Tag Archives: Bill Murray

Bill Murray sings “Happy Street”

Bill Murray is back to put a smile on your face. This time he’s doing it by chirping out a catchy tune with old pal Paul Shaffer.

“When he’s not busy having dinner with David Letterman,” writes Ryan Bort in Newsweek, “former Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer is making new music of his own. The late-night icon on March 17 is releasing an album called Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band that’s filled with guest appearances from some of Shaffer’s favorite musicians, and also Bill Murray.

Bort continues: “Rhino, the label behind the album, on Wednesday released an animated video for “Happy Street” that features Murray singing lead vocals. “When life is feeling sweet / It has a certain beat / Everything’s groovy when / You’re walking down happy street,” the song begins. The video feature a number of nods to Murray’s career, referencing films such as The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Scrooged and Stripes.”

“When things ain’t cool / Here’s my real simple rule / Why not just change / Your point of view,” the actor sings.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL — Pictured: (l-r) Paul Shaffer, Bill Murray during the Marty and Beyonce skit on February 15, 2015 — (Photo by: Theo Wargo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Bill Murray Finally Called

Reprinted from the Washington Post, here is a hilarious two part story by national arts reporter Geoff Edgers. Attempting to profile Bill Murray to coincide with the ceremony to award this year’s  Mark Twain prize for Humor, the reporter pursues a phone interview with the elusive comic actor. Filled with fresh anecdotes, the article is a hoot. Having failed to land the interview, Edgers published the piece.

And then Bill called.

The greatest role of Bill Murray’s life has been playing Bill Murray.

by Geoff Edgers

Let’s start with one of those crazy Bill Murray stories.

A couple of years ago, a guy named Ted Melfi had a movie idea and desperately wanted Murray to star. Except Melfi had never made a movie before. In a normal universe, unknown first-timers can’t get scripts through managers to major stars.

Except that Murray doesn’t have a manager. Or a publicist. Or an assistant. He has an 800 number and voice mail. Melfi wrangled that number from a producer friend.

He left messages. Lots of messages. Then one day, Murray called. He asked Melfi to meet him at Los Angeles International Airport. They drove around and ate cheeseburgers, talked script, and then Murray told Melfi the news. He’d do the movie. “St. Vincent” came out in 2014, a critical and commercial success.

“I owe everything I have in my life to Bill Murray, outside of my general health,” Melfi says.

We are on the phone because I am pretending that Melfi’s story is my primary interest when, in fact, it’s just a decoy. I want the 800 number. I don’t have a script to pitch. I have a story to do. On Sunday, Murray will receive the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In July, my editor assigned a profile, and I’ve been trying to reach him ever since. Talking to other famous people about Murray has been easy. Over several weeks, I’ve interviewed David Letterman and Howard Stern, directors Ivan Reitman, Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola, former “Saturday Night Live” colleagues Dan Aykroyd and Laraine Newman, and legendary SNL writer Jim Downey. But no Billy.

I tell this to Melfi. I also explain that I’ve been told — through a message from the comedian’s attorney — that Murray might be mad at me, though I wasn’t sure why. I had responded by sending Murray a note, through that attorney, to clear the air. Still, nothing. Would Melfi be kind enough to pass me Murray’s number? He laughs.

“There’s an unwritten law with Bill, and everybody knows it,” he says. “You don’t give out his contact information ever. And no one will ever do it.”

There’s a moment of silence on the phone.

“You don’t need Bill Murray to make it a great story,” Melfi says. “ ‘Bill Murray was unavailable for this story.’ That’s the story of Bill Murray.”

‘He took all the light bulbs’

Actually, there are many stories of Bill Murray.

Murray was a guest on the debut of “Late Night With David Letterman” in 1982. He began a hilarious, mock-harangue of Letterman followed by a lengthy mock-apology. (Nancy Kaye/AP) 

Here’s one from David Letterman.

