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I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You

Green, Peskoe, Russell, & Shuffitt (2007)


Lots of fun in this book, but I'm going to confine myself to quoting from a single section—the very brief, uber-quotable interview with Sam Elliott:

Years earlier, I had heard from a guy named Jim Jacks, who I believe produced Raising Arizona, and he said, "You know, the Coen brothers are big fans of yours." We're sitting there around the pool one day in Tucson, Arizona. So I said, "Oh, cool." And he said, "No, really. They'd love to work with you one day." So I kinda flushed that shit out of my head. We all want to believe, but how rarely does it happen? (45)

You know, I think you can kind of intellectualize and psychoanalyze this shit to death probably. But that's not my m.o. I'm doing well to get the lines down and hit the fucking marks. In terms of why he was there, you'd have to ask the brothers about that. He was some voice of reason, I feel. Some sort of conscience, for lack of a better way to put it. Just take for example the fact that he was put off by foulmouthed shit. Obviously I'm not.

So I'm sitting there doing the scene at the bar, and fuck, it's going on forever! I did more takes of that scene than anything I've ever done in my career. Finally I looked at Joel—Joel's on one side and Ethan's on the other—and said, "What the fuck is up here? Or what isn't up? I mean, what's going on? You gotta tell me what you want." And they say, in unison, "Aw, fuck, we got it on take eight. We just like seeing you do it."

I think that on some level, every character—I mean, look at Jesus—he's so over the line. I think that's true of the Stranger, too, on some levels. He was cool—I don't mean that—but he was...he had a big white hat on.

(Okay, I need to include one quote from The Big Lebowski himself, David Huddleston:)

The one thing that bothers me is that we did the picture, and it's done very well and become a cult classic, and I thought I did pretty good in it. And these guyes have never called me again. For any of their pictures. They made that Southern one, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and there was a damn good part in there for me! But they haven't seen fit to do that, I don't know why. [Interviewers: If they happen to grant us an interview, we'll ask them.] Just say, "The Big Lebowski wants to know why you hate him" [laughs].


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