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“The Big Lebowski” isn’t just a cult classic, it's also a watershed moment in the career of Jeff Bridges. He began filming during a career dry spell, but this 1998 movie was a rebirth, as his portrayal of Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski would stand the test of time.
Now, more than a decade later, he’s a major star, with a best actor Oscar for “Crazy Heart, ”another nomination for “True Grit,” and a new album. But to many fans, he’ll always be “The Dude.”
Bridges and some of his co-stars will reunite Aug. 15-16 at the New York edition of Lebowski Fest, clebrating the release of the Blu-Ray version of the film. Here’s what’s become of the rest of the “Big Lebowski” core.
John Goodman (Walter Sobchak)
Goodman made the audiences forget all about his role as iconic "Roseanne" dad Dan Conner with his portrayal of The Dude’s buddy and bowling teammate, who won't roll on Shabbos. Most of his memorable roles since have been in voice-overs or TV, though he did get to play Pops in the movie version of “Speed Racer.”
Julianne Moore (Maude Lebowski)
You’d have to say Moore’s done very well for herself over the past decade. “The End of the Affair,” “Far From Heaven” and “The Hours” earned her Oscar nominations, and “The Kids Are All Right” was one of the hits of 2010. But she was a lot more fun back in this era, when she went from “Boogie Nights” to using The Dude for procreation purposes.
Steve Buscemi (Donny Kerabatsos)
When is Buscemi not memorable? He’s continued to steal scenes wherever he’s cast, and now leads a criminal syndicate in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” The former firefighter also endeared himself to fans by working 12-hour shifts with his old NYC firehouse after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Tara Reid (Bunny Lebowski)
Her career peaked with “American Pie” in 1999, but it’s been a quick fall from those heights. She’s now is in the direct-to-video category. But she’ll always have those “Taradise” memories.
David Huddleston (The Big Lebowski)
This wasn’t Huddleston’s first time in a cult classic — he played Olson Johnson in the Mel Brooks classic “Blazing Saddles.” Since this film, he’s mostly been the special guest star in TV shows, including stints as the mayor on “Gilmore Girls” and a senator on “West Wing.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Brandt)
Hoffman beat Bridges to the best actor Oscar when he won one for “Capote.” He’s had much better luck in Hollywood than he did trying to settle the dispute between the two Lebowskis.
John Turturro (Jesus Quintana)
Turturro made the most out of his small part here, but his comedies since haven't been up to the "Lebowski" standards. Let's just say that the Adam Sandler vehicles "Mr. Deeds" and "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" didn't prove as memorable as his role as intense bowler "The Jesus."
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