Is Jeff Bridges' Cogburn in 'True Grit' a Case of Art Imitating Life?

Photo: actors who play roles close to their real livesPlayCourtesy Paramount Pictures
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Jeff Bridges, who currently stars as the drunken U.S. marshal Rooster Cogburn in "True Grit," has made a career out of playing drunks and stoners.

His performances have been so convincing -- his stoner, The Dude, in "The Big Lebowski" has become the stuff of legend and he won last year's best actor Academy Award for his washed-up country singer in "Crazy Heart" -- that at least one interviewer questioned whether he's actually acting.

Recalling Bridges' heartfelt, if somewhat rambling Oscar night speech in which he thanked his mom and dad for "turning me on to such a groovy profession," MTV host Josh Horowitz recently asked the actor if he was high at last year's ceremony.

Bridges threw his head back and laughed nearly half a minute before saying, "No, man, no. No I wasn't high. No man. Oh God. No, no, no."


    Then, turning the tables on Horowitz, Bridges asked, "Are you high now? You are high. Of course!"

    It's the kind of laid-back response you would expect from Bridges. The actor is not alone in playing roles seemingly close to real life. rounded up a few other actors whose art seemed to imitate their lives this year.

    Courteney Cox

    The former "Friends" star surprised star watchers with her announcement that she and husband, David Arquette, were separating after 11 years.

    Now, Cox, 46, who plays a 40-something single mom re-entering the dating scene in "Cougar Town," could be a cougar on the prowl in real life, too.

    Reports have tied her to her co-star, Brian Van Holt, 40, with reporting recently that the pair was "inseparable" at the show's holiday party.

    Natalie Portman

    In her upcoming new movie, "The Other Woman," Portman breaks up a marriage.

    In real life, she recently became engaged to choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and is expecting her first child.

    But websites have suggested that Portman is the reason Millepied split from his live-in girlfriend, a dancer in the American Ballet Theater.

    Julia Roberts

    While promoting her movie "Eat Pray Love" last summer, Julia Roberts revealed that she's chanted at a Hindu temple like her film character, Liz.

    Roberts told Elle magazine that she and her family now worship as Hindus and go together to a temple to "chant and pray and celebrate. I'm definitely a practicing Hindu."

    Charlie Sheen

    On his hit CBS sitcom, "Two and Half Men," Charlie Sheen plays a hedonistic bachelor.

    In real-life, Sheen has been reported to over-indulge in booze, drugs and women.

    Following the breakup of his second marriage, to Brooke Mueller, it appeared Sheen was up to his old tricks.

    In October, New York police said they found Sheen, 45, drunk and naked in a trashed suite at the Plaza Hotel. Sheen's representative said the actor was not drunk, but suffering from a severe allergic reaction.

    Michael Douglas

    Reprising his role as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," Michael Douglas showed a softer side.

    Blamed for the fatal overdose of his son, Gekko tried to win back his daughter, played by Carrie Mulligan.

    In real life, Douglas, whose half-brother, Eric Douglas, died of an accidental drug and alcohol overdose in 2004 at age 46, was fighting to save his son, Cameron, who was arrested for selling meth, from serving prison time.

    In a letter to the judge, Douglas wrote, "I have some idea of the pressure of finding your own identity with a famous father. I'm not sure I can comprehend it with two generations to deal with."

    Despite Douglas' plea, the judge sentenced his son to five years in prison.

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