Actor Jeff Bridges recounted in an interview what it felt like when he first heard mud and debris sliding past his Montecito home in the early hours of Jan. 9.
“The house started to shake, like an earthquake,” Bridges told the California Office of Emergency Services in a video posted to the agency’s Facebook page Wednesday. “Then I heard my wife screaming and coming out of the bedroom holding our dog, and ‘ploom,’ here comes the mud and debris.”
Bridges told the agency that he, his wife and their dog went to the highest point in their house and waited to be rescued by helicopter. Soon enough, help arrived. Bridges’ wife and the dog were hoisted up first, then Bridges himself.
Bridges told California OES that being rescued by helicopter “reminded me of doing stunts in movies.”
“Our home has been severely damaged, but we are safe, and so thankful for that and for the first responders who are working tirelessly to save people,” Bridges wrote in a tweet Jan. 11. “We are heartbroken over the loss of lives in our community. Your prayers and best wishes are most appreciated.”
A flip side to the tragedy, Bridges said, is “it’s really caused a lot of love to bloom and so many people just pulling together.”
The actor remembered a line from the 1984 movie, “Starman,” which he starred in: “He says, ‘You know what I love most about you humans? You are at your very best when things are worst,’ and that’s certainly true.”
Bridges is also known for his roles in “The Big Lebowski,” “Crazy Heart,” “True Grit,” and “Tron” and “Tron: Legacy.” He received the King Vidor Career Achievement Award, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival’s highest honor, in 2014. The Dude also performed with his band, The Abiders, at the Fremont Theater in 2015.
Bridges is one of a number of celebrities who were affected by the Montecito mudslides. Tennis star Jimmy Connors posted that he was evacuated by helicopter. Montecito resident Ellen DeGeneres shared her own emotional story about the devastation on her NBC daytime TV show a few days after the mudslides, where she was joined via FaceTime by Oprah.
Rob Lowe, who offered prayers for Montecito on social media, also appeared on DeGeneres’ show to discuss the mudslides. In a taped segment for the show, Lowe drove around the impacted area with Santa Barbara County Fire public information officer Dave Zaniboni.