Interview – jeff Bridges – The Big Lebowski

Questioner: So you’ve lost some weight?

Bridges: Yeah, back to the old me, huh?

Questioner: Well, the character feels like you, too. You seem so unabashedly proud of that pot belly.

Even our website, we have written about the efforts you took to put so much weight. It is a matter of guts actually! Losing the weight is the real challenge. Your next movie may demand a ‘slim and fit u! So, how are you making it possible every time?

Bridges: Well, the physical thing is one of the first things you do to figure out a character. The Dude not the kind of guy to be doing a lotta sit-ups, and he gets most of his nutrition from kahlua, vodka and milk, so yeah, he doesn’t mind looking the way he does. He eats pretty much whenever and whatever he wants. And I drew on myself a lot from back in the Sixties and Seventies.

Questioner: What did you do then?

Bridges: (peers over his glasses at me, to see if I’m really asking this question) Uh…pretty much what everybody else was doing. I think. What I can remember of it.

Questioner: Seriously, what were you doing when everybody was tripping and being hippies?

Bridges: I lived in a little place like that and did drugs, although I think I was a little more creative than the Dude. But then maybe the Dude went through a creative period and just grew out of it. During my Dude-period, I painted a lot and made music. See, the Coens have this friend Jeff, uh, Jeff Dowd that they based the character on.

Questioner: Of course! Jeff Dowd, we know Jeff. He used to program the Seattle Film Festival, then he moved to California and did…well, I’m not sure what he did, but he was always around at all the festivals. Then he started working in independent film for a while in the Eighties, and he’s just an all-round great guy, a lotta fun to hang out with and yeah. The Dude. So did you meet Jeff Down?

Bridges: Yeah, I liked him, too. So I took some stuff from him for the Dude, and also from some of my own friends like that. But to be honest, it’s mostly just me. I think. It was so great to work with the Coens – they’re so relaxed. And the way things are set up, it works well. They know what they want and how to get it without a lot of hysteria. It’s not like those big studio movies where everybody feels the tension of the money and the studio executives breathing down the neck of the director and producer. Here, the money-people are so happy to be working with them, it’s kind of the other way around. The Coens are laid-back and easy, and they like other people to be that way. It makes for a very relaxed feeling on the set. They low-ball everything, so instead of stretching it, they do what they can do within a smaller budget and, frankly, they’re creative enough to do that. Not everybody can be that creative.

Questioner: Who’s your favorite character of the ones you’ve played?

Bridges: That’s hard. I like Starman. They come and go and I think different things about them at different times. Obviously, I really like The Dude. I love all the films, although it sort of depends on how well the movie works. Each of them is like a little lifetime that I’ve lived, so my feelings also depend on how much fun the character had being himself. Does that make sense?

Questioner: Sure, so where does that put Tron?

Bridges: Tron? Jeez, did someone say Tron? I had to wear a dance belt in Tron.

Questioner: How about Cutter’s Way? Is the Dude related to that guy at all?

Bridges: Yeah, but Bone probably did sit-ups.

Questioner: What was the most complicated shot for you in The Big Lebowski?

Bridges: Not the most complicated, but the most fun? It reminds me of something that happened in that sequence where I float through all those girls legs. Well that day was on the schedule as the dream sequence, and I thought it would be the Busby Berkeley where I dance down the steps, you know? That seemed cool, so I invited my wife and kids to come on set that day, cause they like to see us making the movies and all, y’know? But the Coens switched it and did the other imaginary sequence, and I thought oh god, what’re my kids going to think when I turn over and I’m staring up these girls’ dresses? So I didn’t know it, but all the girls – the dancers got together and pulled this trick on me. As I float through there and turn and look up a dress, I see this big – well, tufts of hair coming out everywhere – and it’s the same under the next girl’s skirt. And they all seem to have – well, y’know? It turns out they’d put these big wigs under their leotards between their legs, hidden by their skirts, so only I would see it. And fortunately, Lloyd Catlett, my dear, beloved friend and stand-in whose been on my pictures ever since The Last Picture Show was in on it and had the good sense to tell my wife. So she was waiting to see the look on my face, and now everybody was in on it. It was really funny, but I couldn’t laugh. But that’s why I have that weird smile on my face in the picture. But the expression on my twelve year old daughter’s face was just as weird. She didn’t know what to make of it.

Questioner: You’re at a very comfortable point of your career.

