Jeff Bridges discussed his experience making the iconic sci-fi film Tron and revealed that wearing the heavy helmet for his role caused his hair to fall out.

and the film’s villain

Jeff Bridges portrayed both Kevin Flynn and Clu, the antagonist in the movie.

During the late 1950s, my father, Lloyd Bridges, was the lead actor in a television show called Sea Hunt, which centered around a diver. His portrayal of the character was so convincing that many believed he was an actual diver. As I began my own career, I sought out scripts that were unique, similar to the ones for Tron. While these types of projects may seem daunting, they actually have a higher chance of success because they are so groundbreaking and have no previous comparisons.

We used 70mm film and filmed in black and white. The sets were constructed with black duvetyne, a fabric that blocks light and has a matte finish, and white adhesive tape was used to create defining lines. Our costumes also followed the black and white theme. Being on set was a surreal experience – your eyes would adapt to the black and white environment, but when you stepped outside, the colors of everyday life would be a shock to your vision. It was truly amazing. After filming, the footage was sent to Korea where each frame was meticulously hand-painted by women. This process was both primitive and advanced at the same time.

I sought inspiration from director Steven Lisberger. Based on the fact that he co-wrote the story, I imagined my character, Flynn, to have similar traits to Steven. I can’t recall the specific reason, but I chose to style my hair in curls for the role. During scenes where I was inside the computer, I had to wear white hockey helmets. However, this caused my bleached hair to fall out due to the heat and stress on the roots.

Steven decorated the walls of the soundstages with complimentary video games – and, wow, we spent a lot of time playing them! One in particular, Battlezone, reminded me of the movie Tron. I achieved some impressive scores and even had a fierce competition with the makeup artist, although he ultimately came out victorious. Sometimes, when it was my turn to film a scene, I would refuse because I was engrossed in Battlezone. Eventually, I would have to be forced off the game, but Steven was understanding.

I found myself featured on the front of Rolling Stone magazine, donning a skin-tight outfit that was rather embarrassing. Additionally, I had to wear a dancebelt. It amazes me how women are able to wear such things regularly. The minute you sit down, it rides right up your backside.

The advancement of technology has been rapid, but the film still holds its charm due to its datedness. The younger generation is now discovering and appreciating the film’s primitive yet excellent qualities, while older fans who watched it as kids are filled with nostalgia. Steven was a dynamic and creative director, and I am hopeful for another installment.

Bridges, Cindy Morgan and Bruce Boxleitner in Tron.

Bruce Boxleitner, played Alan Bradley/Tron

While filming a western, my agent reached out and informed me that Disney was interested in speaking with me. A couple of days later, I found myself reading the script for Tron while mounted on a horse. I couldn’t fully focus on the material. I remember thinking, “What is all of this nonsense?” My character was a video game fighter within the virtual world of the game grid. The action aspect of the role intrigued me, but I struggled to comprehend half of the plot. In the end, I stowed the script away and moved on. It’s likely that a wrangler stumbled upon the first draft of what would become a beloved Disney film.

After discovering that Jeff Bridges was involved, I was reminded of working with his father previously. I had a deep admiration for Jeff’s films and was familiar with the work of David Warner, who portrayed the antagonist. This led me to accept the project. Upon seeing the designs, I was thrilled by its Alice in Wonderland-esque essence and the concept of entering a new world. My role required playing both the program and programmer. Although we may not think much of it now, at the time it was a novel language.

Video games were present on the set but were eventually deemed too distracting. I spent my time practicing throwing my Frisbee at various angles in preparation for the fight scenes, while Steven continuously challenged me to improve. There were moments where I almost accidentally hit him with the Frisbee.

Heroes today need an eight-pack but we were bursts of light and energy. We were electrical. It wasn’t muscular – it was more of a sleek thing and, wearing tights, we had to make sure we stayed slim. Every morning I ran five miles before work. David had to pad out his costume because he had no ass.

I brought my parents to Los Angeles to attend the premiere, but unfortunately, the movie received negative reviews. This made me consider returning to television and abandoning my dream of becoming a movie star. The big shots in Hollywood didn’t understand it, but the younger generation playing arcade games understood the concept. It’s incredible how many individuals have told me that they pursued careers in computer software because of Tron.


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