Jeff Bridges gets “tagged”, steals the show at Golden Globes

It may not be easy to understand what Jeff Bridges is saying always. But how can he not be one of your very favorites in the entertainment industry? We were reminded of Bridges greatness as an actor in last night’s 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.

Bridges received the Cecil B. Demille Award, the honor bestowed upon by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for “Outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Bridges joins some pretty special company, as the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Jodie Foster, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and many other star-studded names that headline the most recent winners.

An award of this magnitude warrants an extended speech, longer than the other Golden Globe winners get. Bridges stepped up to the microphone and delivered an unforgettable speech. He began like most recipients for this sort of award do by thanking their loved ones for getting him to this point.

He then went on to thank the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel, who directed the classic crime comedy film The Big Lebowski, that Bridges is best known for playing in, as the protagonist, Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski. Twenty years since the film’s release in 1998 it is still as profound and impactful of a movie as any today. Bridges recognized this during his speech after acknowledging the Coen brothers by saying: “If I’m lucky I’ll be remembered as ‘The Dude’ for the rest of my life. I feel so honored to be a part of that film, great movie.”

It most certainly is, Jeff. In an insane plot where “The dude” is assaulted in his Los Angeles home by two goons hired by pornographer Jackie Treehorn as he is mistaken for a different, far wealthier Jeffrey Lebowski, who owes a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding causes “The Dude” to take the fall. Even after explaining to the goons he’s not the guy they want, one of them still pisses all over “The Dude’s” living room rug before leaving his place. This sparks “The Dude” and his fellow avid bowlers Walter Sobchak, a crazed Vietnam veteran, and the much-maligned Donny Kerabatsos, played by John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, seeking compensation from the other Lebowski in a wild, entertaining journey.

The urinated rug that really did tie that room together, along with plenty of other fantastic The Big Lebowski moments that followed will go down in film making history.

After going on to thank other directors and actors who helped Bridges ascend in the entertainment business, he concluded his six minute speech with words of encouragement that left many uplifted, and also left many confused. Quite fitting for the man known as “The Dude” if you ask me. He told a story about the late director Michael Cimino, who casted Bridges to play Lightfoot in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Bridges explained that he went to Cimino tell him this role is not for him, he wasn’t feeling it, and suggested that Cimino should fire him. Cimino responded by asking Bridges if he knew the game tag, and said “your it”, going onto explain that Bridges embodies this character and absolutely belongs in that role. Bridges used this story to shower positive energy on the rest of the room saying in one way or another, “We’ve all been tagged, we’re all alive! Right here, right now!”

After that uplifting story, Bridges concluded his roughly six minute speech by enlightening everyone about trim-tabs. Yes, I was also thinking “what the hell is that” the first time I watched him say this. A trim-tab is a little rudder that helps steering the larger rudder of a boat. Bridges tied his spiel about trim-tabs together by calling himself, and everyone else in the room trim tabs metaphorically, stating they are all little pieces who may appear insignificant but can really make a positive impact on society and “Turn this ship the way we want it to go, man!”

It was a confusing and unorthodox approach by Bridges no doubt. But it was very profound, and certainly holds memorable value due to its odd nature. “The dude” just added another accomplishment to his already lengthy resume at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.

-Simon Brady

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