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Jeff Bridges Taps Into His Inner Musician

Jeff Bridges may be done portraying a troubled country singer in his latest film, "Crazy Heart," but it may be time to take the show on the road because he's got some set of pipes.

"Oh! All right! Thank you!" Bridges told CBS News' Karina Mitchell with a laugh.

Bridges, who plays hard-drinking country singer Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart," won a Golden Globe Award for best dramatic actor as well as a Critics Choice Award for best actor. The film's theme, "The Weary Kind," won for best song.

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Although music is second nature to Bridges, playing a musician and actually getting up to perform was a first for the multi-faceted star.

He tapped into his musical side, took on a rugged look and southern drawl to capture the character.

"Did you fashion yourself after any musicians out there? It looked like you had a little bit of Kris Kristofferson going on," Mitchell said.

"Yeah. Well, it's funny you mention Kris. The birth of this movie happened 30 years ago when I did this movie with Kristofferson called 'Heaven's Gate' and that's where I met T Bone Burnett (music producer and songwriter) and Stephen Bruton (musician/songwriter died of cancer) who are the real musical heart of this film," Bridges explained.

Kristofferson rounded up his musical friends to play small parts in "Crazy Heart." Bridges and the group would jam every night for six months, playing and getting to know each other. Bridges spoke very fondly of the friendship they (he and Kristofferson, Burnett and Bruton) kept up all these years.

"So the chance to do a movie with T Bone about music and also have Stephen Bruton involved was just a dream come true," Bridges said. "And Stephen was with me every step of the way writing songs for the movie, teaching me how to play them, telling us all... what that life was like because his life paralleled Bad's in a lot of ways. He would drive himself from gig to gig and had problems with booze and other stuff, so he knew a lot about that."

For Bridges, Bad's "honesty and his willingness to turn himself around" was what appealed to him most and made him want to take on the role.

He quoted the lyrics: "I used to be somebody and now I'm somebody else...," saying "I think he probably wrote that originally. 'I used to be famous, now I'm not famous anymore.' You can also spin that around and think -- 'I used to be somebody and now don't have to be that person anymore. You know you don't have to be this negative aspect of yourself. You don't have to be an alcoholic," Bridges explained.

With such a long illustrious career under his belt, Mitchell asked where "Crazy Heart" ranks amongst the rest.

"Oh man, right there at the top as far as having a good time making it and being pleased at the end product," he said. "You always think this could be good, but then having it exceed all your expectations that's great and then to have it picked up by Fox Searchlights means people are going to see it."

Well, people have done more than just see the film, they have given it critical acclaim. There's Oscar buzz swirling around the multi-faceted actor.

"How does that make you feel?" Mitchell asked.

"Heck, appreciation I like that!" he laughed. "Especially from the guys who do what you do, especially when the nominations come around. Not to count any chickens, but if that happens that's a great thing."

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