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Film

Jeff Bridges was "close to dying" after catching Covid-19 while on chemotherapy

Jeff Bridges has revealed in a new interview that he was “pretty close to dying” after contracting the Covid-19 virus while on chemotherapy to battle his cancer.

The Oscar-winning actor announced in the autumn of 2020 that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. Elaborating, he told People Magazine that he had “a 12-by-9-inch tumour” in his body. “It was like a child in my body. It didn’t hurt or anything,” he added.

Following his diagnosis, Bridges started an immediate course of chemotherapy via infusion which was later followed by oral chemotherapy. Prior to being diagnosed with Covid-19, fortunately, the chemotherapy course proved successful in fighting the tumour and preventing it from spreading.

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“They got a cocktail that worked, and oh man it worked fast,” Bridges said. “That thing just imploded.”

Despite winning the battle against cancer, by January 2021, Bridges was severely weakened from the treatment and his immune system wasn’t up to scratch. He contracted Covid-19 and the virus began to have a severe impact on his health due to his compromised defence. 

“I had no defences. That’s what chemo does — it strips you of all your immune systems. I had nothing to fight it,” Bridges said. “Covid-19 made my cancer look like nothing.”

Bridges spent five more months in the hospital because of the toll taken from his Covid-19 battle. The Big Lebowski actor said he couldn’t roll over in bed without help from a nurse and an oxygen tank.

“I was pretty close to dying,” Bridges said candidly. “The doctors kept telling me, ‘Jeff, you’ve got to fight. You’re not fighting.’ I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go. I was dancing with my mortality.”

Thankfully, Bridges survived his bout of Covid-19 and is now in remission from cancer as well. 

His People Magazine cover kicks off the press tour for the FX crime series, The Old Man. The show is based on Thomas Perry’s 2017 thriller novel of the same name and stars Bridges as Dan Chase, a former CIA operative who has spent decades living off the grid in hiding from his former agency. 

When an assassination attempt forces Chase from hiding, he ends up on the run from Harold Harper (John Lithgow), the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence with whom he shares a complicated history.

Watch the official trailer for The Old Man below.