Jeff Bridges and Jeff Garlin Talk Photography, Joy and 'Iron Man' at 'Volume 2' Book Launch

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Jeff Garlin (left) and Jeff Bridges

The Oscar-winning actor on Tuesday celebrated his second collection of BTS photos, 'Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume 2,' at NeueHouse Hollywood with actor and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' producer Jeff Garlin.

Black-and-white candid photos blanketed the third-floor terrace of the NeueHouse Hollywood. The monochrome portraits saw Olivia Wilde donning her Tron: Legacy costume, others featured backstage glimpses of films including True Grit and Crazy Heart.

The artist responsible for the displayed snapshots was someone as familiar behind the camera as he is in front of it.

“Exploring the experience is kind of a personal thing. I’d like to look through that book and it’s like a movie still. It puts me right back in that time and that place,” said Jeff Bridges.

The Oscar-winning actor sat down for a conversation with Jeff Garlin, presented with Book Soup, to celebrate the release of Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume 2 on Tuesday night. The follow-up photo collection comes 13 years after the actor released the first.

Bridges, who broke down a number of his shots with The Hollywood Reporter, commenced the evening with anecdotes and a song. He composed a number about a King Kong sequel, after his time on the 1976 film, wherein the giant ape was a robot.

“He’s holding on, yes, he’s going to pull the world inside of himself / Those foolish fishermen, they don’t know what they got, they’ve got the King himself,” he sang to his NeueHouse audience.

As the evening progressed, Garlin and Bridges went off on multiple tangents, including ones about sleep tapes, ASMR and the photo editing process. They also discussed Bridges' tool of choice for the newly released book — a Widelux camera.

The actor said he first encountered the Widelux when he was in high school. A photographer was set to take his class photo and Bridges heard that given how wide the camera lens ran, it was possible to be in the photo multiple times.

Since then, his fascination with the mechanism has filtered into his professional and personal life. He said that wife Susan Geston, his “main leading lady,” gifted him a Widelux as a wedding present. The actor also revealed that he takes anywhere from two to four Widelux cameras with him to set.

Bridges shared that he has brought the camera on nearly every project he has worked on, but he said that there have been times where didn’t necessarily feel like taking photos behind the scenes. He brought up 2008’s Iron Man, which he dubbed “the best [superhero movie]” and Garlin, “one of the greatest.”

Bridges said his time on the Marvel film, especially in the earlier stages, wasn’t the smoothest. Upon the first days of shooting, he said that the script still needed work, which frustrated him and co-star Robert Downey Jr.. 
 
“It drove me crazy. You asked me if I’ve ever gotten so pissed off that I didn’t want to take pictures, and I was kind of feeling like it,” the actor said. “I like to know my lines.”
 
To better his attitude, Bridges said that he needed an internal change. “I said to myself, ‘What’s going on? Relax, man, you’re making a $200 million student film. Relax, have fun,’” he told the audience. 
 
The evening of anecdotes and technical camera talk wound down into a conversation about joy and love. Garlin, who admitted he had been starstruck for the most part of the event, said that he’d like to see more people like Bridges in the world. 
 
“You’re one of those people who exist to remind us that life is so gosh-darn wonderful. Even in the darkest ones, there’s joy in your work, man,”  Garlin told Bridges. “Joy is what we’re missing a lot of. Anyone who brings joy, to me, is extraordinarily important. You are a king of joy.”
 
Bridges responded with anecdotes about following his father, Lloyd Bridges, and seeing his joy on set. He recalled seeing acting as “advanced pretend” when he was working with his dad and said he looks for people who can also bring about the same amount of joy. 
 
“It’s amazing, one of the things I’ve learned in acting is how accessible love is — it’s just right there,” said Bridges. “You feel this intimacy and love that’s right there, with someone who was a stranger before.”