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There isn't such a thing as a “Jeff Bridges role.” He is too versatile for that. and they live on in my memory, as separate from who he is as an actor. John Irving has said that Ted Cole is obviously an asshole, and he remains an asshole, through the rest of the book He's not a villain. ” But there's something else going on in that moment, too: “I may be a middle-aged man, and you may be on the cusp of being an adult, but I'm more of a MAN than you are and than you ever will be. But he doesn't play it hostile—he plays it (and his whole character) with a vague cloud of plausible deniability surrounding it: Ted Cole could never be convicted in a court of law for what he is doing in that outdoor shower scene, although young Eddie O' Hara certainly gets the message. He does not separate himself from the characters he plays. I was lost, floundering, and there was something in it that spoke to me, that told me to hang on.