Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde and Joseph Kosinski talk past, present and future | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde and Joseph Kosinski talk past, present and future

Tron: Legacy
06 December 2010

Tron: Legacy is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world thats unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), looks into his fathers disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years.

The Fan Carpet were lucky enough to attend the press conference for Tron: Legacy held at Claridges Hotel where acting legend Jeff Bridges was in attendance with his gorgeous co star Olivia Wilde and their architect director Joseph Kosinski. The Trio talk about their experiences making the film and what they think will happen in the future of film.



Most people like to make their debut with a cosy, low budget picture, so if the worst happens it’s been a good learning experience. Did you have any youthful foreboding or arrogant thinking ‘I can do this, let’s go’?

Joseph Kosinski: Yeah, that’s certainly what we started with, not knowing exactly what I was in for when we started this. One of the first things I did was to get Jeff to sign on and that was a huge part of the process for me. I was excited to take this thing on, I was a big fan of the original as a kid. I saw a huge opportunity to do something different.


I read somewhere that this was the most amount of action you have done in your career, was that a thrill to you or were you a bit apprehensive?

Olivia Wilde: Yeah it’s the most action I have ever done in my life! I haven’t moved like that before, but I enjoyed it, it was great. I was honoured that the film makers had the faith that I could pull everything off to be Quorra. I had the benefit of training with an amazing team of stunt guys from AD 7/11, who train all the best fighters for movies and that gave me confidence. I had great fun turning myself into a warrior. It was a fun, transformative process and I think I’m hooked now.

What does current you think of younger you? It must be one of the oddest experiences when you saw yourself being recreated as you were.

Jeff Bridges: Yeah very odd. It was a rendition created by some wonderful artists, and that rendition was of me 25 or 30 years ago. They referenced two of my old films I think they zeroed in on Against All Odds, that era. My wife was called in and then I was moulded in silicone, then it’s scanned into the computer and I drive that image. It’s very bizarre. It felt a bit like when I first heard myself recorded on a tape recorder.


Obviously your wife knows you better than anyone on the planet, what were her comments about the younger you and did your daughters toss in their opinions?

Jeff Bridges: (laughs) My daughters weren’t around to give their opinions, I’m sure they would’ve if they’d been around. I’m happy to say that my wife prefers this version, so I’m in luck! (laughter)


Other than your younger self, can you give us some context into how the technology has advanced from when you made the first film. Obviously it was cutting edge then as it is now.

Jeff Bridges: Yeah I was looking at this table cloth, a fake high quality velvet (laughs) our set back then was black cloth with white adhesive tape, that was The Grid back in those days. Of course those were the days when there was no internet and we used to carry mobile phones around in suitcases it was a completely different world. I remember talking about it one day with Joe, scanning myself into the computer, it was make believe in the first one but I said ‘Joe this is real, I’m getting scanned’. The technology that we used in this one I was fascinated by, this motion capture, you know making movies without cameras or sets or make up or costumes, it was all new to me. It was challenging, you know for me as an actor I love cameras, I love knowing where the camera is. Costumes help you get into character, but you had to really work with your imagination on this one, back to when you were a kid, when you certainly didn’t have a camera so you had to rely a lot on your imagination.


What were the challenges for you, making a movie that was on the digital cutting edge?

Joseph Kosinski: I think it’s the same challenges you have on any film. The focus was on the story and the characters and that’s kind of where we put most of our effort. And I tried as much as possible to keep the technology at the periphery while we were making it sometimes it would intrude in a way. When something broke down or a suit went out, there was a lot of stuff happening. I felt it was my job to surround the actors with as much reality as possible and hopefully the technology would serve the film.

Which school of film making do you prefer?

Jeff Bridges: Well you know, I’ve got sort of a love hate thing going with challenges, I’m sort of drawn and repulsed by them. This new technology is certainly challenging, I felt a little bit of resentment building up in me saying ‘but I liked my costume’ and I had to make an adjustment in my head you know to get with the program. You’d waste a lot of time making movies, or in life wishing they were playing a different song. You came to a party to do the Cha-Cha but there’s a Waltz band there. It’s a weird answer. (laughs) What the heck? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like the old way, I’m old school, I like the cameras and stuff but it’s a bit fun and challenging to do the new stuff. Movies are going in such a bizarre direction; in the future they take a little Bridges, take a little De Niro and a touch of Pacino (laughter) and have this lovely lady (looks to Olivia) drive that image.

We were joking around not too long ago saying the next Tron may be Tron the pill, where you take it and you’re there. I’m up for whatever goes down.

Where do you think movies, or indeed another Tron sequel will go in the future? If we waited a few more years or another decade where do you think it would be and what technology would it reflect?

Jeff Bridges: Holography, Holograms I guess, what do you think Joe?

Joseph Kosinski: I think 3D technology is going to keep advancing. We are already seeing cameras that have four times the resolution. We were talking about upping the frame rate to forty eight or sixty frames per second, movies have been at twenty four for a long time. I think the next advance with 3D would be a glasses free version, I think everyone would like to not wear the glasses in the theatre screen.


The outfit that you wear in the film is stunning. Was there a downside to wearing an outfit like?

Olivia Wilde: Well it was challenging, but if I was playing a knight I’d expect chain mail to be challenging too. It was a part of the plan. It was quite an honour to wear these suits because nothing like them had been made before, they were latex with foam and lamps running through them and wires running down our bodies and battery packs. We were like little energizer bunnies and we could be turned on via remote control. It was amazing. No shortage of ‘turn on jokes’. They weren’t cosy, but I didn’t expect them to be cosy. I remember when I first put on my suit and they turned me on and it was amazing.



