An entertaining glimpse of the real-life dude that inspired Jeff Bridges' character in The Big Lebowski:
Director Jeff Feuerzeig recounts their first meeting:
In 1986, twelve years before The Big Lebowski, first screenplay in hand, I flew from NY to LA, rented a car, and pulled up to The Dude’s dilapidated apartment/office on the "boardwalk" of Venice Beach for my very first Hollywood meeting. 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. While I stood on his sagging balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean watching all the blonde bikini-clad beach girls in leg warmers skate by, the Dude ransacked his living room, overturning stacks of unread scripts, looking for my screenplay, which I’m still not convinced he’d read. Finally locating it, he launched into an inspirational rant, this bear-like wild tangle of hair showering me with spittle as he gesticulated wildly, telling me with a straight face that I was "the next Cassavetes" and I was going to make films my own way. …
Jeff Dowd is a right of passage in the indie film world — baptism by the Dude — his spittle and good vibes setting you free to create a world of your own.