On Sunday’s 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Sam Elliott and Jeff Bridges rejoiced in an intimate The Big Lebowski reunion. It turns out that the two veteran actors were seated together at the awards ceremony. This is nearly a quarter of a century after the cult classic hit theaters.
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“I’m sitting with Jeff at the table and I haven’t seen Jeff in quite a time,” the 1883 star told Entertainment Tonight at the ceremony. “I’m really happy to be with him.”
In the acclaimed 1998 Coen brothers’ cult-classic crime-comedy film, Jeff Bridges appears as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski while Sam Elliott portrays the mysterious “The Stranger”. Throughout the movie, this figure serves not only as a narrator but also patronizes the bowling alley where The Dude and his buddies congregate.
Featuring an all-star cast with John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and more, The Big Lebowski follows the antics of Jeff Bridges’ character as he is mistakenly taken for a man who owes money to notorious Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara).
Sam Elliott isn’t shy about his belief in the film’s attaining cult status over the years. When asked if he considered it a “cult classic” by ET, the Tombstone star shot back, “I’d say so.”
Sam Elliott and Jeff Bridges were both up for awards that night
Bridges’ performance in The Old Man earned him a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. However, Jason Bateman nabbed the award for his work on Netflix’s Ozark. Meanwhile, Elliott won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for 1883. He beat out heavy hitters like Steve Carell (The Patient), Taron Egerton (Black Bird), Paul Walter Hauser (Black Bird), and Evan Peters (Dahmer — Monster: The Jefferey Dahmer Story).
Before beginning his speech, Elliott poked fun at needing notes for his speech. “Wonder if anybody else is gonna read anything tonight,” he said, brandishing a piece of paper. “I do this because I didn’t expect to be up here. I only have 43 seconds to say this and I’ve already wasted a half of that.”
“What can I say in 45 seconds, after just receiving the most meaningful acknowledgment of my 55-year career from a group of my peers?” Elliott added. “Many of whom I don’t even know, or know only from afar as a fan who respects their work. Not time to say enough.”
Last month at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards, Bridges was honored with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Of course, “The Dude” had to make a little cameo in his acceptance speech. “The Dude from Lebowski, he would say, ‘This is just like your opinion, man, I’m digging your opinion,” Bridges quipped. “Thank you! I love this. What an honor.'”