Beau Bridges On Playing A Transsexual, Kyra Sedgwick, 'Desperate Housewives'
He's part of an acting dynasty – including brother Jeff and father Lloyd. Now, Beau Bridges is teaming up with Kyra Sedgwick to play a transsexual detective on a new episode of The Closer. Here, he takes questions from users of Uinterview.com.
I had a part in a play called Looking for Normal by Jane Anderson a number of years ago in which I played a man who was contemplating a sex change. In preparation for the role, I did a lot of research on the subject and meeting people who had gone down that road. I have a profound respect for people who have had the courage to take that journey. It’s not an easy one in today’s world. This Closer episode offered me a chance to step into those shoes once again and honor those folks who have taken that path.
At the end of the show when I’m leaving from the train station, I have to walk away from G.W. [Bailey, who plays Det. Provenza], I had to walk on this cold tile floor in these high heels. I had chosen very modest pumps to wear through most of filming because I didn’t want to screw my back up, but in that particular scene they wanted me to wear spiked heels. I had to do the scene 10 times. It was just brutal. It was terrifying. After every time I had to do the take, I had to take my shoes off. I am never again going to complain to my wife when we are late trying to get somewhere, and she’s got those heels on.
The clothes themselves were fine – I really love woman’s clothes. I buy all my wife’s clothes. I’m bored by men’s clothes. I hate to shop for myself. That part of it was really fun – they have a great creative team behind the scenes. I just handed myself over to them and they did me. I have pretty long hair to begin with, so I didn’t have to wear a wig. They just put extensions in my hair. To see yourself at the end of it, that was a big part of the creative process.
Well, I’ve known Kyra for quite a few years. I did a movie with her a few years back which her husband, Kevin Bacon, directed. We are friends and that was part of the pull to do this, she’s such a wonderful actor. This type of a role is a bit of a stretch for any actor. To be in there with a friend was great. I also got along with G.W. Bailey who plays Detective Provenza. His character has had a long relationship with this guy who comes back 10 years later as a woman. There’s humor in the show, but it’s humor that comes out of the relationship between the two.
I was just there for a week, but you get kind of a sense for it. For Kyra, it is a real roller-coaster ride. She’s also a mom. How she juggles all that I don’t know. But she does it. Everyone seems to love her on the set, and they all seem to get along. Desperate Housewives was kind of a similar situation – I spent a day with each of the women. They are both very successful shows. Mark Cherry, the creator and writer of Desperate Housewives, runs a tight ship and people seem to get along with him. It all seems to trickle down from the top.
I did a film with Jason Lee from My Name Is Early called Columbus Circle. The first day on set I didn’t even recognize him. He shaved his mustache and hair. I’m also working on a project with my daughter Emily. She’s a recent grad of Fordham University, she’s 22. We adapted a novel called Acting: The First Six Lessons, it’s the only book on acting my father Lloyd ever gave me. We are opening it here in L.A. on April 9 at Theater West and then hopefully taking it on tour.
I don’t know all the facts about what those scientists were supposed to have said, but I don’t think you have to read a newspaper to know that the planet is in danger. All you have to do is go to the beach or walk in the woods. Anyone who thinks we haven’t screwed up our planet with pollution is sticking their head in the sand.