The Dude most certainly abides.
Jeff Bridges participated in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit on Wednesday, July 23, and waxed philosophical on everything from his celebrated The Big Lebowski character to his thoughts on true love to his real feelings about White Russians.
The one-hour session provided priceless quotes from the actor, 64, five of which are compiled here. Take a look at gems from his AMA session below!
On longtime friend and The Giver costar Meryl Streep:
"We've known each other for years. As kids, we used to play soccer together. Yes! We met briefly during those times. And I admired her, as most people have, for so long, and was eager to work with her, and was so happy that she was onboard for The Giver because she's just a really remarkable actress. She brought a realism to this whole fictitious world. And I was just amazed by her freshness—it's like, she's been doing this so well for so long, one might think she would get complacent, but she really cared so much about the movie, and was so engaged and that kind of enthusiasm is contagious, and it spreads throughout the company, and whenever she was on the set, everybody upped their game and rose to the occasion. It was great to be able to do it with joy, you know? You could sense the love of her craft, you know, her art."
On love, and his 37-year marriage to wife Susan Geston:
"This industry is tough on relationships. I've always thought that my wife should have a credit up alongside mine, because I couldn't do what I do without her support. And like the questioner asked, or said, we've been married since 1977, we knew each other for two years before that, so she's been able to do all these films with me and we've managed to get through them all together. The toughest thing about making movies is being apart from your family. One of the things I try my best to do is call my wife every day, to keep up to speed with what's going on in her life. And tell her what's going on with mine. Often when you're apart from your loved one like that for so long, your connection kind of atrophies unless you keep engaged, even if it's small everyday kind of stuff. But another aspect of keeping a marriage together, I think it's important to—you'll think I'm silly—but to love each other, which begs the question: 'what is love?' Words that come to mind are openness, understanding, gentleness, kindness, and kind of working on those things, because everyone has a light and a dark side, I think, selfish aspects, and to kind of recognize those in each other and realize that we are going to have our own particular story at any given time, and those stories, they might not be the ultimate truth but they are certainly true for each of us, so to understand that we are each going through our particular version of reality, to respect that, and to nurture being in love, you know? To nurture that."
On White Russians, the famed drink of choice of his The Big Lebowski character:
"On a rare occasion, I will have one when I am feeling like having something particularly sweet, like drinking a dessert. I like my Russians without too much milk, not too much Kahlua, just the right proportions… I always like to drink my White Russians with a little straw!"
On the one piece of advice he has to give:
"Be love. That came to mind. It came from a wonderful dear friend and teacher of mine, a guy named Rozell Sykes, and he had a wonderful compound called St. Elmo's Village, I believe it's still there, right off La Brea off the freeway in Los Angeles, and he was a painter, and he would encourage me—this was back in the 1960s—he would encourage me to play my guitar while he painted, and I finally visited his compound, and I saw that it was almost like an art piece in itself, there were several bungalows, some of which he rented, and he painted EVERY surface. He loved every aspect of his life, you know? And encouraged us all to be love, to be the spirit of love, to be open and kind. Like what all the guys say, from Christ to the Dalai Lama. I saw the Dalai Lama once in Santa Barbara, and he was saying 'All religions are good'—I'm going to misquote him here, but the gist of it was 'All religions are good, Christians or Buddhism or Judaism—but be kind, be kind, that is my religion.' I think that's another version of be love, not only to other people, but to yourself. So this cuts down to just: be love. You can paraphrase the Dalai Lama."
On his favorite sandwich and the ritual behind it:
"Is lox & bagels a sandwich? I like lox & bagels, I like kind of building that, the ritual of getting your bagel, I like my bagels toasted, almost burned, and then you put a medium spread of cream cheese, and then I like onions quite a bit, so I will put quite a few onions on it. I'm not really into tomato, but once in a while I will surprise myself with tomatoes. And then I'll put the lox on there, and then put some peppers, and then I will cut it in half and go to town. That's the first thing that popped into my head when you said sandwich, but it's hard to beat a good cheeseburger. As I'm thinking about it, and then the Eastern thing is cool too, falafels and pita pockets, those are awful great too. I like sandwiches, now I'm thinking about all kinds of sandwiches."