See the Cast of ‘The Big Lebowski’ Then and Now
The Coen Brothers’ 1998 film ‘The Big Lebowski’ has become a massive cult favorite in the 15 years since its initial release with its tale of a lifelong slacker known to his friends as The Dude. Thanks to an unfortunate case of mistaken identity, The Dude finds himself mixed up in the kidnapping of a millionaire’s young girlfriend, further complicated by his hotheaded friend, Walter. Along the way he runs into a pornographer, some nihilists and a ferret on his quest to just, you know, be left alone to do his thing, man. Today, we take a look back at the cast of this beloved comedy classic and see what they’re up to now.
Jeff Bridges, Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski
Then: Jeff Bridges played Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, who is mistaken for a millionaire with the same name (the “Big Lebowski”) whose wife is kidnapped and held for ransom. The Dude is based on Jeff Dowd, a man the Coen brothers met in Seattle while making their first film, ‘Blood Simple.’
Now: Bridges recently appeared in the films ‘True Grit’ and ‘R.I.P.D.‘ — the latter of which he admitted wasn’t very high quality — and he won an Academy Award for his role in the film ‘Crazy Heart.’ His next big blockbuster will come with next year’s ‘Seventh Son,’ based on the hit young-adult novel series by Joseph Delaney, envisioning the veteran actor as a witch-hunting Spook. He’ll also appear opposite Taylor Swift and Meryl Streep in another young-adult-adapted film, ‘The Giver,’ which he’s currently filming.
John Goodman, Walter Sobchak
Then: The former ‘Roseanne’ star played The Dude’s hotheaded friend Walter, who hatches a scheme to keep the millionaire Lebowski’s ransom money. John Goodman had also appeared prior to ‘The Big Lebowski’ in the Coens’ films ‘Raising Arizona,’ ‘Barton Fink’ and ‘The Hudsucker Proxy.’
Now: Goodman has had a longstanding relationship with the Coen brothers, and he appears in their latest film, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ as well as George Clooney’s ‘The Monuments Men’ come 2014. He also recently reunited with ‘Big Lebowski’ co-star Steve Buscemi for ‘Monsters University,’ though his long resume includes films like ‘ParaNorman,’ ‘Trouble With the Curve,’ ‘The Hangover Part 3‘ and the Oscar-winning ‘Argo.’ He’ll soon star in the Amazon original series ‘Alpha House,’ playing one of four senators living together in a rented house in Washington, DC.
Steve Buscemi, Donny Kerabatsos
Then: Steve Buscemi played Donny, The Dude and Walter’s bowling buddy and put-upon friend. Buscemi had also starred in the Coen brothers’ ‘Miller’s Crossing’ and ‘Barton Fink.’
Now: Aside from reuniting with Goodman for ‘Monsters University,’ Buscemi stars on HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ which is wrapping up its fourth season and was recently renewed for a fifth. Some of his recent acting credits also include ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone‘ opposite Steve Carell and ‘Grown Ups 2,’ and he served as executive producer on the SXSW hit basketball documentary ‘Medora.’
Julianne Moore, Maude Lebowski
Then: Julianne Moore played feminist and artist Maude Lebowski, ex-wife of the Big Lebowski.
Now: One of Moore’s most notable roles in the past couple years was playing Sarah Palin in the HBO miniseries ‘Game Change,’ which earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress. She recently starred in ‘What Maisie Knew,’ ‘Don Jon,’ the ‘Carrie‘ remake and the indie ‘The English Teacher,’ and she’ll reunite with Jeff Bridges in the upcoming fantasy action film ‘Seventh Son,’ in addition to teaming with Liam Neeson for the actioner ‘Non-Stop.’ Moore also landed a significant role in the third and fourth ‘Hunger Games‘ movies, ‘Mockingjay – Part 1′ and ‘Mockingjay – Part 2,’ as District 13 President Coin.
Tara Reid, Bunny Lebowski
Then: Tara Reid landed her first big Hollywood role as Bunny Lebowski, young trophy wife of the Big Lebowski. Charlize Theron reportedly auditioned for the part.
Now: Reid starred in the ‘American Pie’ films and, after struggling with her career in recent years, appeared in the 2013 Syfy hit ‘Sharknado.’ Next year will see her star in a ‘Hunger Games’ spoof, ‘The Hungover Games,’ as the Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) character, in addition to ‘Wild Things in Europe 3D’ and ‘Charlie’s Farm.’
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brandt
Then: Just one year before starring in ‘The Big Lebowski,’ Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in ‘Boogie Nights’ opposite Julianne Moore. In ‘Lebowski,’ he played Brandt, the Big Lebowski’s personal assistant.
Now: Hoffman was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 2012 film ‘The Master,’ and recently appeared in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ as key character Plutarch Heavensbee, a role he’ll reprise in the two-part finale, ‘Mockingjay.’ The actor will also rejoin his ‘Big Lebowski’ co-star John Turturro in John Slattery’s ‘God’s Pocket’ in 2014.
Sam Elliott, The Stranger
Then: ‘Tombstone’ star Sam Elliott played The Stranger, the mustachioed narrator of the film.
Now: Elliott recently guest starred on ‘Parks and Recreation’ as Ron Swanson’s doppelganger from Eagleton, and appeared opposite Robert Redford in ‘The Company You Keep.’
Peter Stormare, Nihilist
Then: Peter Stormare played one of the nihilists who come to claim the ransom for Bunnny Lebowski. Stormare previously worked with Buscemi on the Coen brothers’ ‘Fargo,’ and worked with him twice in 1998: on ‘Lebowski’ and ‘Armageddon.’ He also previously co-starred with Julianne Moore in ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park.’
Now: In 2013 alone, Stormare appeared in 10 films, including ‘The Last Stand,’ ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,’ ‘Bad Milo’ and ‘The Zero Theorem.’
John Turturro, Jesus Quintana
Then: John Turturro played Jesus Quintana, an eccentric opponent of The Dude’s bowling team. He had previously appeared in the Coen brothers’ films ‘Miller’s Crossing’ and ‘Barton Fink.’
Now: Turturro recently wrote and directed the indie film ‘Fading Gigolo,’ in which he stars alongside Woody Allen. His past post-’Lebowski’ credits include ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?,’ ‘Anger Management,’ the ‘Transformers’ movies and ‘Cars 2,’ to name a few. Ridley Scott’s Christian Bale-led ‘Exodus’ and John Slattery’s ‘God’s Pocket’ are two 2014 titles featuring Turturro’s talents.