"Between takes, I said, 'Hey, Tayor, want to break out the picks?" says Bridges

By Jeff Nelson
August 12, 2014 04:40 PM

Jeff Bridges showed off his musical chops on the big screen in 2009’s Crazy Heart – so what was it like starring opposite another A-list singer?

“She was great,” the actor, 64, told PEOPLE of his The Giver costar Taylor Swift, noting that they pulled out their guitars durng their down-time.

“The extra-cool thing was, being a musician myself, between takes, I said, ‘Hey, Taylor, want to break out the picks?’ And we did,” says Bridges, who as an album and tour in the works.

And it turns out Swift, 24, wasn’t his only musically inclined costar: “We had a lot of musicians on that set – Brenton Thwaites and Odeya [Rush], Michael Mitnick the writer,” says the actor. “We’d go to my room often and have jam sessions.”

As for when they weren’t in character, Oscar winner Bridges says he was delighted to work with his holographic onscreen counterpart and that he felt a quick connection to the singer.

“Right off the bat, she reminded me of my girls – her sweetness and openness and her professionalism,” says Bridges.

According to the actor, Swift arrived to their shooting location raring to go. “She showed up her first day having traveled to South Africa. I knew what the jetlag was,” Bridges says. But “she showed up so intent.”

For more on Jeff Bridges and The Giver, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

Reporting by MARY GREEN