During the month of October 2020 we found out that Jeff Bridges, the iconic Big Lebowski and Oscar winner for Crazy Heart, had been diagnosed with lymphoma. It happened soon after the coronavirus crisis provoked an indefinite halt in the production of The Old Man, an FX series that would have marked Bridges’ return to television after almost five decades.
Said hiatus had to be prolonged when the actor began treatment for his illness, with such bad luck that earlier this year he also tested positive for COVID-19. According to him, this coincided with his chemotherapy sessions, leaving him severely debilitated and having to spend five weeks in hospital.
All in all, the 71-year-old has gone through very tough moments, but luckily and as revealed on his website, things have started to get better. Not only has he overcome the virus successfully (“COVID kicked my ass pretty bad, but I’m double vaccinated and feeling much better now,” he assures) but also his cancer is in remission. “My cancer is in remission — the 9″x12″ mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble, my COVID is in the rear view mirror.”
In fact, Bridges is so recovered that he has returned to filming The Old Man, which had resumed just before his lymphoma was detected, and is now finally able to wrap up the three remaining episodes.
“I’m excited to get back to work on The Old Man! It’s looking good. Here’s a little peek…” Bridges continues, right before linking a video that gives an account to the visual aspect of the series. The Old Man, based on Thomas Perry’s novel of the same name, is a thriller focused on a former CIA agent named Dan Chase (Bridges), who one day decided to leave the agency and starts living incognito. The story begins when an assassin starts to follow in his footsteps and Chase has to face his past. The Old Man co-stars Gbenga Akinnagbe as the assassin and John Lithgow.
The series has no release date yet, but there shouldn’t be much left to shoot and Bridges seems quite proud of it. On his dramatic experience he recounts that there have been “moments of tremendous pain” but he has also “felt happy and vigorous most of the time.” “Life is brief and beautiful. Love is all around us and available at all times. It’s a matter of opening ourselves to receive the gift,” he reflects, to then give more information about his struggle and thank doctors and loved ones for their effort.