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INT: LaBoeuf/Bridges

Mar. 26, 2007by: JimmyO

Ive been a huge fan of Jeff Bridges since I was a kid. This is partly due to the classic film THE LAST PICTURE SHOW alongside an all-star cast. What Ive always respected about him was his honest approach to film without really finding superstardom. His work in such films as FEARLESS, STARMAN and THE FISHER KING have all been terrific, Oscar worthy performances (Nominated for 2 but 0 wins). But Mr. Bridges has become more than just a really great actor since his work in THE BIG LEBOWSKI, a cult classic that leaves you wanting to hang out with The Dude. Now, he takes the dude to a new level by adding a touch of that iconic character to a penguin named Big Z in the upcoming SURF'S UP. A Sony Pictures animated feature with surfing (not singing, or marching) penguins.

As for his co-star, Shia LaBeouf if you havent heard the name, you will soon. He will soon be seen in TRANSFORMERS and DISTURBIA. Possibly even INDIANA JONES 4, a rumor he denied at this function. He also appeared in such films as HOLES and with Keanu Reeves in CONSTANTINE. Here, he takes on the role of Cody Maverick, a penguin who loves to surf and finds his way into a surfing contest with a bunch of other penguins and a chicken (voiced by Jon Heder). Yes, I did say chicken.

Both Jeff and Shia took some time to talk with us courtesy of an all out Luau that Sony Pictures set up in support of the film. It was an interesting time and it seemed that Mr. Bridges definitely has a little dude in him. He was bald and wearing a Fedora (all about the Iron Man). He was laid back and seemed to be enjoying the night. He also talked a little about his upcoming IRON MAN and one of his acting heroes by the name of Robert Ryan. Shia, also chimed in with hero talk and also about some upcoming features, including the much anticipated TRANSFORMERS. Mr. LaBeouf has a whole lotta excitement about his career and he also talked to a few of us afterwards, further denying the rumor that is INDIANA JONES. So read on about surfing penguins that dont sing and dance and what not to anticipate in the coming weeks.

Jeff Bridges / Shia LaBoeuf

Was that something for Iron Man [regarding Jeffs shaved head]?

JB: Yes.

So they tell us that you came in first with a different pitched voice and theyre like no, no, no we want your voice. Were you kind of surprised that they wanted Jeff Bridges?

JB: [Speaking in a high pitch voice] Actually, this is my real voice. [Laughing] No, I dont know, I never heard that story. I dont know. Different pitched voice? I went in thinking it would just be normal. I didnt know that. I just thought, play it as real. You know, one of the things that was appealing about the whole project was this documentary quality, the Spinal Tap kind of take on it all. Playing it pretty serious you know and find the humor in that.

For you Shia, how did you get involved?

Shia LaBeouf: Um, I started hearing some of the cast news that they were throwing around, Jeff was always first choice and Ive always wanted to work with him and so that was a huge appeal. And then you meet Chris and Ash and they start lettin you loose and realize how much free, flow thought you can put into it and its always fun to have that much control, you know. Plus it was a new concept. You know, it was this hybrid version of animation that had never been done before, its good to be a part of new things and its stretching the art form a bit so you wanna be part of those type of things.

How free were you to just go off of the script?

JB: Oh, yeah they always encouraged that. Youd have a script that kind of gave you the bones of the scene but they were always calling on you to use your imagination and bring whatever you had to do. Thats always the most fun Like on a regular movie when youre called upon youre going to have to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, they dont have any scenes and youre really going to have to do it

SL: F*ck up.

JB: Yeah.

Shia, in the acting world, who was your Big Z?

SL: Dustin Hoffman. Then I found Gary Oldman. Theres a lot of them.

What about you Jeff?

JB: My Big Z [after a moment] Robert Ryan. I got to work with him. You know who Robert Ryan is?

SL: No.

JB: He was really an interesting actor, he always kind of stood alone for me, didnt really seem like an actor. I think he got into acting quite late, like maybe in his late thirties or forties.

SL: In westerns?

JB: He did some westerns. I did The Iceman Cometh with him. I had most of my scenes were with him

What did you admire about him, especially?

JB: Well, I remember one time we were at a table and we were sitting there, getting ready for one of our long scenes and he had his hands like this on the table and they guy said, were ready now Bob and [he moved his] hands and I saw these two big pools of sweat. And I said, Bob, youre frightened after all these years? and he said, Id really be scared if I wasnt scared. [Laughing]

Thats cool.

JB: You know that fear thing is something that is always with you and youre gonna have to befriend that, thats your buddy. So that calmed me down quite a bit.

Thats really cool that you could work together in a booth too, thats very unusual.

JB: Billy Budd was another great movie. You remember that movie? Terrance Stamp. Check that out.

Were you surprised you were able to overlap? I know with voice-overs usually you are told you cant talk when someone else is talking.

JB: Oh no.

SB: They encouraged it. Thats part of that different style. The cadence is different in this animation as opposed to something like any other animation youve ever seen.

Did either of you get a little worried when you heard about Happy Feet the penguin movie coming around?

SL: This is was 4 years of fruition to get here. Youre worried but then you see how successful it is. Its uplifting. You go oh, ok. It was happenstance that all these movies of conversion happened all at once. It wasnt like we were copycatting. Its impossible in animation because it takes so long to make these things and bring them to where they are. I dont know if theres fear.

