Familiarize yourself with the real-life Dude, ‘Big Lebowski’ inspiration Jeff Dowd
Uproxx has declared the week of July 11 Lebowski Week. This is one in a series of Big Lebowski-themed pieces that Uproxx (a member of the Woven family alongside HitFix) will publish this week.
Let’s think about what we know about The Dude from The Big Lebowski: He loves bowling, drinks white Russians, was a member of the Seattle Seven (…along with six other guys), authored the Port Huron statement (but not the compromised second draft), and isn’t much for the whole vanity “thing.”
Now, imagine all those things were true of a real person, and you’d have Jeff Dowd (okay, except for the Port Huron Statement part, as far as we know). Dowd was an acquaintance of the Coen Brothers, an independent film producer they’d met when he was hired to market Blood Simple. Dowd apparently made enough of an impression on them that the idea for the entire movie grew directly out of him as a character. “It just seemed interesting to us to thrust that character into the most confusing situation possible. The person who would seem – on the face of it – least equipped to deal with it. That’s sort of the conceit of the movie,” as Ethan Coen famously described it.