SI: Did youchannel your inner Béla Kàrolyi for Stick It?
This is an article from the May 1, 2006 issue
Bridges: Well, Idid speak to a lot of coaches, but the people who really helped me were theOlympians who were part of the cast. Also, I was able to go to a Junior OlympicNational meet in L.A. I must have been a strange sight because here were allthese girls flipping around and I have my camera taking pictures of thecoaches.
SI: Your brother,Beau, made the UCLA basketball team as a walk-on in 1960-61. What was he likeas a player?
Bridges: He wasonly 5'9" or so, but he was a great athlete. He was also scouted by theDodgers. Beau still has a close connection with John Wooden. He narrates one ofhis DVDs.
SI: You'veappeared in many sports films, including The Last American Hero, in which youplayed a character based on racing legend Junior Johnson. How did you preparefor the part?
Bridges: I hungout with Junior and [his then wife] Flossie. Did some shine with them, somecherry bounce and white lightning. I kind of soaked up the atmosphere[laughs].
SI: In AgainstAll Odds you played a football player at the end of his career. Did you basethat on anyone?
Bridges: Yeah, Ihung out with [former Bills receiver] Bob Chandler. I had lunch with him. Hewas like a cripple. He was getting to his chair, and you heard every move. [Iasked why he kept playing, and] he said, "There's nothing like catchingthat long ball. If I knew I wouldn't be ridiculed to death, I would be sobbingevery time I caught the ball. It's such an emotional high. There's nothing elsein life that will ever get that for me."
SI: Have youattended any Lebowski Fests, where fans of the movie bowl and sip WhiteRussians?
Bridges: I wentto one in L.A. last year. We got a little band together and played some tunesfor the guys. We did The Man in Me, the Dylan tune in Lebowski. It was wildperforming to a sea of Dudes.
> For morefrom Jeff Bridges, go to SI.com/scorecard.