Jeff Bridges is feeling ‘terrific’ as ‘The Old Man’

Oscar winner plays a spy on the run in FX drama series

Jeff Bridges of ‘The Old Man’ Thursday on FX

Q: Having dealt with both cancer and COVID during the making of “The Old Man,” which is your debut as a television-series star, how are you feeling now?

A: I feel terrific. Oh, man. I mean, I went through about a year-and-a-half of this bizarre dream and then came back, and what added to the dream effect was that there were all the people who I had left a year-and-a-half ago. I said, “What happened? This is bizarre.” But I’m feeling terrific.

Q: How was the physicality that was involved in your role in “The Old Man” for you?

A: I have always been doomed to fights. I remember asking Tim Connolly, one of our stunt choreographers, about what was the kind of ultimate fight scene. He said, “I want to be humble, but I’ve got to say I worked on what I consider the great fight scene in ‘Atomic Blonde.’ I don’t know if you’ve seen that scene.” I said, “We are in good hands.” And man, were we ever. I really enjoyed all of it.

Q: Did the demands of “The Old Man,” between the basic work and your health challenges during it, give you a new outlook?

A: Oh, man, yeah. That year-and-a-half bout with my mortality, in times like that, it seems that all your philosophies and spirituality and everything kind of comes to you. It tests you, so all of that has been made more mature by that experience.

I haven’t felt any different, really. I have always approached life the same way, but this kind of made things sharper, in a sharper image to me. It was wonderful working with these guys prior to the sickness, and after the sickness, it was the same thing — just stronger.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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