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3:49 pm - Tues 3.16.2010
The Wisdom Of Jeff Bridges

The Wisdom Of Jeff Bridges

(Had a scare earlier today, when clicking on my Diaryland bookmark took me to a "This domain name available" web page. But everything seems to be okay now, thank God.)

There's a lot to write about, but since I have limited time, I'm going to focus on Jeff Bridges.

Got an oil change yesterday, and while I was at Jiffy Lube, I read a Rolling Stone interview with Bridges (An aside: Even though I was so-so on Crazy Heart as a whole, I was quite happy Bridges won the Oscar, cause for one thing, he was great. And for another, it's about time. But anyway...).

At one point the interviewer comments on Bridges ambivalence about having the interviewer there (At his home in...Montana, I believe it is?).

And Bridges admits that he is ambivalent about it:

I was reticent, because how much do you want to show?....And there's another part that says you don't have to worry about it, because no one can really know who you are. You don't even know who you are yourself, man, so don't worry about opening up too much.

I think that bit resonated with me, because that's an ambivalence I have in here; clearly, on some level, I want to reveal myself, because here I am. But at the same time, I wonder "How much do I want to show?"

And the "no one can really know who you are because you don't know yourself" is something I've thought about a lot, in regards to my writing in here.

I connect it, in my mind, with "the unreliable narrator" in literature - the narrator who tells you what you assume to be the truth, but which is not true, or at least not the whole truth, because the narrator is trying to deceive you for whatever reason, or because the narrator doesn't have all the facts, or has his own particular bias regarding the events he's describing.

I've been tempted, if I haven't actually done it at some point, to tell you - "The Reader" - "Don't go by me, cause I might not know what I'm talking about..."; I certainly try to be truthful, but I often am not telling "the whole truth", and probably nearly as often, I don't know "the whole truth", because I can't get far enough "outside of myself" to judge what "the whole truth" is.

(Running out of time - I've got to fill-in for a WW meeting, and have to leave in about 15 minutes...)

The other thing Bridges said in the interview was specifically about acting:

The kind of acting I admire is where you don't see the wheels turning. People in real life don't try to show their feelings - they show them inadvertently. I remember having that feeling on films where you say, "God, I kicked the shit out of that fucking scene!" (then) You go look at the dailies and you see "Oh shit, it's just some guy catharting all over the place". The emotions you're going to elicit from the audience are not necessarily those you yourself are feeling"

With that sentiment, you get both why Jeff Bridges is a great actor, and why he's spent the majority of his career being "underrated" - It's not flashy, what he does, it just is.

And that's what - I believe - you should be going for as an actor.

I liked his referring to "catharting all over the place". I knew exactly what he meant, and it's fun for actors to do that - I certainly enjoy it - and easy to be confused and think that because you're feeling something the audience will feel it too.

But my guess is that "catharting all over the place" is, nine times out of ten, not what the scene requires - Gotta go with "The Dude" on this one.

And I'm running late, so I've gotta get the hell out of Dodge...


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