Although 28 years have passed between Tron and the new Tron: Legacy, it didn’t exactly feel that way for star Jeff Bridges.
“It’s like we had a long weekend and we’re just back doing the same work. It’s crazy,” he says. Yet, Bridges says making the decision to return to the computerized world of Tron wasn’t easy — but then no decision is for him.
“I have a lot of hesitation making any kind of decision in my life. I’m really slow at it,” he says.
“My mother says that I have abulia. It’s like a mental disorder, I guess — having difficulty making decisions.”
One of the factors aiding Bridges’ indecision was the technology used in the new film, which like its predecessor, pushes the technical boundaries of filmmaking. “With this one, I thought, 'Oh God, are they going to pull it off?'” Bridges says.
The most high-profile technical trick on display involves Clu, one of the two characters Bridges plays in the film — only Clu looks like the actor did decades ago. The filmmakers used the techniques that made Brad Pitt age in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to rejuvenate Bridges. It’s something that leaves Bridges’ mind blown, to put it lightly.
“It’s wild to be able to go back there and play different ages. It opens up a whole world,” he says. “And they’ll be able to combine actors. I don’t know quite how I feel about this, but that’s coming up, too. Just to say, you know, ‘Let’s get Boxleitner and Bridges, and put a little Brando in there. See what happens.’ And then they can hire some other actor to drive that image that they’ve created. It’s getting pretty crazy.”
So does that mean he’ll now be competing with younger co-stars like Garrett Hedlund for roles? Because certainly they’d take issue with that. The idea makes Bridges laugh. “No, I haven’t thought about that,” he says. “That’s funny.”
Of course, Bridges sees Tron: Legacy as more than just a movie, even
a technologically groundbreaking one. He was most excited by the
message the film carries.
“I thought we could use a modern-day myth
about the challenge of technology and how we’re going to surf that
particular wave,” Bridges says. “You know, those are tough waters we’re
coming into now. We can do some amazing things, but we can also head
off in a wrong direction very quickly.”
For Bridges, the core of that cautionary tale sat comfortably on his
character’s bookshelf in the movie, thanks to a book Bridges insisted
the filmmakers include, The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation
by Chogyam Trungpa.
“You can be a prisoner to your preferences, you
know? That can be a thing that can just trap you and you’re a slave to
it,” Bridges says. “You’ve got to really think about, ‘Well what do I
really want?’ I know we’re all hooked. I can feel my own hooked-ness on
immediate gratification. You know, I want what I want and I want it
now, and I can get it now, so I’m going to do it, damn it. You’ve got
to watch that, you know?”
Jeff Bridges’ Academy Award win earlier this year for Crazy Heart has certainly changed his life, but he’s just not sure how yet.
“I think it has, but I haven’t really figured that out entirely, because about a day after the Oscars I went right to work on True Grit,” he says.
As for where to put the little gold guy, the preternaturally playful actor had one idea that has yet to come to fruition. “They didn’t really do this, but I thought it would be fun. I was going to ask my wife or my kids or whoever, ‘Take this and hide it at different spots in the house. We can discover it,’” Bridges says with a grin.