Jeff Bridges, winner of both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his role in Crazy Heart, reprises the role of Kevin Flynn in Tron: Legacy, the long-awaited sequel to the landmark, sci-fi classic Tron (1982). Bridges is also the first actor in movie history to play opposite a younger version of himself –known as Clu 2.0. In case you don't remember who Kevin Flynn is, he’s a computer programming genius, and an individual who breaks new ground in the digital world of the Grid, a place where digital and human races can co-exist.
Bridges sat down with Fandango recently and eagerly spoke about Tron: Legacy, overcoming his "b!^ch" mode on set, newcomer Garrett Hedlund, and why playing a few musical tunes has become his second life passion…
Fandango: How did director Joseph Kosinski convince you to come on board?
Jeff Bridges: [It was] the same thing that brought me to the original: this idea that you’re going to play a role that’s cutting-edge. I thought it would be a good opportunity to make a modern day myth about technology and how [Flynn] might navigate these waters that we're in now.
Fandango: Kevin Flynn is obsessed with technology and developing programs, but he fails to realize the relationships he’s losing because of it.
Bridges: Technology has certainly caused this father and son to be apart. The father is lost in his own adventure. You can take that as a metaphor of what’s happening now with technology. It can bring us together and it can also drive us apart, like it does in the film.
Fandango: Tron fans are eager to see your clone Clu 2.0 on the big screen. Is it weird to see a younger version of yourself on screen?
Bridges: It’s not that odd. I’m used to watching old movies of myself. When I’m actually filming the movie, I’m [just] being myself; the younger side of me isn’t around.
Fandango: Was it challenging to use the helmet mounted camera during your takes as Clu 2.0?
Bridges: It is a different thing. In life and in movies, it’s a similar challenge, where you have expectations, and you end up in situations that are not meeting your expectations. It’s a great opportunity to go into b!^ch mode and resent why things aren’t the way I imagined them to be. That was certainly [an option during filming] to go into that mode, especially in these type of situations where you have no costumes, no set [and] no camera. [But] you have to ultimately let that concern go and get with the program—be excited about this new technology and this new, fresh, uncomfortable feeling.
Fandango: Garrett Hedlund plays your son in the film. How was it working with him?
Bridges: He’s such a wonderful guy. He reminds me a lot of myself at that age. He’s about the same age [I was] when I did the first Tron. He’s a great actor, and great to hang with. I can’t wait to see his next movie—he’s playing a country singer.
Fandango: Speaking of country singers, you also play some tunes...
Bridges: I’ve been playing since I was a teenager, and whenever I get a chance to work it into a movie, I do that. Crazy Heart really stoked my musical phalanges...I got to work with my dear friend T-Bone Burnett and Steven Bruton and my oldest friend John Goodwin, who wrote the song "Crazy Heart."
After I finished True Grit, I decided that for the remainder of the year, I wanted to concentrate on ending childhood hunger here in our country, and focusing on my music. So, I haven’t done any movies and I don’t have any movies planned. I’m concentrating on both of those things. I put a little band together down in Santa Barbara, and we just played in Niagara Falls. I can see why it’s one of the wonders of the world.
T-Bone is putting this wonderful revue together called The Speaking Clock. He just did an album with Lon Russell and Elton John, so the tour will also include Elvis Costello and me. It’s going to be in New York, Boston and San Francisco.
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Also, be sure to check out our cast interviews and exclusive interview with Garrett Hedlund!
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