Beau Bridges Q&A: ‘Masters of Sex’
"The truth is that I am a little dumb, and sometimes I'm a little smart," admitted veteran actor Beau Bridges in our recent webcam chat. "I've got both of those things happening inside me like most of us are a combination of the two." He has had to tap into these attributes in equal measure this TV season as the dopey dad Tom Miller on the breakout CBS hit comedy series "The Millers" and the academic Barton Scully on the freshman Showtime drama "Masters of Sex."
On "The Millers," Bridges plays patriarch Tom, the often befuddled father to Nathan (Will Arnett) and recently divorced husband of Carol (Margo Martindale). "My dumbness definitely shines. This guy bumps into a lot of walls." He is contending for a Comedy Supporting Actor bid on this summer's Emmy ballot.
On "Masters of Sex," his role is tht of the provost of Washington University, where Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) does his sex research work. While Scully has been married to Margaret (Allison Janney) for decades, he is also a deeply closeted homosexual man. As he explained, "The poor guy gets wrapped up in an awful conundrum. He's a closeted gay man in the late 1950s, which was a tough time to be gay in this country. Unfortunately, some of the ignorance prevails even today." He will be vying for his fourth Guest Drama Actor nomination.
Bridges is the son of legendary actor Lloyd Bridges ("Sea Hunt," "Airplane") and the brother of Oscar winner Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"). His long film career has included "The Other Side of the Mountain," "Norma Rae," "Heart Like a Wheel," and "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
No stranger to awards himself, his mantel is filled with trophies. He won Emmys and Golden Globes for his roles in the TV movies "Without Warning: The James Brady Story" (1992) and "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom" (1993). Another Emmy came for the telefilm "The Second Civil War" (1997). He also earned a Grammy Award in 2009 for the spoken word version of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."
For that first Emmy victory, his parents were in the audience and helped him celebrate. As he recalled, "That was hugely thrilling. My dad Lloyd, a wonderful actor for so many years. He got a nomination once. For me to be nominated was very exciting. And to win in front of my family; my wife Wendy was there and my mom and dad. It was wonderful."