The Talks: So your marriage helps?
Jeff Bridges: Marriage is a wonderful idea. To have a person that you spend that much time with, that you can get intimate with. Intimacy seems to be one of the major highs of life, whether it’s getting to know yourself in a deeper way, or your partner, or the world and the society that you live in. Give space to this tightness that we find ourselves in. Everything can be worked. It’s not so locked in stone. You create space around things and work on these things. They don’t have to stop you dead in your tracks. Everything changes. Nothing is one way forever.
TT: You’ve been married for almost 40 years so I am sure you have had your fair share of conflict along the way as well.
JB: Yes, but those conflicts can be diamond mines if you can look at them that way. My wife and I have been married for 37 years and we certainly had to come up against arguments. There is one particular argument that I call our “ancient war.” If it could be summed up in one phrase it would be: “You don’t get it. You don’t understand what it’s like to be me living with you.” There is such truth in that statement. None of us can really appreciate what it is like to be the other person, what that point of view feels like.
TT: So how do you get around that?
JB: We can’t completely put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and that’s something that can bring us together because that’s what we have in common. It doesn’t necessarily have to drive us apart. That is a commonality. Embracing this lack of understanding can come compassion and forgiveness and as much understanding as we can come up with. That act of compassion creates a larger sense of connection and love. And that connection becomes precious and valuable. You can look at these tough times as an opportunity to get closer and to learn from each other. I learned a lot from my wife. There are so many things that pop up. If you are paying attention, you can learn every second of the day. Life is my guru.
TT: And now you recently turned 65, an age at which many people start thinking about retirement. But that doesn’t seem to be part of your plans any time soon…
JB: 65, gosh. I can’t believe it. I don’t know how 65 is supposed to feel like. I certainly feel my mortality coming a little closer and I’ve got a lot of stuff I would still like to do. It’s interesting. My friend Bernie talks about retiring, but it’s a different version. It’s not stopping working, it’s about getting a new set of tires. Maybe do some off-road work. I am kind of in that mode. I would like to shake things up. I make movies, of course, but I’ve got so many different interests. Lately I have been getting into my music, my band The Abiders. We have been touring and we’ve got an album that is on iTunes. So I am living a teenage dream at 65 of being in a rock and roll band. And why not? It’s never too late to dream and to fulfill your dreams.
-Interview via The Talks