Word has it that Fox Searchlight, after “Amelia” crashed, is banking on first time director Scott Cooper’s, “Crazy Heart” to bring home the Oscar this year (and pay that hefty electric bill they must have). Can you believe Jeff Bridges doesn’t have an Oscar? That’s just a damn embarrassment for that institution, and I bet you they try to correct it this award season.
More interesting than that naked golden crusader speculation though (really, it’s a knight with a crusader sword) is the film itself which basically came together when a group of Bridges friends came on board. Bridges has mentioned that it really began 30 years ago with Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate” where he first met Stephen Bruton who came on as composer and music producer, as well as T-Bone Burnett (“Walk the Line” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) who produces and scores. Waldemar Kalinowski, who was an actor in “Heaven’s Gate” came on as production designer. That film’s lead, Kris Kristofferson is not technically in “Crazy Heart,” but Bridges based his character, Bad Blake, off of him (as well as guys like Waylon Jennings). Bridges even looks like Kristofferson in this movie.
Check out this lengthy interview with Jeff Bridges, the greatest American actor of his generation, on “Crazy Heart,” his father Lloyd Bridges, and how the cast/crew of “Heaven’s Gate” used to jam together after shooting. on WNYC.
And here’s songwriter T-Bone Burnett waving Brobdingnagian hands about as he muses on helping Bridges nail the songs.