Sometimes, there’s an actor, well, he’s THE actor for a specific role. The actor does his job so well, he’s typecast, thus making it impossible for him to find work playing other characters.
For Adam West, it was Batman.
For William Shatner, it was Captain Kirk.
For Jeff Bridges in was as The Dude, or His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.Some actors try to fight typecasting by choosing opposite roles.
Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe tried to fight typecasting by playing a getting buck naked in Equus.
Chuck Norris embraced typecasting, but then again Chuck Norris has two speeds: Walk and Kill.
Jeff Bridges has had moderate success in acquiring other roles, but to me and millions of The Big Lebowski fans, Jeff Bridges is The Dude.
Then I saw a promo shot for the upcoming Iron Man movie and was bewildered…
The Dude is bald, man…
Not only that, the character he plays, Obadiah Stane, is so un-Dude.
So much, in fact, Jeff Bridges deserves an Oscar if he can pull off the Obadiah Stane role in Iron Man.
To help the Academy realize how much acting acumen is required to make a transformation from “The Dude” to Obadiah Stane, I’ve compiled a list of “How Un-Dude Obadiah Stane Is”:
1. For fun, Stane engages in psychological manipulation and hostile corporate takeovers.
For fun, The Dude bowls, drives around, and has the occasional acid flashback.
2. In a childhood chess match against another boy whose skill at least equalled his own, Stane killed the boy’s dog so that his mind wasn’t on the game. He won easily and continued to use similar forms of manipulation through his life.
In complete contrast, The Dude did not abide when his friend Walter threatened competitors in bowling league game with a gun. To The Dude, it was ‘just a game, man.”
3. Stane manipulated Iron Man so much, he not only took over his company, he made Iron Man a bum.
The Dude could relate to Iron Man, since The Dude has been accused of being a bum.
4. Stane went so far as to threaten a Iron Man’s pregnant ladyfriend.
The Dude would not abide by that. After all, he helps his ladyfriends conceive.
5. If The Dude saw that Iron Man’s best friend was black, he’d admire him for racially, being pretty cool. Stane, on the other hand, would probably try to lynch him.
There you have it. Five major distinctions between The Dude and Obadiah Stane. If Jeff Bridges can pull off the transformation and make Big Lebowski fans see anything but the Dude, give him the Oscar.
I don’t know about you, but I would take comfort in that.