JB: Not exactly fear, but youre like awe because there is an element of horse races, making the movies and you want your horse to do as well as it can. And as Shia was saying, maybe its good news for us, maybe its bad news, I dont know. You know youre rooting for your guy.

Very funny line that he had, I dont sing and dance.

SL: We added that after.

Its like you have an established superstar going for you already with the penguin.

SL: Sort of, yeah.

JB: Oh thats good, yeah.

Shia, youve been staying really busy for the last few years. What makes you choose one project over another? Youre not a struggling actor.

SL: Thank God.

You can pick what you want. What makes you pick Transformers or ?

SL: Theyre things that turn my clock. And excite me and make you want to show up. Its a lot of work to make these movies. Its not just show up and put some pretty make up on, lets have good time always. Sometimes its a struggle. Movies like Transformers and Iron Man are not easy movies to make, theyre really difficult.

How did Indiana Jones come up?

SL: Thats just a rumor. I know when I have a job I sign contracts and I talk to directors, and I havent had any of that happen. Until that happens, Im out of work. Im looking into a whole bunch of different things. If that happens, of course, Im on board. Its a dream job. But its a rumor right now and a dream.

Shia, you were about Jeffs age when he got started in acting. I wonder if you got any advice or if he gave any advice during filming about becoming a young actor and what you went through.

SL: I think I was too nervous to ever ask. Its a tough thing to be like, Hey were equals. Why dont you tell me how you did it? It just doesnt feel that way - ever. To ask to for advice in a situation, I dont feel like Im going through the same thing. We didnt have those talks. We talked about his ukulele. We talked about Montana. And we talked about penguins. We come up with little things to say about

JB: Music.

SL: We talked about a lot about music.

JB: I related to Shia just the way he approached the work. Its kind of very much the way my father taught us how to approached it. He works with a lot of joy, has a lot of fun. And thats kind of contagious as it gets back and forth and created that kind of cool friction to make the fire. And thats how I like to work. Its interesting that you work with so many approaches to it. With actor who dont go that way at all. Who want to get called by their characters name, Shia reminded me of how I liked to do it.

Jeff, so youre not going to do a picture book for this movie? Youre not going to take any photos in the booth?

JB: Ive kind of phased out of that a little bit. Im doing something on Iron Man, maybe Ill consider that.

Do you consider your character as kind of like the Dude of penguins?

JB: Yeah, you could say that possibly. They both surf. Theyre kind of laid back guys. Penguins are into clams. The Dude does weed.

What attracted you to Iron Man?

JB: Its the group was a big draw. The fact that there is Robert Downey, Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, and our leader is John Favreau. Im big fan of Swingers which he wrote, and its always great to have a director who is a writer so in the tough spots he can get you out. The story of Iron Man is interesting; its not your typical superhero where hes got some kind of power necessarily. John wants to ground it in reality as much as possible. Its about dealing with weapons manufacturers and the politics of the world and so forth. Its kind of interesting so I got hooked. I do my best not to engage in a movie, as Shia said its hard to do and once you commit to it, all these other doors close. You cant do all these other things. You dont even know what these other things are yet they could be great. Its an interesting group of people to work with, and thats a big draw.

What do you play in it?

JB: I play Robert Downey, Jr.s mentor.

Whats the characters name?

JB: Obadiah Stane .

And what is going to surprise us on Transformers?

SL: Ill just tell you this we went to get our MPAA rating. And its a movie for the masses. They show the movie and we get a rated R rating because of intensity, not because of curse words or nudity but because of sheer intensity you know, its aneurism inducing. And [they] fought the good fight and were back at a PG-13 but just the fact that they put us there, its so intense man and there are not a lot of breathers, its just wwoooshhh and youve never seen any animation like this. ILM, the people that talk to ILM say that this is the most intense graphics that they have ever done in the history of their company and ILM have done some pretty magical, wild things. I mean, just Megatrons arm has fifteen-thousand moving pieces that all converge like a rubiks cube. Its Michael Bay with these chase scenes, you know, just the chase scenes alone are insane. Then you have two forty foot tall machines on the 405 Freeway boxing. Its nuts The biggest surprises will be visual because its never been done like that and itll be fun to see what happens.

Lorenzo [di Bonaventura] said theyre gonna start moving forward with Constantine 2, have you heard that yet?

SL: Are they?

Thats what Lorenzo said.

SL: Wow. Did he? Really?


SL: Wow, I didnt think Keanu [Reeves] would wanna jump back on but

Yeah, he said he wanted to.

SL: Keanu went through a lot of shit on that movie. I would never Wow, I mean, yeah, sure Im game if they do it. But I havent heard anything so maybe not.

You may be also very busy with something else [Regarding Indiana Jones Part 4]

SL: Or not.

Well, if it did happen, when would we hear something? The next two weeks?

SL: You mean, if what would happen?

The one with the hat and the whip

SL: Look, when I hear something Ill tell everybody. I cant keep secrets very well. I mean, literally its an internet rumor thats turned into this insane thing. Its fun to watch everyone talk about it but again, I dont have a part or a deal or anything set so sure, Ill tell you when I hear.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to



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8:30PM on 03/27/2007

Bring On IRON MAN!

Iron Man sounds better and better every time I read something about it. That's the perfect cast for one complex and amazing hero.
Iron Man sounds better and better every time I read something about it. That's the perfect cast for one complex and amazing hero.
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