Jeff Bridges may have been the star of The Big Lebowski, but John Goodman was quite the scene stealer playing unstable Vietnam War vet/bowling enthusiast Walter Sobchak. One of Walter's funniest moments in the 1998 movie was when he smashed up a sports car with a crowbar to show what happens when "you fuck a stranger in the ass." But recently Goodman revealed that he was initially nervous about yelling out all those obscenities in what he thought was a crowded neighborhood. Goodman recalled:
The night I beat up the Corvette with a crowbar, nobody told me they bought the neighborhood out. So I'm going, 'I can't do this. I can't go out in this quiet neighborhood and yell this obscene stuff.' I must have done two takes before I figured out what was going on.
I can't blame John Goodman for feeling this way. It's one thing to angrily yell and drop f-bombs on a movie set with only the cast and crew around, but to do it a residential area at night, when people are winding down or even asleep, is another matter entirely. Fortunately, as Goodman soon realized, those houses were empty, so he didn't need to feel self conscious at all about letting out the rage.
In case you need a refresher on why John Goodman's Walter decided to take a crowbar to a car in The Big Lebowski, you can watch the scene unfold in the clip below.
Of course, this is just one of Walter's many hilarious moments in The Big Lebowski, with others including him pulling a gun on someone over a bowling game, declaring to The Dude that he can get ahold of a toe easily to repeatedly telling Donny to "shut the fuck up." Walter is definitely unhinged, but if you're looking to be entertained and don't mind a little danger, he's worth having around.
The Big Lebowski celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and remembering how the Corvette shoot went down was one of the many things John Goodman brought up when speaking to Today about the movie alongside Jeff Bridges and Steve Buscemi. Although The Big Lebowski initially earned mixed reviews and was a box office disappointment, its reputation improved significantly and is now considered to be one of the Coen brothers' best films, to the point that it was added to the National Film Registry in 2014.