Oscar Icons: Jeff Bridges

Fabrizio Maltese

“Crazy Heart” (best actor)

Right after Jeff Bridges won his oscar for Crazy Heart last year, he didn’t focus on how the best actor statuette would impact his movies — he thought about how it would help his music. “That’s gonna bloom for me,” he said at the time. He was right: Since then, he’s not only teamed up with old friends to perform at venues across the nation; he’s also been working with his Crazy Heart collaborator T Bone Burnett on a new album of songs. “One of the things I wanted to do after winning this award was work on my music,” he says. “I said, ‘I’m going to do my music; maybe this will be a chance for that. And maybe, rather than resist it and do it begrudgingly, I’ll just go into it like another canvas, another thing to jam on.’ ” It also gave the 61-year-old, nominated for a best actor award for True Grit, more freedom to focus on an issue that affects him deeply. “Childhood hunger in America is a big thing,” he says. “I said, ‘Maybe this will be a chance for me to talk about that.’ The upside of fame is, you get to have a little more visibility for what you think needs a lending hand.”

Photographed by Fabrizio Maltese on Feb. 10 at The Hotel de Rome, Berlin