Jeff Bridges Reveals the Biggest Change in ‘The Old Man’ Season 2

With a September premiere for their FX drama officially set only hours earlier, Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and the creative team behind The Old Man offered up one significant piece of info about the spy thriller’s second season. The two stars will actually share scenes together.

When originally promoting the 2022 launch of The Old Man, Bridges said that his one regret in the series was that he didn’t get to appear much on camera alongside Lithgow — as their two characters, a former CIA operative on the run (Bridges) and a FBI assistant director (Lithgow) were playing a game of cat and mouse. “I so wanted to work with Jeff,” said Lithgow, appearing at a panel for The Old Man at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday morning. “And there is an abundance of it in the second season. We have such a fantastic time.”

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The second season finds the pair teaming up as they work to rescue Bridges’ character’s daughter, played by Alia Shawkat, who’s been kidnapped in Afghanistan.

“As much as you guys wanted to work together, we wanted to see you together,” said co-creator Jonathan E. Steinberg, addressing his two stars. “And, in a way, it’s driving the show [now]. It’s such a treat to be able to write scenes for these two.”

What Bridges pointed out was how similarly he and his co-star approached the work once they finally got to spend time together. “We’re both second-generation actors and we approach it the same way,” he said, referring to his father (the late Lloyd Bridges) and Lithgow’s (the late actor and theater director Arthur Lithgow). “There are a lot of actors who say, ‘Please only call me by my character’s name’ or, ‘Let’s not have any contact.’ We’re the opposite of that. Let’s be friends. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s do it quite aggressively!”

Bridges, who famously had to take a break from filming the first season due to COVID and his own diagnosis with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, offered another promising update on his health. “I’m feeling great now,” said Bridges. “I’m coming back for more punishment. What is so bizarre to me is that [filming fight scenes in season one,] I had a 9- by 12-inch tumor in my stomach that didn’t hurt at all.”

Steinberg also took his time onstage to clarify that no one should go into the second season expecting the series to wrap up. In fact, he hasn’t even settled on how he wants it to end. “I have thought about a number of different ways that it could end,” he said. “I don’t believe in asking a story to try and outlive its shelf life. But I don’t feel that about this show. I feel like it still has a lot of things to say.”

And the role, says Bridges, is something that still comes naturally to him. “I’m an old man,” he said. “I don’t have to play it. I bring that to the party.”

The Old Man season two premieres Sept. 12.

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