Cecil B. Demille Award

  • Cecil B. Demille Award


    AWARD 18


    JEFF BRIDGES:   Thank you, Chris.  And Sam.  Where is Sam?  Oh, man.  The stranger.  Oh, man.  Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press.  This is really a wonderful honor.  I’m so challenged up here because there are so many people to thank, you know.  I mean, it’s a collaborative art form here.  I’m going to ‑‑ I’ve got to thank some folks.  I’ve got to thank my sweetheart, Sue.  My God.  Forty‑five years of support and love.  I wouldn’t be up here without you, my dear.  And my brother Beau, sister Cindy for your love and support.  And how lucky are we to have our folks, man?  Lloyd and Dorothy.  Thank you.  I’m wearing your cuffs, Dad.  I’m wearing your cufflinks.  They’re your dad’s too.  And ‑‑ oh, man.  I’ve got to thank my representatives.  I don’t know where ‑‑ wave your hands, guys.  I want to see you if I can.  They’re keeping the boat afloat.  I can’t see you.  There they are.  David Shiv, Rick Kurtzman, Gene Seavers, Bob Wallestein, Liz Darling, my trustee assistant, Becky Padretti.  Who am I forgetting?  Frank Page.  You know who I got to mention is Loyd Catlett?  He’s my stand‑in.  We’ve done close to 70 films together.  Can you believe that?  He’s the thread through the whole deal, starting from “Last Picture Show.”  And speaking of “Last Picture Show,” I’ve got to thank my dear ‑‑ my dear friend Peter Bogdanovich, who kicked the whole party off for me in that.  I was so blessed to have him start my whole career.  And let’s see.  Well, the brothers, the Coen brothers.  Come on.  I mean, true masters.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be associated with the Dude for the rest of my life.  I feel so, you know, honored to be a part of that film.  Great movie.  And let’s see.  Well, we’ll get to my brother Steve Kloves, right?  “Fabulous Baker Boys.”  First time out, he comes up with that great movie.  Got to thank him.  I I’ve got to thank Scott Cooper.  I don’t know if Scotty is here tonight, but “Crazy Heart.”  Yeah, man.  Scott, man, sets a great vibe to make wonderful stuff happen.  And, oh, another first‑time guy I was so lucky to work with, the late, great Michael Cimino, who directed “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.”  That was his first movie.  I can remember going into his office the day before we started shooting, and I said to him, “Mike, man, I am sorry, but I think you made a terrible mistake.  I’m not feeling this guy at all.  I feel so inadequate.  I’m giving you late notice, I know, but please fire me, you know.”  And he looked at me, and he said, “Jeff, you know the game tag?  I said, “Yeah.”  He says, “You’re it.””  I said, “What do you mean, I’m it?”  He says, “You are the guy.  You couldn’t make a mistake if you wanted to.  The life of this character was coming through you.  It’s a done deal.”  I said, “Oh, all right.  That’s a wonderful vote of confidence and a great perspective to look at this thing.”  And I used it, of course, in that film and all the other movies that I’ve done, as well as my life, you know.  I’ve been tagged.  I guess we all have been tagged, right?  We’re all alive right here, right now.  This is happening.  We’re alive, man.  You know what I’m saying?  And being in the life of the movies, I kind of look through my life through the filter of movies.  I find directors and fellow actors all over the place in my life.  One guy, he had nothing to do with the movies, but he’s ‑‑ I’ve taken a lot of direction from him.  That’s Bucky Fuller.  And bucky, you know, he’s most famous for the geodesic dome, but he made a great observation about those oceangoing tankers.  And he noticed that the engineers were particularly challenged by how to turn this thing, you know.  They got this big rudder, too much energy, the rudder to turn the ship.  So they came up with a brilliant idea.  “Let’s put a little rudder on the big rudder.  The little rudder will turn the big rudder.  The big rudder will turn the ship.”  That little rudder is called a trim tab.  And Bucky made the analogy that that trim tab is an example of how the individual is connected to society and how we affect society.  And I think ‑‑ I like to think of myself as a trim tab, and all of us are trim tabs.  We may seem like we’re not up to the task, but we are, man.  We’re alive.  We can really ‑‑ we can make a difference.  We can turn this ‑‑ we can turn this ship in the way we want to go, man, where it’s love creating a healthy planet for all of us.  So I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for tagging me, and I want to tag you all.  You’re all trim tabs.  Boom.  Tag, you’re it.  Thank you.

    Backstage Interview:



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