A joyful Jeff Bridges held court Tuesday with the cast and crew of The Old Man, the FX series that marks Bridges’ first series regular role (if you don’t count his appearance opposite his dad Lloyd in the 1958 series Sea Hunt, that is).
Bridges declared he felt “terrific,” after having to take time away from production after he was diagnosed with lymphoma. (Production went dark for 15 months). The series was originally set to bow last year but is now scheduled for June 16.
“I went through a year and a half of this bizarre dream and then came back,” Bridges told reporters Tuesday. “It was great to be back with the gang.” His co-star Amy Brenneman said she was charmed by how candid Bridges was about his ordeal. When she’d ask him about it, he would say nonchalantly, “‘it was weird but it was interesting. It was cool!'” Brenneman told reporters. “He was always available.”
Added co-Star John Lithgow, “My dear older brother, David, was diagnosed with something very very similar to what Jeff suffered from, and as soon as I told him about my brother, he immediately got in touch with him, sent him information, he never met the man. Jeff is the most big-hearted person. It’s not like you are working with an actor at all. It’s like you are working with a friend.”
The Old Man is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Thomas Perry. It focuses on Dan Chase (Bridges), who left the CIA decades ago and now lives off the gird. But an assassin (Gbenga Akinnagbe) is hot on his trail so Dan must reconcile his past. The series also stars Lithgow, Amy Brenneman, Alia Shawkat, Bill Heck, Seem Lubany and EJ Bonilla.
When asked about taking on a series role, Bridges acknowledged that he learned how to work hard from the best — his late dad. He reminded everyone that Lloyd Bridges did six series. “He’s my teacher,” Bridges said, before adding, “I resist everything. Each assignment has a unique quality. This one was going to have a lot of physicality.”
Executive producers on The Old Man are Bridges, Jonathan E. Steinberg, Dan Show, Dan Shotz, Warren Littlefield and Jon Watts, who also directed the pilot.
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