Friday, Jan. 29, 1982. Letterman is nervous. Back then, he’s not the retired king of late night. He’s a gaptoothed, former weatherman from Indiana fresh off a canceled morning show. “Late Night With David Letterman” is set to premiere Monday. The host leaves his office to film a remote. While he’s gone, Bill Murray, the guest scheduled for the debut, stops by to meet with his writers.

When Letterman returns, the “Late Night” offices are dark, the staff gone. The receptionist delivers a report.

“First, he took all the light bulbs out of the writers’ room because it was hard to concentrate with artificial light,” Letterman recounts. “Then he said, ‘You know what we really need to do?’ Then Bill takes the writers out for rum. They say there was drinking and they all got really drunk and had to go home. And I thought, ‘Oh, God, what’s happened here?’ ”

That Monday, Murray blasted onto the set and began a hilarious, mock harangue of Letterman followed by a lengthy mock apology. Hopping out of his chair, he spoofed the aerobics craze by performing Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical.” It was a model for future Murray appearances.

“Somebody would always come up to me and say: ‘We have a problem. Bill is not here yet,’ ” Letterman says. “And each time that happened, I learned to not take it seriously. Bill was never late. Never missed a performance and was always well prepared and the best thing of the year on the show.”

Conflict can serve creativity

The Twain Prize is the most prestigious comedy award in the field, with past winners including Richard Pryor, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy and Tina Fey. You would think the latest recipient would want to talk about it.

Not Murray. As August turns to September, he remains elusive. His attorney won’t reply to my emails or calls. His friends — Melfi, Reitman, writer Mitch Glazer, producer Fred Roos — offer sympathy but decline my plea for help. They don’t want to annoy him by nagging.

I wait by the phone. What makes the Murray silence so frustrating is how easy it is to track him.

During the months he’s avoiding me, he’s spotted plucking fries off the plate of a random diner at an airport, tending bar in Brooklyn, leading an “America” cheer at the Ryder Cup golf tournament, and cheering on the Cubs.

Of course, there’s a big difference between sitting in the bleachers and sitting for an interview. True profiles of Murray are hard to find. Perhaps the most revealing piece about him dates to 1988 when the late Timothy White, in the New York Times Magazine, visited Murray and his first wife, Mickey, at their home by the Hudson.

Last year, Glazer persuaded Murray to participate in his Vanity Fair cover story, but “even that wasn’t easy, and I’ve known him since 1977.”

Occasionally, as a favor to a filmmaker, Murray will do those interviews pegged to a movie that’s coming out. But even those arrangements rarely go as planned. At the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of “St. Vincent,” Melfi remembers Murray disappearing at one point. Instead of doing more press, he had gone to a friend’s house to make waffles.

This is the Everyman Murray, the crasher of kickball games and karaoke jams, who would rather borrow your 10-speed than preen on a red carpet. Friends have been describing his feelings about receiving the Twain as “ambivalent.” And don’t try to talk business with Bill.

“You just don’t do it,” Aykroyd says. “Talk about anything else and everything else and you start to bring up the business, like some kind of pitch, like you’re trying to angle him, you’ll turn around and there are those taillights. That’s the Maserati turning. Go chase him. You aren’t going to catch him.”

‘Same old thing’

Howard Stern remembers the first time he noticed him. It was 1977, and Murray had been brought in to replace Chevy Chase, a huge star, on SNL.

“My first reaction was, who the f— is this guy to come on?” Stern says. “And then, like out of nowhere, he started doing that thing. The lounge singer. He wasn’t nervous. He wasn’t trying to win me over. But he won the audience over in minutes and didn’t even seem to be breaking a sweat.”

Murray’s “Saturday Night Live” lounge singer character Nick was “so happy and so unapologetic,” says Jim Downey, who was a writer for the show. “You don’t end up feeling sorry for him.” (Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“Nick,” as the character went by, left his shirt open and wore a red neckerchief. His medleys could dart from Crystal Gayle to John Williams’s “Star Wars” theme, campy lyrics added with fluttering eyelashes. In another performer’s hands, the joke might have been a mockery of every Holiday Inn lounge lizard. With Murray, Nick became not just forgivable but lovable.

