01-24-2022  11:33 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Report: Oregon Has Too Few Public Defenders

Oregon has only roughly one-third of the public defense attorneys it needs to provide reasonably effective assistance to low-income defendants

Blumenauer Boosts Efforts to Put Three Black History Landmarks on National List

Congressman makes case for Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, and the Golden West Hotel’s importance to city history and heritage.

Lawsuit Says New Majority Latino District in WA a 'Facade'

A Latino civil rights organization and others filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that says new political maps in Washington state approved by a bipartisan redistricting panel intentionally dilute Hispanic voters' influence.

Washington Students' Test Scores Drop Significantly

Reports show that between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met state standards on the math portion of the exam fell by 20 percentage points.

NEWS BRIEFS

Final Week for 'Mending The Social Fabric' Interactive Exhibit

A parachute with rips and tears encourages community over the course of the exhibition as visitors sit and mend. The piece will be...

Nearly 35,000 Oregon Households Have Received More Than $243 Million in Rental Assistance Relief During Pandemic

OHCS will again begin accepting new applications for OERAP starting on Wed., Jan. 26, 2022. ...

Five Schools Return to In-person Instruction on Jan. 24

Alliance, Faubion, Franklin, Ockley Green, and Roosevelt return to in-person instruction; George, Harriet Tubman and Kellogg...

Portland Winter Light Festival Begins in Two Weeks, Illuminating City for Seventh Time

Free, all-ages, outdoor activity returns with new opportunities for outdoor art experiences all across Portland ...

PassinArt Introduces ‘Play Reading Mondays’

The Spanish Jade and The Learning Curve, both directed by William Earl Ray premiere in February ...

Wrestling coach out amid assault charge involving minor

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The wrestling coach at a Vancouver, Washington, high school is out after his arrest on suspicion of felony assault involving a minor. According to a probable-cause affidavit, Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Jess Pritchard’s home on...

6 charged with bid to smuggle arsenal to Mexican drug cartel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Six men have been charged with plotting to smuggle assault weapons and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, including .50-caliber armor piercing bullets, to one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels, authorities announced Monday. The alleged ringleader...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

EXPLAINER: Supreme Court takes up race in college admissions

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to review a challenge to the consideration of race in college admission decisions, often known as affirmative action. With three new conservative justices on the court since its last review, the practice may be facing its greatest threat yet. ...

Alabama's new congressional districts map blocked by judges

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal judges on Monday blocked Alabama from using newly drawn congressional districts in upcoming elections, ruling that the state should have two districts — instead of one — in which Black voters are a sizeable portion of the electorate. “Black...

Justices to hear challenge to race in college admissions

The conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions, adding affirmative action to major cases on abortion, guns, religion and COVID-19 already on the agenda. The court said it will take up lawsuits claiming...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Last Cuentista,' 'Unspeakable' win children's book awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Donna Barba Higuera's “The Last Cuentista,” a post-apocalyptic tale of a young girl who must preserve the memory of Earth's history, has won the John Newbery Medal for the year's best children's book. Another story of memory was awarded the Randolph Caldecott...

Review: Killer gives the Florida Keys condo lifestyle a try

“Mermaid Confidential” by Tim Dorsey (William Morrow) “Mermaid Confidential” is the 25th slapstick-noir novel in which Tim Dorsey chronicles the antics of obsessive-compulsive serial killer Serge Storms and his drugged-out sidekick, Coleman, as they devise fiendishly inventive...

Review: Silent star Buster Keaton rides again in 2 new books

“Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the 20th Century” by Dana Stevens (Atria; on sale now); and “Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life” by James Curtis (Knopf; Feb. 15): You might not know his name, but you probably carry an image of Buster Keaton...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hope seen once the omicron wave increases global immunity

World health officials are offering hope that the ebbing of the omicron wave could give way to a new, more...

Iconic musician seeks to rebuild Iraq through music

BAGHDAD (AP) — War kept him away from his beloved homeland for decades. Now, virtuoso oud player Naseer Shamma...

Report: Anti-corruption fight is stalled, COVID not helping

BERLIN (AP) — Most countries have made little to no progress in bringing down corruption levels over the past...

Lawmaker's claim of anti-Muslim bias is new blow to UK govt

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered an investigation into a Conservative...

S. Korea sets high of 8,000 new virus cases ahead of holiday

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea recorded more than 8,000 new coronavirus infections for the first time...

UK to lift travel test requirements for the vaccinated

LONDON (AP) — The British government announced Monday that it is scrapping coronavirus travel testing...

By Kam Williams | The Skanner News

 One of Hollywood’s most successful actors and a six-time Academy Award-nominee, Jeff Bridges’ performance in Crazy Heart” as Bad Blake, the down-on-his-luck, alcoholic country music singer at the center of the drama, deservedly garnered the iconic performer an Oscar in the Best Lead Actor category. The performance also earned him a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Award.


