend anymore, he just wants to walk away for a while and not do it in that word.

Speaker So it's so amazing. He had something very profound. Yeah. He's not them either. He's not not any of those people. And he's made things that he beat at.

Speaker What what makes an an actor that iconic. Because he is iconic. Now there is a mystery. There's an enigma. Finally, there is an enigma. There is something that you suspect is there. And it's it shimmers. But you can't put your finger on it. There's an enigma inside. And you can say, is this that this that this that he's like this one of these like the other one. And this is his process. And you see the way it works. But then finally, when you see him on the screen, like in the opening scenes of Crazy Heart, say you are a presence. That presence is tethered to a place that is profound and that there's no way to understand it or know it. You just see it and enjoy it and you bask in it.

Speaker And he thinks it goes without saying there is I must leave her unnamed. But one of the sexiest actresses of of 70s and 80s, 90s who worked with him said he was the only one who ever tempted her.

Speaker And of course, they they were both involved with other people and nothing happened. But she said he was if it had been anyone, it would have been he.

Speaker Well, he is. So, I mean, these celebrities. So women are so reserved in that. Do you agree? No, he doesn't.

Speaker He of course. Yes. It goes without saying again. On the other hand, there's also this reticence is kind of enigmatic.

Speaker It's not an area where he wants to lie. So he he he he toes the line of of of sincerity and of truth and have a kind of transparency and the best possible sense of the word transparency.

Speaker What do you see is exactly what you're getting. And he's not playing games with you. And he wishes you well. And he's a kind man, but he's going to hold something, especially if you're after him, maddeningly in reserve.

Speaker Is that correct? Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker Is it more. I just want to say that once with another very well known actress, I saw him. I mean, it was after a film or they must have done some project together and they were being interviewed together.

Speaker This is a few years after I did Fisher King, and I could tell that the girl was totally in love with him. And as it happens, sometimes when you're that smitten with someone, you can't even hide it in an interview.

Speaker And so it was quite obvious to the audience that the flirtation was going on right before our eyes.

Speaker And he handled it so gracefully without once making the girl feel self-conscious or foolish. But without once letting it.

Speaker And he never he never lost his grounding, you know, as you suggest. That's a great gentleman. Yes. It's a great thing to say. Yeah. Thank you. My pleasure. My pleasure. It's a great thing to do for just you, too. You are just one of the great ones. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Mercedes Ruehl
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
"Mercedes Ruehl, Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 01 Nov. 2010,
(2010, November 01). Mercedes Ruehl, Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Mercedes Ruehl, Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). November 01, 2010. Accessed May 18, 2022


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