When it came to offering deep and hilarious insights into his life and career, the Dude most certainly abided in his recent Reddit AMA. Promoting the upcoming film adaptation of The Giver, Jeff Bridges opened up on a variety of interesting topics – including his favorite scene from The Big Lebowski and that one time he bumped into the Dalai Lama.
These six tidbits only reinforce that Bridges is one of Hollywood’s most well-rounded bad-asses – and that’s more than just, like, our opinion, man.
1. Like his most iconic character, the Dude from 1998’s The Big Lebowski, he enjoys the occasional White Russian.
“On a rare occasion, I will have one when I am feeling like having something particularly sweet, like drinking a dessert,” he noted. “I like my Russians without too much milk, not too much Kahlua, just the right proportions.”
2. Picking his favorite Lebowski scene is tough, but he’s particularly fond of a scene involving a limo, a severed toe and the late-great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“Oh man, that’s a tough one!” Bridges said. “Because each scene is so good, you know? The Coen Brothers wrote such a brilliant script – I don’t watch many of my movies on TV, but whenever I’m flipping the channels — and I’m a big flipper when I watch TV — when Lebowski comes up, I think ‘Oh I’ll just watch a few scenes,’ and then I get sucked in, because the scenes are so funny. I particularly like that scene where I’m in the car with the Big Lebowski and he hands me that toe.”
3. The Dude’s unique fashion sense was partly inspired by the real Bridges: The actor provided a variety of his own clothes for the gig – including the trademark jellies.
“The costumer for The Big Lebwoski (and also True Grit and many of the Coen brothers films) came over to my house and went through my closet, and there are quite a few articles of clothing that they used for the Dude from my closet. The baseball shirt with the famous Japanese baseball player on it I stole from my brother Beau – that is in the movie. And there might be some other ones, but nothing is coming to mind. I would have to look at the movie and see.”
4. Though The Giver marks his first co-starring role opposite Meryl Streep, Bridges has a sports-related history with the Oscar-winning actress off-screen.
“We’ve known each other for years,” he said. “Our kids used to play soccer together. Yes! We met briefly during those times. And I admired her, as most people have, for so long, and was eager to work with her, and was so happy that she was onboard for The Giver because she’s just a really remarkable actress.”
(Note: Contrary to various reports, Bridges does not say that he actually played soccer with Streep when they were kids. Although that would have been pretty awesome.)
5. Bridges was inspired by the dramatic acting of co-star Robin Williams in Terry Gilliam’s 1991 film, The Fisher King.
“I remember one particular scene where Robin was in a coma, unconscious, and I had a long monologue, and I thought ‘Oh god, this guy is going to making jokes and stuff in the middle of this thing, winking at me trying to make me laugh,'” he said. “But when we got to that scene, he was so there for me in a completely silent way that I could feel his support in the silence. There was no winking or cracking jokes, and I finally came to learn that Robin is a very serious, accomplished actor, and comedy is just one of the tricks in his trick bag. He is an all-time master entertainer and actor.”
6. He gained eternal wisdom from the Dalai Lama.
“I saw the Dalai Lama once in Santa Barbara, and he was saying ‘All religions are good,’ Bridges said. “I’m going to misquote him here, but the gist of it was ‘All religions are good, Christians or Buddhism or Judaism — but be kind, be kind; that is my religion.’ I think that’s another version of be love, not only to other people, but to yourself.”