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Last night, I had the great honor of moderating a reunion of the Big Lebowski cast — Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, and the film’s music archivist T Bone Burnett — at New York’s Hammerstein venue. I learned a lot of things during the course of the night. Here’s the top 5…
1. People really love The Big Lebowski
Okay, as a veteran of several Lebowski Fests, this is something I thought I knew already. But I don’t believe I fully appreciated quite how much love this film inspires until I was faced with a sea of Dudes, Maudes, and Walters going berserk every time they heard the words “Lebowski,” “The Dude,” or “occasional acid flashback.”
2. These days, Walter raises pigeons
When Goodman was asked what he thought his character, Vietnam vet Walter Sobchak, was doing these days, the actor explained, “He tried to join the French Foreign Legion, but they made him work on Shabbos … now he raises pigeons.” The actor also revealed that he would like a VHS copy of the Big Lebowski‘s porno film-within-the-film Logjammin’.
3. “The Jesus” gets a lot of Big Lebowski-related sex mail
Somewhat worryingly, Turturro, who plays the film’s bowling sex offender “The Jesus,” admitted that he has “gotten a lot of sex mail from women and men who want ‘the Jesus’ to do things. Sometimes they want Jeff and Julianne involved.”
4. Donny may not be dead
Goodman and Buscemi discussed the theory that Buscemi’s much-put-upon and ultimately doomed character Donny may not actually die in the film at all but, rather, is a figment of Walter’s imagination. The good news? This would mean Donny could presumably return for any possible future sequel.
5. Bridges continues to abide
A combination of sound problems and the noise of audience members shouting their favorite Lebowski lines meant it was sometimes difficult for the folks onstage to hear one another. But, cometh the hour, cometh the Dude: Bridges ultimately overcame the communication problem by encouraging everyone present to take part in a group “Omm.” Do I need to point out it really tied the room together? I do not.
You can witness said “Omm”-ing — and other highlights from the event — below.