"You are obviously, to me, always going to be The Dude," Piers Morgan said to Jeff Bridges, referring to the actor's title role in the 1998 Coen brothers movie, "The Big Lebowski."
The Oscar-winning actor is a guest on Thursday's "Piers Morgan Tonight." Bridges, who took a year off from movies to focus on his music career, will release his self-titled album August 16.
"You're The Dude," continued Morgan. "To millions of people around the world, Jeff Bridges, you will always be The Dude. I can't pretend anything else."
The CNN host proudly stated that he "ritually" watches "Lebowski" annually.
Bridges said from the moment he read the script, he knew the film was destined to be a classic.
"I read that thing and I, you know, it made me laugh all the way through it," said Bridges.
"John Goodman came out with a great quote about your performance," said Morgan. "He said, 'It's like watching a diamond cutter. When you look at the diamond, you don't think of the work, you just notice there are no flaws.' "
Bridges, whose Hollywood career has spanned some 40 years and 60 films, openly admitted that he owes his great success to his veteran actor dad, Lloyd Bridges.
"I'm a product of nepotism," said Bridges. "My dad, you know... the hardest thing about acting as a profession is getting the break."
When Morgan pointed out Bridges' reputation as "the nicest guy in show business," the younger Bridges again credited his father's guidance.
"You know, I take my lead from my old man," said Bridges, "Who loved showbiz so much and, yes, I got to work with him as a kid on 'Sea Hunt.' You know, whenever there was a role for the little kid, he'd say, 'Come on, get out of school and come and play with Dad.'"
Bridges, who also worked alongside his father as an adult, told Morgan, "I saw, when he came on the set, how much fun he was having and how that fun was kind of contagious."
Bridges also admitted that when he won the best actor Oscar for "Crazy Heart," all he could think about was his parents.
"I felt my folks," said Bridges. "I feel like I'm an extension of them, really." Bridges' parents met in the UCLA drama department.
Bridges also recalled working with his brother, Beau, on the 1989 film, "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
"What a dream that was," said Bridges. "Beau, music and Michelle (Pfeiffer), my God a dream come true!"
Bridges and his wife of 34 years, Susan, have three daughters and recently became grandparents for the first time. The couple originally met on a movie set in Montana.
Morgan asked Bridges, who at one point had considered forgoing acting in favor of music, where his musical inspiration came from.
"Well, Beau, my big brother, you know, he's eight years older than I am," said Bridges. "So my early memories are Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and those guys. I remember he had a white Danelectro guitar that I really coveted and finally stole from him."
When Morgan asked Bridges about the struggle he underwent when deciding between film and music, Bridges said "the movie thing took off, and it was like I, you know, a path of least resistance kind of thing. And I, like I said, I enjoyed it."
During his Hollywood hiatus, aside from recording the album, Bridges also took the time to focus on his work as a spokesman for the No Kid Hungry Campaign.
"It's about ending childhood hunger here in America," said Bridges. "And we're doing that by going state by state, working with governors and mayors and heads of food pantries and so forth, finding out what is the -- where's the bottleneck?
"Because here in America, we have enough food; we have programs that we know can end hunger. But it's the access to those programs that's really a huge problem."