“The character is so happy and so unapologetic,” says Downey. “You don’t end up feeling sorry for him. It’s a strange, acquired taste, and typically most people don’t find the bad version of something funny.”

Bill Murray playing at the 2016 Ryder Cup Celebrity Matches in Chaska, Minn., in September. Early in his career, he worried that working on the movie “Meatballs” would cut into his time on the fairways. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Murray’s leap from SNL to movies may seem natural now. John Belushi and Chase had gone before, and many others would go later. But at a point when most young actors would just be grateful for a bit part, Murray haggled over his starring role in “Meatballs.” It wasn’t about the money. Reitman scheduled the shoot for the summer of 1978. Murray worried that making the summer-camp comedy would cut into his time playing golf and baseball during the SNL break. When Murray finally agreed, though, he came to work. The first day on the set Reitman noticed the actor holding a rumpled script.

“Up to that moment, I wasn’t really sure he had read it. The first thing that he said was, ‘This is crap,’ ” Reitman says. “The first scene is where he’s introduced to the CITs [counselors in training]. He did the script, but he changed every single line.”

Murray would largely improvise the film’s famous “It just doesn’t matter” speech, and at one point, Reitman got a closer look at the actor’s copy of the script. He had scribbled the letters “SOT” on almost every page. It stood for “Same Old Thing.”

“The first mistake people make is to think because he is so spontaneous and puts on an air of not caring that he doesn’t care. But the fact is, he really does care about the work and is very precise and professional about how he conducts himself,” Reitman says. “He hated guys who went for the most obvious. He’d say: ‘I’ve seen that before. I’ve seen some version of that before. It’s the easy joke.’ ”

‘Wake me the hell up’

There is a purpose to how Bill Murray lives his life.

Aykroyd, who co-starred in the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, talks of the failed attempt, over years, to persuade Murray to star in a third. The money was good, the studio was behind it and his co-stars wanted in. In the end, Murray refused. He did agree to a cameo for this year’s reboot with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

Aykroyd brings up G.I. Gurdjieff as a way of explaining his friend. Murray admires the Russian mystic.

“Conflict in the Gurdjieffian philosophy can serve creativity,” Aykroyd says. “Billy believes you’ve got to stir things up. You don’t just put your marbles against the wall. You go in there and you either go through the wall or you knock a marble so it knocks another marble out. From friction comes heat and from heat comes creative power and a flame.”

Talking about his public improvisations two years ago, Murray seemed to reference Gurdjieff.

“My hope always,” Murray said in an interview scheduled to support “St. Vincent,” “is that it’s going to wake me up. And if I see someone that’s out cold on their feet, I go, okay, I’m going to try to wake that person up. It’s what I want someone to do for me: Wake me the hell up.”

Professionally, there have also been “wake-ups.” In 1984, he agreed to do “Ghostbusters” only if the studio paid for him to remake “The Razor’s Edge,” a drama set in World War I and based on W. Somerset Maugham’s book. Murray played World War I veteran Larry Darrell.

“Ghostbusters” came out in June, setting box-office records and bringing Murray praise for playing sweetly sarcastic Dr. Peter Venkman. “The Razor’s Edge” came out in October and bombed. Murray didn’t brush off the commercial failure and sign on for “Caddyshack II.” Instead, he moved to Paris. He read books. And he turned down lucrative movie roles. He would not return to star in a film for four years until 1988’s “Scrooged.”

Even if “The Razor’s Edge” failed to score at the box office, it did reach a teenager in suburban Texas.

Wes Anderson rode his bike to a local video store to rent the film on Betamax and watched it with his brothers in the family’s wood-paneled TV room. Larry Darrell stuck with him.

“He was sort of poetic and heroic and very sad,” Anderson writes in an email, “but I remember what we also thought: He’s still funny.”

