LOS ANGELES - Jeff Bridges tries to avoid making movies.

Still, he's managed to star in scores of films during his 45-year career - earning four Oscar nominations along the way - playing such varied roles as a computer genius, an alien, a president, a slacker, a corpse and an ornery penguin.

The 58-year-old, who divides his time between acting, music, photography and philanthropy, is back to the big screen big-time with a spate of projects. First up: the buddy flick

The Amateurs.

Bridges' character, the de facto leader of a motley bunch, comes up with a can't-fail get-rich scheme for his crew: They'll make an amateur adult film. (The movie itself is sweeter and more innocent than it sounds.)

Then there's the much-anticipated

Iron Man,

based on the comic-book hero, which is set for release next year. Also due in 2008 is

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People,

based on the book of the same name, in which Bridges plays a magazine editor who loses patience with his latest hire. The actor is also set to star as a man whose life is changed by a crazy canine in

A Dog Year.

Plus he hopes to start shooting a few new films next year.

For a guy who tries to avoid making movies, he's been pretty busy.

Bridges took time out to talk with The Associated Press about his pursuits and what makes him keep on working. He was asked what draws him to a role.

"I try my best not to engage until something about it is too sweet to refuse. . . . And usually it is a freshness, like with

The Amateurs

script - something I haven't seen before that surprises me, where the filmmakers are kind of ahead of the audience," Bridges said.