Technically this is a spoiler alert, but if you see any photos or trailers of Jeff Bridges as the new Rooster Cogburn, you’ve probably figured it out. The legendary True Grit bounty hunter made the eye patch cool before Snake Plissken. But something’s different from John Wayne’s Cogburn.
“I remember going back and forth but I didn’t know that at the end of the day we’d ended up switching [eyes],” Joel Coen said at a press conference for the film. “That was pointed out to me recently but I never actually realized it.”
Yes, the new Rooster Cogburn wears a patch over his right eye, not his left. Bridges himself had a laugh about it. “I’m a commie,” he joked.
The actual explanation for the switch is so simple, even The Dude would abide. “We put it on the right eye, it felt good,” Bridges said. “Put it on the left eye, not so good. Put it on the right eye, this feels right. ‘What do you think ,guys?’ We went back and forth like that.”
Ethan Coen was the joker on the eye subject, it turned out. “We did talk occasionally about switching from eye to eye scene to scene,” Ethan said. “There was an early idea discussed but not for long, since it is the second version of the movie, to have two eye patches.”
There were some real life wardrobe malfunctions with the eye patch. Bridges admits to blowing some takes by forgetting to be half blind. “Sometimes I would forget to put it down for the scene,” Bridges said. “So I would be very pleased with a take and I’d say, ‘What do you think, guys?’ They’d just go [point to the eye patch.]”
True Grit opens December 22.