The Dude

It goes without saying that The Dude in The Big Lebowski is one of Jeff Bridges best performances and easily his most memorable character (with Kevin Flynn from TRON and TRON Legacy coming in as a close second). The character is larger than life, but would you believe that The Dude has some real-life inspiration in a man? Sundance Award winning director Jeff Feuerzeig, director of The Devil and Daniel Johnston and the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The Real Rocky (on Netflix Instant now), actually knew The Dude himself (real name Jeff Dowd) and caught up with him at Lebowski Fest in Tampa, Florida. Thankfully, he filmed the meeting and put footage together for a cool documentary short that you can watch in full below!

Here’s Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentary short The Dude, brought to our attention in SlashFilm’s Page 2:

It’s amazing to see just how close Bridges performance and this guy’s real-life persona match up. Feuerzeig describes his first meeting with the man in 1986, a whole 12 years before the film would be released, on the boardwalk of Venice Beach: “As if on cue, this Avery Schreiber-looking mop-topped behemoth clad in super-tight grape smuggling polyester shorts and a hideous floral Hawaiian shirt rolled up on roller blades and welcomed me to paradise.” Sounds like The Dude to me. I love documentary shorts like this, especially when they do something as cool as revealing characters we thought only to exist on the big screen. Cool?

By Ethan Anderton