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Jeff Bridges' stand-in

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In his acceptance speeches at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, Crazy Heart star Jeff Bridges, 60, thanked his longtime stand-in, Loyd Catlett. EW tracked down the 56-year-old Texan — who’s worked with Bridges on 50-plus films — to ask about his turn in the spotlight.

How he met Bridges
”I was doing small community-theater stuff in Texas when Peter Bogdanovich came to town to find some boys to be in his movie [1971’s The Last Picture Show],” Catlett recalls. ”Jeff was so open and warm. I didn’t know it at the time, but Bogdanovich had given Jeff and Timothy Bottoms the order that they gotta hang out with me so they could pick up the dialect.” After Catlett moved to L.A., he stayed in touch with Bridges. ”I was working in a restaurant and a gas station and taking acting classes, and Jeff suggested that I work as his stand-in,” he says. ”And from that first show [1980’s The American Success Company], it was like a hand in a glove, it fit so perfectly.”

What a stand-in does
”I watch Jeff’s rehearsal and mentally record all of his moves,” he explains. ”Then he goes back to makeup and hair, and I go through his motions for the camera operator and the cinematographer while they set up the lights, so that when Jeff comes out we’re ready. I also help him run his lines.”

On Shooting Crazy Heart
”Jeff did the second week, the third week, and the fourth week totally sick. It was a strain of flu. He was in every shot, every scene, and we were pulling 14-hour, 15-hour days. I was surprised at how great his performances were when we were on the set, knowing how bad he felt when we were in the dressing room. Then I got it the last 10 days of shooting, and it took me three weeks to recover.”

What it felt like to be thanked
”I certainly didn’t expect Jeff to do that,” he says. ”All the years we’ve been together, I’ve been in the warm shadow of a great man. And for him to say that made me feel proud.”

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