The film is being touted as this years Avatar, how big are the stakes for it to have the success of that film, and match its extraordinary box office performance? Are you all feeling the pressure now?

Joseph Kosinski: I don’t think anyone wants their first film to be compared to the most successful movie ever made. (laughter) But the truth is there’s some technology used in Avatar that we have built on, particularly the cameras that James Cameron and Vince Pace developed for Avatar, we’ve used the next generation version of those. Ours was conceived as a 3D film from the start, three years ago, two years before Avatar came out. We knew we wanted it to be a truly 3D film. We didn’t cut any corners with the quality of the 3D image, I feel pretty strongly that this is the best 3D image that we could’ve got. We shot the whole thing in 3D, we finished the whole thing in 3D. Stylistically I don’t think it could be any more different, Pandora and The Grid are on opposite ends of the spectrum. But it’s a movie that takes you into a different world, so in that respect it’s similar.


You have an incredible run of movies coming up, have you been working three hundred and sixty five days a year? Are you excited to have a high profile come 2011?

Olivia Wilde: I feel very lucky, I think Tron kick started something for me and again, I’m just happy that these guys had faith in me and gave me the opportunity to play Quorra. I think it changed things for me, ever since Tron things have accelerated for me so I’m really excited to show the world what I have been working on and Tron signifies a change in gear for me.


How do you feel about having your image used after you’re gone?

Jeff Bridges: I’ve not thought about that too much. It is an intriguing idea. There’s not too many of us in the computer, there’s no precedence for it, I don’t know what’s going to come of it. I’ve not really thought too much about it. But there is something nice about thinking that after I’m gone they’ll still be able to mess about with me.


What were your requirement to making the second movie? And how much of Clu is you and how much is your digital counterpart?

Jeff Bridges: I think Disney were very smart with how they played this, there were rumours going around for the whole twenty eight years that there was going to be another Tron made and I finally stopped believing in it, until one day I got the call they said ‘no this is real’ and Joe pitched his story. That was important to me, who was going to be at the helm of this thing, who was going to direct it and the fact that Joe’s an architect was wonderful and he would bring a sense of design to the film. The fact that he was a first timer didn’t bother me, I’ve had wonderful experiences with first time directors before that were both creative and financially successful. We haven’t done much better than Citizen Kane, that was a first timer. And the other thing that Disney were really smart about was keeping Steven Lisberger in the picture, he wrote the first he directed the first he was also a first time director. Disney were very smart to keep him in the picture, because while our movie Tron: Legacy can be seen on its own and you’ll still get a lot of enjoyment out of it and not feel like you’re missing something if you did see the first one then it stands perfectly, the worlds match, the mythology of the first one is carried on in the second one.

Clu, it’s odd because one of the best things about making movies in general is that it is a very collaborative art form. You’re working with all these other artists to create a magic trick in a way. And this was that to the Nth degree. The face is mine but the body isn’t I had to work closely with John Reardon who played my body in Tron to show him what I was doing. It was kind of interesting because it wasn’t exactly how I would do it so it kind of worked for Clu because it wasn’t exactly me. It was an interpretation of me, just like the head; I ran the expressions, but the face itself wasn’t me.


Are you surprised at how Tron has endured over the years, being that it wasn’t a huge success when it first came out?

Jeff Bridges: Yeah, that is interesting. As you say it wasn’t a big hit, I think it was a bigger hit over here than in America. But it was a great fondness for technology and I think all the folks who see this one it will rekindle some of their own childhood they remember the first time they saw it.


How rare is it to find a character like Quorra to play in a film, she’s not overly sexualized. And how much of her changed while you were discussing her?

Olivia Wilde: Yeah, well, I credit Joe for collaborating with me to create Quorra in that way. I think a lot of other film makers would’ve encouraged the female character to be overly sexualized and be defined by that. I think in a world as sexy as Tron it certainly would have fit in. But Joe and I worked together to make Quorra something more interesting. It’s rare for an actress to find a film maker that will work with you to discover that interesting character beyond the physical. We had a lot of fun finding that for Quorra, she was inspired by Joan of Arc and lots of other interesting sources.

She did change because there was a moment when we discovered that we really liked her nerdy laugh which is really my nerdy laugh which I usually keep hidden on camera, then it came out and we decided it fit for Quorra. Joe encouraged me to go with that, to allow her to be the nerd that she really is. I think that’s really different from the beginning where I was focusing on her warrior instincts and wanting her to be very very intelligent and I found a lot of her playfulness as we went along. Again the emphasis on  set was of the characters and story, so I was really able to sit and think about that and encouraged to do so, I feel lucky it is rare.


Did you feel a sense of nostalgia revisiting the character this time around?

Jeff Bridges: In a way, especially having Lisberger around. It felt like we had a long weekend and picked up right where we left off, we had a lot of the same energy and then all of the new elements kept my mind occupied, hanging out with Olivia and Garrett and Joe and the technology, this new energy was pretty consuming, so it wasn’t so much nostalgia.

You spent a lot of time on set with the actors, then sixty two weeks in post, did you feel that it was all down to you how the film came out?

Joseph Kosinski: No. It was always a very collaborative process in post too. After the live action was done, It was me with two hundred artists from Digital Domain in Los Angeles. Then our network of hundreds and thousands of artists around the world. The crew changed out but it was still the same process. Movies like this, I don’t think people realise how many people are required behind the scenes.

If you had the chance to meet yourself as you were twenty eight years ago, what advice would you give yourself?

Jeff Bridges: It’s gonna be OK man just take it one step at a time.



Tron: Legacy Film Page | Jeff Bridges Profile | Olivia Wide Profile