Last year may have been The Big Lebowski‘s 20th anniversary, but Jeff Bridges and The Dude are still making a strong show of abiding in 2019. Bridges, who recently accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award with a rambling masterpiece of a speech, has also reprised The Dude role in a Super Bowl ad. And he’s spoken with Mike Hogan of Vanity Fair for their “The 25 Most Influential Movie Scenes of the Past 25 Years” feature. One of those scenes, of course, hails from the one of the most enduring Coen Brothers films, and Bridges explained a little fuss that happened along the way.
As he tells it, Bridges was initially apprehensive about being directed two people, especially considering that brothers don’t always get along. Yet most of the process went quite smoothly, other than this iconic scene with The Dude:
“It was just about when I was gonna hit my head with those bowling pins, and Joel said, ‘Now, when you’re gonna hit the bowling pins, kind of wince a little bit, ’cause you’re gonna be expecting some kind of pain.’ And Ethan says, ‘No, really — you think so? I think he should be kind of smiling, like this is kind of fun to be a bowling ball.’ Joel said, ‘You really think so?’ And it kind of went back and forth like that then finally they just said, ‘Well, let’s shoot it both ways.’ That was the big disagreement.”
All things considered, that’s not a terrible argument, but it’s of some odd comfort that if a disagreement did have to happen, then at least it was about The Dude. Not, you know, the vagina monologue from Julianne Moore’s Maude.