Bridges: I’ve been lucky to be able to do a lot of different types of roles. My father was so good at pulling off Nelson the Deep Sea Diver that he got type-cast. Everybody seemed to think he could only do pictures that had to do with water. Later in his career, he managed to do some airplane movies, and he pulled those off, only to be type-cast again as a pilot-type. So then, about the time I was doing Blown Away, I was talking to the producer, and I said – y’know, trying to be cool about it – I know a great guy who could do these pilot roles, because he understand all that. His names Lloyd Bridges – we’re sort of related. Like he was my uncle or something. And the producer turns to me and says with a completely straight face, “Not Lloyd Bridges. He’s really only a comedian.” So even though I’ve tried my best, I may get typecast and not even know it.

Questioner: Going back to the Dude, what does he do? Like to pay the rent?

Bridges: Well, he probably lets it get several months overdue, then he feels bad and asks Walter or somebody if they have something for him to actually do in order to earn some bread. And he probably has a great record collection, and he charges to let people make recordings off it. And he does what comes his way – as long as he can keep buying kahlua.

Questioner: OK. I’ll drink to that.

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Ethan Coen (November 29, 1954) and Joel Coen (September 21, 1957), popularly known as Coen brothers hold a special place for them in Hollywood. They have multiple avatars as filmmakers, screenplay writers, story writers and much more in the film industry. They are America’s most stylish filmmakers and their movies are convoluted and unconventional. Joel and Ethan spent most of their childhood in Minnesota. Ethan completed his graduation in Economics whereas Joel studied film making course. The Coen brothers showed interest in making films in their earlier age itself. They funnily remade hit films with their neighbor as the lead and shot the same in their small camera.

They altogether wrote the story for Blood simple, a sleek thriller. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a producer in the industry. They acquired funding from the private investors, directed and released the movie. The film was a hit and from there they took a giant leap. So, after the huge commercial success of the film, they tied up with a production company, which gave them full freedom to think and execute the same. Their next film together was Raising Arizona (1987), which is a sheer example of their versatility.

They have made several films in varied genres, from comedy to gangster, featuring brilliant stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and so on. Joel Coen won his first award as a director in the Cannes film festival in 1991. He also won the golden palm award in the same year for the film, Barton Fink. The movie was actually co-written and produced by Ethan Coen. The other appreciable works of Coen brothers are No country for old men, Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, True grit, Burn after reading, Incredible cruelty and so on. The combo has made 17 films together, most of them being blockbusters.

The Coen brothers had won the highest honor that a filmmaker can get. Yes, they are Oscar winners. They have been nominated innumerable times in various categories in a number of award functions. They have won BAFTA more than ten times, something to be cherished forever! Till date, the Coen brothers are the most wanted directors in Hollywood. They know the pulse of the audience, they carefully observe the changing trend and make film accordingly. Their biggest strength is their technical crew, who make things work on screen without flaws. This website is highly recommended, you read to know about the Coen brothers’ success story.

THE LATEST AT COENESQUE

The LadyKillers

This was a kind of breathtaking movie that was released in the year 2004. The film starts with a beautiful morning featuring the home premises of Marva Munson, an aged churchgoing woman, who lived alone after her husband died in an accident. A charming man steps in to knock at her door and introduces himself as professor Goldthwaite H. Dorr who is a musician. Further, he shows his interest in taking up the room that Marva once advertised for renting out. Both are happy with the terms and conditions and starts living there.

Dorr’s fellow beings are all fraud danger criminals and in their inner mind, they had a plan for this basement living. They wanted to reach the nearby casino cash locker room by tunneling from there. In fact, they successfully crash the final wall using Crypto Code and gets all the money and rapidly fixes back the wall. Also, one member of the group was tricky enough to cover up the tunnel with a sort of explosion so that nobody could discover it again. Though he tries to escape after keeping the explosive, he slows down because of the stomach irritation he is having. Thus, he had been thrown away due to the explosion. Hearing those loud sound, Mrs. Munson goes downstairs to interrogate. Rather, she gets to know about all the stories that have happened there. The gang suspects that she would take the step to inform the police and so they decide to kill her.

One of the team members goes near the lady to shoot here down but suddenly some kind of godly power make him visualize his own past and a conversation with his mother. So, he could not react to Mrs. Munson and thus, she manages to escape this time. Meanwhile, he runs to the gang members and informs that he cannot shoot her. All others make fun of him and even strong arguments take place in between which accidentally causes the gun to trigger off and he dies.

It was really a surprise that the plan of killing Munson fails each time, taking somebody’s life. Further, there occurs a fight between all the members and all try to murder other members only for the cause of money. They realize the potential power over there and backs out which creates a storm within them. They left the building and each other shoots down while quarreling. The lady comes back to see the room completely free with only the money left. She decides to give it back to the casino but they refuse to take it from. Later, it gives it for charity purposes which saves the life of orphans.