"I said, 'Oh God, I can't let this woman go.' I had this vision of an old guy thinking there was this girl from Montana, man, why didn't I marry her," the actor has said.
You may know him as Kevin Flynn from Tron: The Original Classic or Duane Jackson from The Last Picture Show or even as Bad Blake from Crazy Heart, but Jeff Bridges is more than just the roles he plays on-screen. In fact, he's a man who's absolutely head-over-heels in love with his wife of 42 years, Susan Geston and he's not shy to admit it. After all, he fell in love with her at first sight and hasn't looked back since.
It was the year 1975 when Bridges was filming scenes for the movie Rancho Deluxe in Paradise Valley, Montana. At the time, Geston was working as a waitress in order to pay for college. Little did the two know that fate was about to set them on a journey of love together.
And it was the actor who felt Cupid's effects first. When he saw her working, he knew he had to ask her out despite her two black eyes that she had received courtesy of a car accident. "I knew I was madly in love with my wife the minute I saw her," he told Conan O'Brien on his late-night show years later according to Country Living.
However, though Bridges, 24 at the time wanted to get to know her immediately, when he suggested a date, a 20-year-old Geston said no. "After work, I got up the courage to ask her, 'Would you like to go out with me?' She said no. I asked her again, and she said, 'No — it's a small town; maybe we'll run into each other later,'" wrote Bridges in a blog on Good Housekeeping. Luckily, "Those words proved to be prophetic, and one night in town we danced, and I fell in love," added the R.I.P.D star.
The award-winning actor had actually been terrified of commitment even though his attraction to Geston was intense. "The next day [after shooting had wrapped], I had a meeting scheduled with a local real estate agent who was going to show me some property, and I invited Sue to come along. That was our official first date. We went to look at a ranch house on the river. As we were walking around, there was a voice in my head: 'You are now looking at a house with your future wife'. And I thought, 'Oh, no, let me outta here'. I felt cornered, not by Sue but by myself," he wrote.
He added, "I couldn't bear to let the love of my life slip through my fingers, but at the same time I was afraid of declaring, 'This is the one!' I was crazy in love, but I came from such great parents and didn't know if either Sue or I had that in us."
Writing to Reader's Digest, he said that prior to meeting his soon-to-be wife, "I don’t know how it is for women or for other guys, but when I was young and in my 20s, I had a fear of marriage. I thought it was a giant step toward death. So I did everything in my power to resist it — the idea was frightening to me, man." And then he met "Sue". Yet, even after two years of living together, he was still not sure about that kind of commitment.
She did sense his reticence about marriage and was ready to leave, but Bridges knew he had to make a decision and fast. So he did... "I said, 'Oh God, I can't let this woman go,'" he told OWN. "I had this vision of an old guy thinking there was this girl from Montana, man, why didn't I marry her." A mere five days after proposing to her June 5, 1977, they were married. And it's only been uphill for them. Of course, like every other couple though, they have their tough moments.
"We do have one ancient war, which runs: 'You just don't get me; you don't know me; you don't understand.' It's true. I don't entirely know Sue; I never will, and she won't know me, really. But with each battle, we come closer to realizing that this 'not knowing' is what we have in common. We know we'll experience our stuff, have tough times, but we're doing it together," wrote the now 69-year-old actor.
42 years, three children and 50 movies later, they still can't get enough of each other. "My marriage just gets better and better every year," Bridges said, according to Country Living.
He even has pictures of their first time together in 1975 when a photographer happened to click some photos of them.
“He [writes], ‘I was going through my files and I came upon this shot I took of you asking a local girl out,’” Bridges recalled to Huff Post. “Then, out of this envelope falls these two pictures of the first words I ever spoke to my wife.” And he carries them around everywhere. “They’re my prized possession,” he claimed proudly. “To have pictures, what are the odds of that?”