Jeff Bridges' Dedication To Acting
- Jeff bridges, 73, was so dedicated to playing the role of Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, that he actually chose not to smoke marijuana amid filming.
- The 1998 crime comedy film, which was produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and recently celebrated it’s 25th anniversary, is a staple movie in Bridges career.
- Bridges announced in October 2020 that he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and about a year later in September 2021, he was declared to be in remission.
- He had chemotherapy to treat his disease. Other lymphoma treatments include active surveillance, radiation, and bone marrow transplant.
The 1998 crime comedy film, which was produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and recently celebrated it’s 25th anniversary, is a staple movie in Bridges career, which was released prior to his battle with lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells, and COVID-19.Read More
Prior to that, Bridges opened up about his refusal to smoke pot during the filming in a 2014 Role Recall interview with Yahoo, recalling how the Coens would ask him before he got on set if he “burned” one.
Bridges told Yahoo, “I did burn some herb occasionally, but for that film, I decided, ‘This is such a wonderful script, and quite detailed.'”
He added, “If you add an extra ‘man’ in a spot, it didn't quite feel right. So I really wanted to have all my wits about me. I didn't burn at all during that movie.”
Although Bridges didn’t smoke marijuana to get more into character, he does admit to having “quite a bit of Dude in me, man.”
Earlier this year, Bridges recounted thinking the movie was “going to be a big hit” to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), explaining, “I was surprised when it didn't get much recognition. People didn't get it, or something.”
Bridges, who donned a significant portion of his own wardrobe in the film, also recounted having an uncanny connection to his character “The Dude.”
"My first impression was it was a great script and I had never done anything like it. I thought the brothers must have spied on me when I was in high school," the Academy award-winner explained, referring to the film’s directors.
Bridges acted alongside John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Sam Elliott, Tara Reid, John Turturro, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie about his character who is wrongly believed to be a rich man with the same name.
“I'm so happy to be in that movie. I pretty much dug it all, man,” Bridges told THR. “There's an aspect of the Dude I aspired to he's authentic, isn't he? He's who he is, and that's about it. He's a lovely cat.”
“Ultimate L.A. slacker Jeff ‘The Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for a rug ruined by debt collectors, enlisting his bowling buddies for help while trying to find the millionaire's missing wife," IMBD describes the one-hour and 57-minute motion picture.
Jeff Bridges’ Cancer Battle
Jeff Bridges was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2020 and started chemotherapy treatment right away. Although Bridges hasn’t personally specified which type of lymphoma he was diagnosed with, AARP noted that his cancer was, in fact, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cancer of a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the immune system.
While cancer treatment was going well, he was also diagnosed with COVID-19 in January 2021 and due to his cancer treatment having weakened his immune system, Bridges wound up spending months in the hospital.
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According to AARP, Bridges’ cancer went into remission quickly after he was put through chemotherapy infusion, which was followed by an oral chemo protocol.
He dubbed his wife as being his “absolute champion” as she stayed by Bridges’ side as he recovered from covid in the hospital. “She really fought to keep me off a ventilator. I didn't want to be on it, and the doctors didn't necessarily want that. But Sue was adamant,” he told the news outlet.
He was later treated with a blood plasma called “convalescent plasma,” which consists of viral antibodies.
Despite his struggle, like so many cancer survivors, Bridges was left with a renewed appreciation for life.
“I'll be honest. I didn't know if I was going to make it,” he told Esquire in an earlier interview. “I was on death's door there for a while in the hospital â€¦ When I finally went back to work, after a two-year hiatus, it was the most bizarre kind of thing. It felt like a dream.”
“I came back after all that time, and saw the same faces [while shooting The Old Man], the same cast and crew," he added. “It was like we had a long weekend. I gathered everyone and I said, ‘I had the most bizarre dream, you guys.’ I was sick and out, but all that feels like a gray mush now.”
Jeff Bridge’s battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, one of the two most common types of lymphoma.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that affects infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. And there are more than 40 different types of lymphoma.
“Lymphoma is split up into a number of different categories,” Dr. Elise Chong, a medical oncologist at Penn Medicine, previously told SurvivorNet.
“The first distinguishing breakpoint, if you will, is non-Hodgkin lymphoma versus Hodgkin lymphoma," she added, “and those sound like two different categories. But non-Hodgkin lymphoma comprises the majority of lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma is a single specific type of lymphoma.”
Hodgkin lymphoma has distinctive, giant cells called Reed-Sternberg cells. The presence of these cells, which can be seen under a microscope, will help your doctor determine which of the two lymphoma types you have.
There are a few other important differences between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma to note. For one thing, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is much more common. And you're more likely to be diagnosed with it after age 55, like Jeff Bridges. People usually develop Hodgkin lymphoma at a younger age.
It should be noted that another difference between these two types of lymphoma is that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to spread in a random fashion and be found in different groups of lymph nodes in the body, while Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to grow in a uniform way from one group of lymph nodes directly to another.
These two different types of lymphoma behave, spread and respond to treatment differently, so it's important for you to know which type you have.
What Life May Look Like After Treatment
If patients have not experienced too many complications from their chemotherapy, “they are often able to go back to many of the same things that they did before they had their diagnosis of cancer and are able to live full and complete lives,” Dr. Michael Jain, medical oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center, told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview.
If the cancer does return at some point, any future treatment you get will depend on:
- The type of lymphoma you had
- The type of treatment you received for it
- How long it has been since you finished your treatment
- Your overall health
Making a Survivorship Care Plan
So what comes after successful treatment? “At that point we often focus on the survivorship issues that they may have, preventing second cancers, and properly following them,” Dr. Jain explains.
A survivorship plan will include a schedule for follow-up exams and tests, plus a schedule for tests to check for any long-term health impacts from your cancer or treatment, and screening for any new cancers. (You're at higher risk for cancers such as melanoma, lung cancer, and kidney cancer if you've had non-Hodgkin lymphoma).
Your doctor will likely tell you what to look out for in terms of side effects that could show up late or over the long term. Your care team will provide you with diet and physical activity recommendations as part of your survivorship plan.
Moving On From Treatment
It's natural to feel continuing mental health effects, such as depression and anxiety, even after your treatment ends. This is where you can benefit from a supportive community. Look to strengthen your relationships with friends and family, faith groups, support groups, and mental health professionals to buoy you as you move on from treatment.
In addition to caring for their mental health, people who finish treatment and are in complete remission will want to move on from cancer with a physically healthy lifestyle. Eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, staying at a healthy weight, and not smoking are all lifestyle practices that generally contribute to a healthy quality of life.
Indeed, cancer and its treatment might naturally point survivors in the direction of such practices. “Mostly [we're] trying to maximize the quality of life that people have, because once you have a cancer diagnosis, I think it is an important time in someone's life where they can take stock and really understand what's important,” Dr. Jain adds.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff