The Dude Abides

Jeff Bridges riffs on meditation, laziness, and his “groovy” Buddhist beliefs

| January-February 2011

  • The-Dude


  • The-Dude

Jeff Bridges enters the living room of his hotel suite carrying a dark blue Shambhala paperback by Chögyam Trungpa titled Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness. “One reason I’m anxious—because I have some anxiety about this interview, like you do,” he says, as he arranges his long body on the couch, “is that I wish I could be more facile with these things that I find so interesting and care about and want to express to people.” He opens the book. “This will be a challenge for me,” he says. “But I’ll attempt it.”

Solidly built, Bridges reminds me of an Andalusian carriage horse in late prime, trustworthy and sensitive. He is wearing jeans, clogs, a chambray shirt, and the Rolex Submariner watch that his late father, Lloyd Bridges, wore on the television series Sea Hunt. Were it not for his lightly moussed hair and that expensive watch, he could be a motorcycle mechanic.

We’re talking in Austin, Texas, where he’s filming a violent, darkly comic version of the Western True Grit—the first “period Oater” (as Variety puts it) to be directed by the filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen. In it, Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn, an aging U.S. marshal who has, not surprisingly, a drinking problem. Like the washed-up country singer of Crazy Heart, the self-betraying lounge pianist of The Fabulous Baker Boys, and the reluctant ex-convict father of American Heart, Cogburn is one of a string of beautiful losers Bridges has portrayed teetering on the brink of some sort of redemption. His acting is so naturalistic and seemingly effortless, in fact, that you can forget that it’s acting....

Read more at Tricycle.

Copyright 2010 Katy Butler. Reprinted with permission from Tricycle (Fall 2010), “the Buddhist review,” published by the Tricycle Foundation, a not-for-profit committed to connecting readers with Buddhist views, teachings, and culture. 

jan-feb-2011-cover-thumbnailThis article first appeared in the January-February 2011 issue of Utne Reader.

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter