Actress Tara Reid poses at the Entertainment Weekly pre Emmy Awards party in Los Angeles, California, September 18, 2015.
Tara Reid never thought she would land her role in “The Big Lebowski.”
“It was a Coen Brothers film,” she told Page Six via the phone on Tuesday. “At the moment, I sat in the waiting room with Charlize Theron and Liv Tyler. And I thought, ‘Yes, sure, if I ever going to get of this film.’ But I wound get and everyone was like, ‘Who is this unknown girl who the Coen Brothers’ movie?’ And it was me.”
The cult classic, which turned 20 earlier this month, stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, a Los Angeles slacker and bowler, whose life in the short turns into a Raymond Chandler novel (only with stoner jokes) after he is mistaken for a millionaire who shares the same name.
In the film, Reid, 42, plays Bunny, the other Jeffrey Lebowski’s young trophy wife, whose “disappearance” makes the movie is the plot in motion.
“Bunny Lebowski is funny,” she said. “She is like this legend, they do not care. She is just like ‘La-la-la-la-la.’ And she is sort of the main line of the story. Everyone is looking for Rabbit the whole time. And she was distraught. The whole thing is about Bunny, but she has no idea. And I like that.”
Reid as Jeffrey Lebowski’s young trophy wife in the film.
As a young actress, who has just started in movies, the experience of working with two of America’s most respected filmmakers was really valuable for Reid. “They’re fantastic,” she said of Joel and Ethan Coen. “They really work as a team. They are very in sync with each other. If one comes to you, you know the other is thinking the same thing. I know that they are not twins, but it’s almost like a twins.”
It was not only the filmmakers who made an impression on the actress: Reid said that the entire cast — including John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Julianne Moore prove to be “good people” who they are “really lucky” to have worked.
“I remember at the Academy Awards. I was going to one of the parties,” she recalled. “Julianne Moore, she came to me and she goes, ‘Tara!’ I knew who she was, although I never met her. I introduced myself, she was so beautiful. “I am Julianne, I have “The Big Lebowski” with you ” — because I had no scenes with her — ‘You were great!’ She didn’t want to have to do that. It was, therefore, a kind of both way. I thought: ‘Wow, how cool is this.'”
In addition to her big scene, a playful profane flirt with the Dude swimming pool at her husband’s house, the scenes that stick out to Reid all involved Bridges’ now-iconic character.
“I think it’s always nice if the Dude gets his head flushed in the toilet,” she said with a laugh. “I love that scene.”
‘Big Lebowski’ cast in the 2011 movie DVD release event.
Although she loved the film from the get-go, Reid admitted she never expected that the to the pop-culture phenomenon, leads to the Library of Congress to add to the National Film Registry in 2014, deemed it “culturally, historically or aesthetically important.”
“But you never do,” she said. “‘American Pie’ is the same. You never know that it’s a hit. Because you think, with the greatest directors, the greatest actors, do you think it will work. And it doesn’t. Movies are fickle. You never know what the public will respond.”
But even if he hadn’t proven to have, such as sustainable energy, the film gave Reid just 22 when it was released, the boost that she needed for her career to go, and helped her land a number of her greatest roles, including the part of Vicky Lathum in “American Pie” the following year.
“This is certainly the breakout role which is open to all areas for me,” she said. “Without this I don’t think I ever would have had the success that I have, on such a large level. … Hollywood always wants the next big star, next big thing. And, by far, this is the movie that turned me in.”
Reid’s next film, the Burning Man horror film “y Bus to Hell,” will be released in May. The sixth “Sharknado” movie, which she says will probably be the last, will air on Syfy later this summer.
This story was previously published in the New York Post.