Few realize that Jeff Bridges’ character of “The Dude” from the Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski was based on an actual person. Those who do know likely don’t know much about who the real-life Dude actually is, or why he inspired the Coen Brothers to make him the focus of their film.
In the short documentary, The Dude, filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig goes inside the life of Jeff Dowd, an activist and aspiring filmmaker whom the Coen Brothers met in 1984. The documentary recaps Dowd’s past as an anti-war activist in Seattle as well as his present day existence in Los Angeles, which is very laid-back and extremely Dude-like.
Check out an 18-minute director’s cut of the documentary below.