"I think I am a product of nepotism," Bridges admits

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated December 04, 2015 10:00 PM
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Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty

Jeff Bridges knows he owes his famous father, Lloyd Bridges, for his career – and he couldn’t be more thankful.

Bridges, 66, grew up watching his father star in numerous television shows and movies, and when he was finally old enough to join him on set, it quickly became apparent how truly passionate Lloyd was about his career. Wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps, acting soon became a way for the two to spend time together.

“Whenever there was a part in his movies for a kid, or his TV shows, he would always put us up for it,” explains Bridges on Oprah’s Master Class.

Now an Academy-award winning actor himself, Bridges is fully aware of the influence his father had on his career, providing his entry into Hollywood.

“I think I am a product of nepotism,” he admits. “I don’t think I would have had the profession that I’m in currently, you know acting, if it wasn’t for my dad.”

His father didn’t just help him get his foot in door, Llyod also taught him everything he needed to know about making it in show business.

“He’s my acting teacher,” he said. “[He] taught me how to act, told me all the basics about how to make it seem like it’s happening for the first time, do it different ways.”

But the biggest lesson he learned from his father came from just watching him work.

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“The thing I learned from him most, it wasn’t something he said to me in words. It was just observing him, and noticing how much fun he was having and how much he enjoyed what he was doing.”

He says his father’s joyful attitude was infectious on set, and that now, Bridges tries to bring the same positive energy in his own work.

“That’s probably the biggest thing I learned from my father, is his approach to life and work is so joyous,” he says. “I tried to follow in his footsteps with that.”

Bridges appears on Oprah’s Master Class Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. EST.