'The Big Lebowski' reunion: 5 things we learned from last night's event

Big-Lebowski

Image Credit: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic.com

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.

Read more:
‘The Big Lebowski’ cast reunion: Watch the replay!
Sneak peek at the ‘Big Lebowski’ Blu-ray
Stoner flicks: 19 ‘high-rated’ faves
‘Obviously thou art not a golfer’: What if Shakespeare had written the Big Lebowski?
The Dude & I

Comments (24 total) Add your comment
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  • Nick

    The rumor was the Donny was a figment of Walter’s imagination because it was claimed only Walter ever responded to him. However, the Dude does reply “Thank You, Donny” when Donny points out “you phone is ringing, Dude.” Nope. He’s ‘real’ and he’s passed into the great bowling alley in the sky.

    • Jay

      The Dude also runs over to him on the ground and mistakenly assumes he’s been shot. Walter has to clarify that no shots had been fired.

      Donny was definately REAL

    • rlb237

      Thank you, Nick. I can’t stand when people think Donny didn’t really exist.

      • Sofia

        Yeah, but he seemed to ralley enjoy the Charlie Day episode, so it’s not ALL bad. And Weekend Update gets a pass so long as they keep Stefon around. I like that they don’t have him on often enough to kill the fun (though it would be hard to get sick of him), but still have him around enough that I’ll sit through most of every update (though not always with the volume on or fully paying attention).

    • overallsnation

      In the sequel, Donnie will be a figment. Only Walter can see and hear him. From the other character’s perspectives, Walter occasionally says “shut the fk up, Donnie” for no apparent reason.

  • Rich

    ^^^^^ This

  • Ben

    We never saw Donny actually dead. There might be a whole movie within the movie story about Donny fallen in the parking lot until he actually did die and get cremated. Maybe Donny was CIA and had to fake his death with the help of Walter and the Dude. There’s your plot for the sequel.

  • Dave

    If there’s ever a sequel, why not just bring back Steve Buscemi, but this time he could play Donny’s identical twin brother, Ronny (or Johnny, or Lonny, etc.).

  • Shannon S.

    I love that the cast appreciates the fans continued love for this movie. You see guys like Harrison Ford and William Shatner who not only despise the franchises they helped build, but they also seem to have little love for the fans.

    • jack

      Shatner was like that for a long time, but since the mid to late 90’s, he’s actually been pretty good to the fans. I think his wife dying, and all the fan support he got really changed his attitude.

  • Michael

    Love this. I get the sense there might have been a few White Russians backstage.

  • Mark

    It appears that Jeff Bridges has turned in to The Dude. And that’s not a bad thing at all. One of the greatest movies ever made.

    • Jeff C.

      I think he’s always been The Dude.

    • Ackerman

      I agree with Jeff C – he has always been the dude. Exhbt. A: In the original Tron, take a look at the scene towards the beginning when he is sitting and talking on the couch…

  • Mark R.Y.

    It was not only great having a “Big Lebowski” reunion, but as a Coen fanatic, it was a bit of a “Barton Fink” reunion as well with Turturro, Goodman and Buscemi. In fact, with those glasses, Turturro looked a lot like Barton last night!

  • Emily

    Where were the Coen Brothers?!

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