The hero of The Big Lebowski is portrayed by Jeff Bridges as a meditative — or perhaps stoned? — fellow with long hair and a beard. He might evoke the traditional representation of a messiah, though he spends the entire movie clutching either a joint or a White Russian.Though he may look like a slacker, says Falsani, "there's a deep centeredness to him."
The interview doesn't get much into the most obvious parallels, in O Brother, Where Art Thou, the film that turned Man of Constant Sorrow into a national hit and revived the great Ralph Stanley's career. Much of the latter part of the interview explores Marge Gunderson's role in Fargo, her moral centeredness amidst the chaos she finds around her as she uncovers the petty but gruesome murders in Brainerd.
As for The Dude, having known a few borderline mystics/definite stoners from my Berkeley days, I'd say there's a fine line between mysticism and stoner-ism -- the line between, say, Jeff Bridges's Dude and Judd Apatow's anything.