We often hear how amazing The Dude is, how hilarious Walter is, and how absurd The Jesus is. We don’t hear often enough about the true hero of The Big Lebowski:
Liam is The Jesus’ sidekick. He does not have a single line in the entire movie. He is, however, in the movie before every other character except The Dude. His entry comes during the opening credits, set to Bob Dylan’s “The Man In Me”, which shows bowling balls rolling in slo mo and various bowlers bowling them. Liam is one of those bowlers. We see him launch his ball with perfect form, nail a strike, and then do a little jig in celebration. Liam is fat, and the Coen Brothers, knowing this, focus on his belly amidst the celebration. It’s superior even to the Truffle Shuffle. We have reason to believe Liam enacts this celebration each strike he hits, and he’s one heck of a bowler.
Liam has a mustache. He also has a 90s flat top military hairdo. After that opening montage, we see him in two more scenes. In both of these scenes, he stands stalwart at the side of The Jesus as The Jesus aggressively threatens The Dude and Walter. This is when we get Liam’s name, cause The Jesus says, “Me and Liam gonna fuck you up.” Liam does not run from this conflict. He stands like a bodyguard, one hand to hip, ready for action if necessary. He’s likely a veteran, and he’s probably killed people. Rumors circulate that he lost one of his testicles from land mine shrapnel. His favorite dinner is meat loaf with french fries. He has been divorced three times due to his issues with alcohol.
Liam does, however, draw lines, meaning he’d have the respect even of Walter. Toward the movie’s end, The Jesus charges Walter for taking a “day of rest”, ready to fuck him up. Liam puts his arm in front of his pederast friend, holding him back. He knows if his friend does not relax, Walter will bite off his ear. He is wise, calm, and in control, keeping things level. Liam has seen situations escalate before. Remember, he has killed overseas. Liam’s breaking up the fight demonstrates a lifetime of regret over past wrongdoings that haunt him every time he packs up his bowling bag and hops into his ’87 Dodge Caravan and stares down the dark road home to once more attempt sleep amidst the rotting soul that slithers snake-like through him and around him, controlling his rotten and miserable life. Bowling centers Liam, saving him from total annihilation. Just as it has for his weird friend, The Jesus.
Liam is played by actor James Hoosier, to whom we’ve reached out on multiple occasions for an interview. James Hoosier has consistently refrained from replying. James Hoosier has 95 Twitter followers. James, if you are reading this, please respond to our Facebook messages. We would love to hear more about the #LiamPsyche.
Liam is Irish. Let us pray that the road shall rise to meet him, and the wind shall always be at his portly back. Rise, Liam. Rise.
For more in-depth analysis of the Dasein of Liam, tune into our podcast episode on The Big Lebowski, available in your favorite podcast app.