There’s a deep well of sadness at the center of The Giver, loss and regret circling from within. Most YA adaptations (e.g. The Hunger Games & Divergent) have the veneer of grittiness, but underneath their dystopian features lies a fairly upbeat ‘rah-rah’ tale of the little men rising up against their fascist over-bearers. The Giver may seem like another notch on this belt (despite predating the lot of these books); but underneath there’s a far more subversive agenda at work: what if overthrowing the fascists wasn’t all it was made up to be? What if the only way to preserve humanity was to curb its very self? Anchoring such dispiriting notions is the welcome sternly presence of Jeff Bridges, his shrunken eyes and ragged face instantly conveying the deep emotional turmoil of such a compromising vision. He’s the beating, withering heart of the picture, adding an immediate sense of gravitas without even having to utter a line.
In the following interview with the actor, he discusses why it took eighteen-years to bring The Giver to the big screen, his penchant for playing melancholic characters and the enduring popularity of ‘The Dude’ from The Big Lebowski. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Of note: the opening question of the interview addresses this recent moment in which Bridges channeled ‘The Dude’ for the opening pitch of an LA Dodger game.
- What inspired his LA Dodger’s pitch
- What is it about The Big Lebowski & The Giver that have enabled them to endure all these many years?
- Why was it so difficult to get The Giver made into a film adaptation? (Bridges has been trying to get the film made for about twenty years now)
- As a producer on the film, how much influence did Bridges have on the final cut of The Giver?
- Bridges on his penchant for playing more melancholic characters