Jeff Bridges back in ‘The Old Man’: ‘I feel noticeably older than I did a few years ago’

How does it feel to play the lead role in a series called ‘The Old Man’?

Jeff Bridges
“I don’t see any problem with that. I am after all an old man today. After all these stories with my health, for sure, I feel much older than a few years ago. »

What does aging mean to you?

“You know, because of this disease, I became even more who I already was. When you are confronted with your mortal condition in this way, you no longer hold back. You reflect on your philosophies, your spirituality, the ways you approach the issues in your life, and you sever all the Gordian knots. You become a sort of deeper version of yourself. Like a teapot whose contents have steeped well for a long time. »

It seems that you suffered mainly from COVID, and that you initially had some memory problems. A concern to shoot ‘The Old Man’?

“It worried me, yes. So I worked on my text even more. But my memory problems are less about things to remember and more about names to remember. And I lose the thread more easily when I say something. But the shoots ended up going well. We had to stop everything when I had cancer, and when I came back to the set, I did a 20-minute scene with John Lithgow. It went smoothly and we had a great time. »


You are 72 years old. The question “How do I make the public believe that I can outperform all these young actors in a fight?” has it crossed your mind?

“Making films is an illusion. It’s a sleight of hand. The goal is to deceive the public. It starts with the script, which you as an actor try to play as believable as possible. For this, you are helped by all kinds of experts, such as stuntmen. On set, we also had a person with CIA experience who told me a lot about his strategies and techniques. And then there are also the directors and the rest of the crew. We all work together to make this story realistic and captivating. In summary, I especially benefited a lot from the work of other people. » (laugh)

You’ve never done a lot of TV shows in your career. Why did you choose this one?

“I have always been wary of television. My dad, Lloyd Bridges, played in a lot of shows. Unlike many people in the industry, he never disdained them. On the contrary, he encouraged my brother Beau and me to taste it. But I also saw that with TV he was sometimes frustrated to have very little time to do a good job. That’s why I was a little dubious. But in the last few years TV has been doing so many great things that I thought maybe I should see what exactly this project had to offer. »

Your dad was an actor his whole life. What is the main thing you learned with him?

” His attitude. I was lucky enough to be able to play with him in two films, ‘Tucker’ and ‘Blown Away’, and it was only then that I really understood his working method. He exuded an infectious joy. He appeared on set with an attitude of, ‘But what a great job anyway! All these artists together!’ It calmed everyone down. He made us understand that we should not be tense or anxious between us. And that allowed everyone to give the best of themselves. I try to do that too. Acting is like making music together. We go there and we see where it takes us. »

The Old Man

Secrets, hidden intentions and double identities. These are the ingredients of ‘The Old Man’ series. Count the shots where the characters are reflected in something, thus appearing twice on the screen. Very appropriate for the story of a man (Jeff Bridges, magnetic as always), who has been living under a false identity for years, ever since he quit his job as a secret agent by playing a trick on his employer of the time, the CIA. But the visit of an intruder forces him to react, despite his age, and he soon realizes that the government (the delicious John Lithgow) has not given up the hunt. ‘The Old Man’ is not only an intriguing action thriller with a political-historical background (Afghanistan), it is equally effective as a moving relationship drama. The title can indeed also be translated as ‘the father’, and the series largely addresses the links, both biological and emotional, between the generations. Good news: season 2 is already ordered.

‘The Old Man’ is now available on Disney+.

Jeff Bridges back in ‘The Old Man’: ‘I feel noticeably older than I did a few years ago’