Loyd Catlett

On January 6, 2019, trade publication The Hollywood Reporter ran a story by Loyd Catlett, who has been working as the stand-in for actor Jeff Bridges for nearly 50 years, over approximately seventy of Bridges’s films. The story is as told to THR‘s Benjamin Svetkey.

Of his experience standing in for Bridges over the years, Loyd summarizes it this way: “[M]an, what a rodeo.”

Loyd’s contribution to THR came out in advance of Bridges’s acceptance of the 2019 Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globes.

Bridges accepted the award later that evening, and he even thanked Loyd in his joyous acceptance. Have a watch:

In the THR story, Loyd explains how he met Bridges in Texas in 1970 on the film The Last Picture Show, during which time — unbeknownst to him — Bridges was studying Loyd’s Southern drawl for his role. Loyd had been a rodeo clown in the area around the time he had worked on the film.

After flying to Los Angeles to do some looping work, Loyd decided to permanently move from Texas to California, where he then worked as an actor and at other jobs until acting opportunities started to dry up. All the while, he kept in touch with Bridges, and when Bridges learned of Loyd’s hard times, he offered him the job of his stand-in for a film Bridges was going to be shooting in Europe.

Since then, Loyd has worked as Bridges’s stand-in along with occasionally working as Bridges’s stunt double — mostly for choreographed fight scenes. Loyd’s IMDb page also credits him as an assistant to Bridges.

Loyd’s professional relationship is more intimate than most stand-ins have with the actors for whom they stand-in. According to Loyd, Bridges and he will talk about scripts and how Loyd might have to change his appearance to stand in for Bridges on a project.

For 2008’s film Iron Man, Loyd quickly shaved his head for the first time in his life when he saw that Bridges was going to be bald for the film. It turns out, in the photo that Loyd saw, Bridges was only wearing a bald cap as a test look, so Loyd had acted too quickly to alter his own appearance so dramatically. But apparently Bridges ended up shaving his own head for the role, so the rash choice seemed to have worked out for Loyd.

Perhaps jokingly, Loyd explains that he believes he has had an influence over Bridges. He says, “He can imitate me better than I can imitate him. He’s become a master at being me.” To that point, he explains how Bridges’s personality has changed over time to be a bit more like the native Texan stand-in.

All in all, it’s wonderful to see a stand-in profiled in a major trade publication, even if the relationship is more unusual than most actor relationships with their stand-ins. It’s also wonderful to hear that Loyd has had such longevity as a stand-in. Cowboy hat’s off to Loyd!

Have you worked with Loyd Catlett over his nearly 50-year career? Share your experiences in the comments section below!