Jeff Bridges: The Philosophy of 'the Dude'

Jeff Bridges – yes, the man behind 'The Dude' and many other memorable characters – stopped by this morning for the very first time. He comes from a showbiz family – his dad was Lloyd Bridges and his brother is Beau Bridges – and his natural reaction was to shy away from acting. Most kids rebel against their parents, right?

Well, eventually, he was seduced by Hollywood, and thank God. He's one of the best. He still lives a pretty easy life, admitting 'I resist working as much as I possibly can.'

Jeff Makes a Decision

Jeff made a painting once, based on a dream he had. In it, he's navigated a boat down a river. The river is filled with whirlpools that each contain a beautiful jewel and Jeff must resist the urge to reach for the jewel, or he'll be sucked in.

The painting – called 'Jeff Makes a Decision' – has become something of a philosophy he uses for his career – the jewels are film projects and Jeff must be selective and try not to be swayed.

Here are only some of Jeff's 'beautiful jewels':

THE LAST PICTURE SHOW – Jeff's first break-out role, he was 21 when this future classic hit the big screen. Cybill Shepherd played his love interest and she was a knockout. He admitted to becoming smitten with her, but she was involved with the movie's director Peter Bogdanovich.

KING KONG - King Kong took nine months to shoot and Jeff admitted that it was a pain in the ass at times. His co-star, Jessica Lange, however, was incredible. The had one guy working each finger of the giant gorilla hand and they almost crushed Jessica.

IRON MAN – Jeff had to approach this movie as a '$200 million student film' because Jon Favreau was writing the script as the shooting went along. This process threw Jeff for a loop at first, but the spirit of collaboration eventually worked out for the best, as Iron Man is a contender for greatest superhero movie of all time.

HEAVEN'S GATE – Not one of Robin Quivers' favorite movies, Jeff still thinks Heaven's Gate is an 'incredible movie'. It was a legendary box office bomb, but Jeff blames that on the media's dislike of the film's director and the changing times – Jeff said MTV was at its peak and everything was fast, choppy cuts. Heaven's Gate was a long, slow western.

MASKED AND ANONYMOUS – Jeff was excited to do this movie with a musical hero of his, Bob Dylan. They shot the movie in three weeks, but Jeff found time to jam with Dylan in his trailer.

AND THE JEWEL THAT GOT AWAY – While Jeff claimed that most of the 'Did you know Jeff Bridges was offered the role of … ???' stories are false – Pretty Woman, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Tequila Sunrise, Ghost – one is true. Jeff auditioned for the role Tom Hanks would end up playing in the classic movie Big. Jeff said the part didn't feel right when he was auditioning, and Tom Hanks did an amazing job with it anyway.

Naturally, Howard allowed Stern Show writer Richard Christy to come in and express his love for his faaaavorite actor from his faaaavorite movie (this time, it might actually be his #1 favorite), The Big Lebowski.

Richard bounded in wearing his Lebowski bowling shirt and carrying an official certificate - 'I'm a Dudeist Priest,' he proudly proclaimed. Jeff seemed genuinely enthused to meet him and, of course, Richard got emotional when talking about the scene where The Dude is driving along, banging on the dashboard because he's so happy. Richard likened this morning's experience to a Christian being in same room as Jesus.

Check out Jeff's new movie 'The Giver,' his band 'The Abiders,' and the close-to-his-heart 'No Kid Hungry Campaign'.