‘Tron Legacy’ Star Jeff Bridges Explains How He Plays His Younger Self

'It's great to be able to play a character in a story at any age you want now,' veteran actor says about revisiting his 1982 role.

In March, when the “Tron Legacy” teaser trailer dropped online and showed us our first glimpse of a reverse-aged Jeff Bridges, director Joseph Kosinski revealed to MTV News that capturing this CGI-assisted footage was his greatest challenge.

“The hardest thing to do in visual effects is pull off a realistic human face,” he explained.

But that was the task filmmakers took on when they set out to make a sequel to the 1982 original, in which Bridges starred as two characters: a software designer named Kevin Flynn who’s sucked into a computer-generated gaming world, and a digital villain named Clu. With Clu playing a key role in “Legacy,” Kosinski had to re-create the ’80s-era Bridges to step into the Clu role once again. As he revealed to us, his reference point was the Bridges of the 1984 drama, “Against All Odds.”

For Bridges himself, the opportunity to play, in essence, his younger self was not one he could pass up. “It was very exciting to be a part of that,” he told us recently at Comic-Con. “That was one of the reasons that got me involved in ‘Tron’ in the first place, was to be a part of that cutting-edge technology. This one takes it to the nth degree.”

To get the visual effects right, Bridges shimmied into a motion-capture suit and set to work. “Playing the young guy, we did a lot of work in a space called the Volume — you record motion-capture work,” he said. “That was a completely unique experience for me. I had never done that. It’s great to be able to play a character in a story at any age you want now. I can play my character when he’s 4 years old.”

Of course, there’s always the chance that one day actors won’t be needed at all, as filmmakers fully create their characters in a computer. “I go between worry and gratefulness. Maybe I’ll be ready to do something else by that time,” he laughed about the possibility. “There is going to be a time — it’s probably already here — when they say, ‘Let’s get a combination of [co-star] Garrett [Hedlund] and Bridges and let’s put a little Bela Lugosi in there. What the hell — let’s see what happens!’ ”

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