Jeff earned his first Oscar nomination in 1971 for Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show, co-starring Cybill Shepherd. Three years later, he received his second nomination for his role in “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.” In 1984, he landed more kudos via a Best Actor nomination for “Starman.” In 2001, he was honored with his fourth Oscar nomination for his work in The Contender, a political thriller co-starring Gary Oldman and Joan Allen in which he played the President of the United States.

In December 2010, his reunion with the Coen Brothers in the critically-acclaimed Western “True Grit” landed him his sixth Oscar nomination. The same month he was seen in the highly-anticipated 3D action-adventure “TRON: Legacy.” Jeff reprised his role of video-game developer Kevin Flynn from the classic 1982 film “TRON.” with the help of state-of-the-art technology. The picture featured him as the first actor in cinematic history to play opposite a younger version of himself.

Prior to “Crazy Heart,” Jeff was seen in the war comedy “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” playing Bill Django, a free-spirited military intelligence officer, who is the leader of a secret group of warriors in the army. Additionally, he has starred in numerous box-office hits, including “Seabiscuit,” “The Fisher King,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “The Jagged Edge,” “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” “Blown Away,” “Fearless” and “American Heart.”

In 1983, Jeff founded the End Hunger Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding children around the world. He also produced the End Hunger tel-event, a three-hour live television broadcast focusing on world hunger. The show featured Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, Burt Lancaster, Bob Newhart, Kenny Loggins and other leading film, television and music stars in an innovative production to educate and inspire action.

He is currently the national spokesman for the Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry campaign that is fighting to end childhood hunger in America. Another of Jeff’s true passions is photography. While on the set of his movies, he takes behind-the-scenes pictures of the actors, crew and locations. After completion of each motion picture, he edits the images into a book and gives copies to everyone involved.

Jeff’s photographs have been featured in several magazines, including Premiere and Aperture, as well as in other publications worldwide. He has also had gallery exhibitions of his work in New York, Los Angeles, London and San Diego. In 2013, he was the recipient of an Infinity Award, presented by the International Center of Photography in Manhattan.

The books, which have become valued by collectors, were never intended for public sale, but in the fall of 2003, powerHouse Books released Pictures: Photographs by Jeff Bridges, a hardcover book containing a compilation of his photographs taken on numerous film locations over the years, to much critical acclaim. Proceeds from the book are donated to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, a nonprofit organization that offers charitable care and support to film-industry workers.

In August of 2011, Jeff released his self-titled major label debut album for Blue Note Records. Multiple-Grammy Award-wining songwriter, musician and producer T Bone Burnett produced the album. It is an organic extension and culmination of his personal, professional and music friendship with Burnett, whom he has known for more than 30 years.

The critically-acclaimed album was a follow up to his first solo effort, “Be Here Soon,” on Ramp Records, the Santa Barbara, Calif., label he co-founded with Michael McDonald and producer/singer/songwriter Chris Pelonis. The CD features guest appearances by vocalist/keyboardist Michael McDonald, Grammy-nominated Amy Holland and rock legend David Crosby. In 2014, he released his first live album 'Jeff Bridges & The Abiders Live' and has been touring off and on when he is not working.

Jeff and his wife Susan divide their time between homes in Santa Barbara and Montana. Here, he talks about his latest outing as wily Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton in “Hell or High Water,” a cat-and-mouse crime thriller co-starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster.

Kam Williams: Hey Jeff. I'm honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.

Jeff Bridges: Why, thank you, Kam. it's good talking to you, too.

KW: I loved “Hell or High Water.” I don't know why they released it in August instead of just ahead of awards season. Everything about it screams Oscars.

JB: It's an awfully good movie.

KW: Yeah, from the A-list cast to the visually-captivating cinematography to its haunting musical score to its intriguing script -- featuring an unpredictable cat-and-mouse thriller as well as some decent character development. It all added up to an enchanting cinematic experience.

JB: It was a great experience for me watching it, too, and also making it, of course. It's a good one!

KW: Absolutely! What was it like working with such a talented ensemble. I was already familiar with Ben Foster and Chris Pine, but Gil Birmingham who was new to me did a great job, too.

JB: Yeah, the whole team they assembled, not only the actors, but the crew--the writer, the director, the set designer--all came together. That's a pretty rare phenomenon! It certainly doesn't happen all the time. And such a great screenplay by Taylor Sheridan. That's where it all began.

KW: And how about trusting a British director, David Mackenzie, to make a modern Western set in Texas?

JB: Yeah, he had those fresh eyes. He was so concerned about getting it right, and I think he did a brilliant job.

KW: I agree. How did you come up with your character Marcus Hamilton's persona?

