This is a brilliant idea, 'cause while most of us know Jeff Bridges from 'The Big Lebowski', 'The Fisher King', the remake of 'True Grit' or from 'Tron' even - his list of career credits is actually hugely impressive. He's had a lot of supporting roles – and as Pauline Kael wrote when she reviewed him in 'The Last American Hero, he, "'may be the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor who ever lived" . So there's every chance you've seen him in films where his acting has been so convincing that you've not realised it was him that you were watching.
Jeff's first role actually came at four months old – his father, Lloyd Bridges, is an actor, and so is his mother, so Jeff grew up on and around film and TV sets. And he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his first major film performance, in 'The Last Picture Show'. Some reviewers infer that some of his brilliance and comfort on camera must come from his starting so early, but there's also something to be said for his varied choice of roles – he's played a lot of loaners and losers who we might not have had much sympathy for without his particular skill. So the list of films showing in this retrospective season is both interesting and impressive.
'The Last Picture Show' is showing as part of this Dude-tastic-celebrations, as is Tron. Over the next month or so, the BFI are also showing 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' where Jeff plays Lightfoot and Clint Eastwood plays Thunderbolt, 'Cutters Way', which is a tightly unravelling noir style crime drama set during the Vietnam War, and 'Winter Kills', in which Bridges plays the brother of an assassinated president, who's taken it upon himself to track down his brother's killer.
But these are just the tip of the Jeff Bridges cinematic iceberg.