The Dude Steps Behind the Camera: Jeff Bridges Shares Personal Photos From Film Sets (Exclusive)

Jeff Bridges Photography - Publicity - H 2019
Jeff Bridges

TRUE GRIT (2010) "Working with the Coen brothers again felt very much the same [as on 1998’s The Big Lebowski]. It was fun to see them in cowboy hats, though. When they came to me, I didn’t understand why they wanted to do it — it was already a very famous movie — but then I read the book and I understood. My vocalizations in the movie? My character was a very talkative guy, he said a lot of words. And sometimes in real life you don’t always understand what people say, either."

The actor has starred in more than 80 films — including 'True Grit,' 'Tron' and 'Seabiscuit' — and snapped thousands of behind-the-scenes photos on nearly all of them. Now, a new book featuring his Widelux images is heading to stores: "You've got to do something between shots."

Jeff Bridges, Oscar winner and amateur paparazzo, has been clicking pics on the sets of his movies for 35 years. "The word that comes to mind is Tourette's," he says of his photographic compulsion. "It started on Starman, and I just kept doing it. And you do something for so long, it sort of becomes part of what you do — a habit, as natural as picking up a book or magazine."

Bridges' photos — panoramic black-and-whites taken with a Widelux camera — mostly are self-published in personal books that the 69-year-old actor hands out at film wrap parties. But he's collected a few hundred of them in two tomes, one in 2003 and a second, Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume 2, out Oct. 14 from Powerhouse Books ($50; Bridges will donate his proceeds to the Motion Picture & Television Fund).

"You've got to do something between shots on a movie set," says Bridges, who won an Oscar for 2009's Crazy Heart and will next star as a retired CIA officer on the FX drama The Old Man, his first TV series since childhood. "I sleep a lot. I eat a lot. And I take pictures."

This story first appeared in the Oct. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.