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Movies and music: T Bone Burnett, Jeff Bridges to discuss blending two mediums

Music and film.

The two mediums go hand in hand.

Oscar winner Jeff Bridges will take part in the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience. (Courtesy photo by Sam Jones.)

Oscar winner Jeff Bridges believes in the symbiotic relationship.

The actor has maintained a decades long friendship with Grammy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett.

And at the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience, the two legends will sit down for an intimate conversation to discuss music in film and TV on June 10.

Bridges admitted that if it weren’t for Burnett working on 2009’s “Crazy Heart,” he would’ve passed on the project, which ultimately helped him win the Oscar for best actor.

“I turned down ‘Crazy Heart’ for quite a few years, until I found out my buddy T Bone was involved and he was going to be handling the music,” Bridges says. “That made it more attractive for me.”

Although “Crazy Heart” furthered the success for both Bridges and Burnett, the duo’s working relationship began almost 30 years earlier.

Bridges and Burnett first worked together on the 1980 film “Heaven’s Gate.”

“Kris Kristofferson invited a lot of his musicians friends to be on that project,” he says. “We had Ronnie Hawkins and Stephen Bruton on the project. Stephen, who later wrote a lot of the tunes with T Bone on ‘Crazy Heart.’ He was one of T Bone’s childhood friends.”

When it comes to music, Bridges says Burnett certainly inspires him.

“We’ve written songs together and our tastes are similar,” he says. “A big highlight of my career and in my life is doing ‘Crazy Heart.’ And T Bone was a big part of it, and working with him was a great part.”

From left, Jeff Bridges, Elvis Costello and T Bone Burnett perform together during the Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountain View, Calif., in 2010. Bridges and Burnett work together on benefit concerts. (Tony Avelar/Associated Press)

Bridges is also fond of his time working with Burnett on the 1998 cult classic “The Big Lebowski.”

“T Bone was the music supervisor,” he says. “And it’s an incredible soundtrack of source music he put together.”

As the duo’s friendship has grown over the years, Bridges says, the pair have found philanthropic issues to tackle.

“We’re both committed to ending childhood hunger,” he says. “We put out a movie called ‘A Place at the Table’ in 2012. I did the narration on that, and T Bone worked on the music with The Civil Wars.”

If the film projects didn’t keep them both busy enough, Bridges and Burnett have also worked together on Bridges’ music.

In fact, Burnett produced his self-titled 2011 album.

“I got a taste of my teenage dream of being in a band and to really make music,” he says. “I called T Bone and told him I’ve got some tunes and he got together some guys to do the album. We’re always looking to play together. Work is becoming more of a time to play.”

Bridges also has a history with the Land of Enchantment, where he filmed “Crazy Heart,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” “True Grit,” “Hell or High Water” and most recently, “Granite Mountain.”

“I’ve been lucky with the opportunities that I’ve had,” he says. “Albuquerque is a wonderful town. New Mexico is … the Land of Enchantment sums it up so well. I’ve done a lot of movies out there. It’s become a second home.”

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