JB: Well, it was definitely on the page. That was one of the things that attracted me to the project in the first place. It just rang so true. It seemed like Taylor Sheridan really knew what he was talking about. I found out that his cousin, Parnell McNamara was a Marshall down in Texas. He was made available to me, and I talked to him quite a bit. We were also very fortunate to have a very famous Texas Ranger, Joaquin Jackson, on the set with us. He died recently, but he was very instrumental, for me anyway, in getting my character right.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: I loved you in “True Grit.” Is there another remake you'd like to star in?

JB: Nothing really comes to mind, although I understand they're doing a remake of “Starman.” I know this doesn't exactly answer your question but whenever I see Karen Allen, who was with me in the original, we often ask, "Gee, why don't they make a sequel to Starman?" After all, she was impregnated by the alien guy... He's given her the silver ball... There's a story there! But I guess they're going ahead with a remake instead. That doesn't answer your question. As a matter of fact, when the Coen Brothers came to me with “True Grit,” I went "Why do you want to remake that? It's already a famous movie?" They asked me, "Well, have you read the novel by Charles Portis?" So, I checked out the book, which read like the Coen Brothers' script. And then I understood what they were up to.

KW: Even though you've had so many great roles, whenever I told someone I was going to interview, invariably the response would be, "The Dude! The Dude! The Dude!" a reference to another Coen Brothers film, “The Big Lebowski.” Do you also get more of a fan response about that film than any other?

JB: Oh, absolutely! I just signed a couple of bowling pins moments ago. That sort of thing happens to me just about every day when I'm out and about. It's great! I don't feel any resentment about it. “The Big Lebowski” is a real masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned. I suppose I'm a bit biased because I'm in it. But even if I weren't, I'd still love that movie, it's so well done.

KW: Yeah, my son always says it's his favorite movie of all time. Which of your roles are you fondest of?

JB: It's like that corny thing actors say about how it's like being asked to pick their favorite kid. Each one is such a different experience.

KW: Is there one that comes to mind?

JB: “Lebowski” is certainly up there. I couldn't pick one favorite, but I loved working with my brother [Beau] and my father [Lloyd] whenever that happened. I had a wonderful experience making “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” which I felt was a great movie, too. And I got to work with my dad in “Tucker” and in “Blown Away,” which were also wonderful experiences. Sometimes, it's hard for me to separate the experience from the final product.

KW: What was a film you really enjoyed making that might not have enjoyed box-office success?

JB: “The Moguls” was an obscure movie I had such a good time on. It's also called “The Amateurs.” It had a great cast and a wonderful director [Michael Traeger], and we had so much fun. It was about the citizens of a small town getting together to make a porno movie. I think it came out great., but it fell apart because the distributor turned out to be a crook, so it never got released. Hardly anybody saw it, but you could probably find it somewhere.

KW: Watching your dad on TV in “Sea Hunt,” was a big part of my childhood. was the show a big part of yours, too?

JB: Yeah, unlike a lot of people in Hollywood, he loved showbiz so much he encouraged his kids to go into it. If you were a “Sea Hunt” fan, then you probably saw me on the show as a little kid. He was like, "Hey Jeff, why don't you come to work with your old man. You get to skip school."

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

JB: Sitting in my living room and seeing my mother open the front door. She was wearing a mink stole but had just cut off all of her long beautiful hair. She had a very short kind of bob. It just freaked me out. I just ran and locked myself in the bathroom. I must have been about 3 or 4.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

JB: I'm not much of a cook. Maybe scrambled eggs or something like that.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

JB: A stranger, as of late. I sort of don't recognize myself. It's kind of an interesting situation. I went through a very hairy period. I had a movie where I was going to play Walt Whitman that fell through. At the time, I had grown this huge beard and very long hair. But then, the movie got canceled, I had some other parts, and I currently have very short hair. So, when I look in the mirror, I don't know who I am exactly. It's interesting.

KW: When you prepare to play a character, do you take him on mentally as well as physically?

JB: Sure, yeah.

KW: How long does it take you to shake off a character and get him out of your system after a film has wrapped?

JB: That's hard to say. Once, during an interview in front of my wife, I was asked, "Are you one of those actors who brings your character home? Do you stay in character?" I said, "No, not really. I don't do that," and she started laughing. I asked her why. She said, "Well, you might think you don't bring characters home, but you do." So, while I don't feel like a character is lingering, it probably is.

KW: What are you up to musically?

JB: I'm looking at my guitar right now. I play music as much as I can. I have a band called The Abiders. We've put out a couple of albums you can find on iTunes. We tour and all that stuff, so music is very much a part of my life.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

JB: I have my prized possession in my wallet. That's a photograph of the first words I ever uttered to my wife, and her answer to my question when I asked her, "Will you go out with me?"

KW: What was her answer?

JB: "No." I happen to have snapped a photograph of that moment.

KW: Well, it all worked out very well for you in the end. Thanks again for the time, Jeff. I really enjoyed this.

JB: Nice chatting with you, too. Have a good one, Kam. 

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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