Years later, Anderson would think of Darrell again when he was writing the role of boozy, broken businessman Herman Blume. Bill Murray agreed to be cast and Anderson made “Rushmore.”

‘I’ll try to kill this’

So why won’t Murray talk to me?

For weeks, I blamed Laraine Newman.

I had spoken to the actress and comedian, an original SNL cast member, on Aug. 22. It had not gone particularly well. Newman has had some bad experiences with the media. With me, she was uneasy with questions I thought were straightforward. For example, what did she think of Murray’s willingness to take a risk like “The Razor’s Edge”?

“One can never know what another person is thinking,” Newman said. “I don’t think he would like anybody describing what his thoughts and motives are. He of all people would detest that. It’s unfair. Nothing could be more alienating than being misrepresented. Even if it’s something good.”

We talked about their friendship over the years. About how once he stopped by her house with a bag of avocados. About how Newman, years ago, had gone through a difficult breakup, and Billy had come by, in a convertible, and they’d gone for a long ride that helped her feel better.

But what she didn’t tell me, until confirming weeks later in a follow-up call, was that she had been uneasy enough about our interview to send Murray a warning.

Newman pulled up the exchange and read part of it to me over the phone.

Murray was already “horrified,” though we couldn’t determine if that was embarrassment about being singled out for the Twain.

Then he responded to her concerns about me.

“I’ll try to kill this,” he wrote.

The interview? The story? My career?

I mulled this over for weeks, imagining Newman’s exchange was why I couldn’t get the courtesy of a return call from Murray’s attorney, David Nochimson.

Then I talked with Joel Murray. He’s the youngest of the nine Murray kids and also an actor. He heard me out and then told me to let it go. It wasn’t my fault. He suspected his older brother never planned to meet with me.

“You can’t beat yourself up,” said Joel Murray. “It’s like dealing with a terrorist. They don’t care if they die. He doesn’t care about publicity at all.”

Bill Murray visits the doctor

But maybe there’s still a way to end this on a high note. With another story.

This comes from Letterman.

Last spring, Murray wrote to tell Letterman he was in New York and would love to get together. Letterman looked at his schedule. It was tight. The only day he had at least partially open was a day when he would be getting immunization shots for a trip to India. He gave Murray the address.

“The following day, I’m in Dr. Hartman’s office and I’m in the examining room and I’m in my underpants,” Letterman says, “and there’s Dr. Hartman, a lovely fellow, and he’s got his lab coat on and he’s beginning to explain all of the different things he’s going to vaccinate me against. Suddenly, there’s a knock on the examining room door, and I think, ‘I bet this is an assistant or somebody wanting to take blood.’ ‘Hi, Bill,’ I say, in my underpants. And the doctor, of course, is stunned. Oh, Bill Murray. So Bill comes on in. We’re squeezed in there the three of us. He starts yakking to the doctor about this and what are you going to give him and that because Bill had been to India.”

Letterman offers one of his patented cackles and stops telling the story.

“It was so crazy I’m having trouble explaining it. I’m in my underpants. There’s Bill Murray, and I’m getting injected. That’s not right, is it? That’s a violation of the Hippocratic oath, isn’t it? So now he starts giving me all of the injections, so Bill looks at me in my underpants and says, ‘Have you been lifting?’ ”

I tried to reach Bill Murray for weeks. Here’s what happened when he finally called me back.

by Geoff Edgers

At 12:39 p.m., a couple hours after my giant story about Bill Murray not calling me is published, the phone rings.

It’s Bill Murray. He is in New York on the way to the airport.

“I’m sorry you’re not here in this taxi on the way to JFK,” he says. “I’ve got some Swiss chocolate.”

I tell him I’ve been trying to reach him for weeks. That I had given up. He tells me he had heard that but he didn’t know what to say. He finally dialed my cell after nudging from former “Saturday Night Live” writer Jim Downey, a close friend of his.

I mention that the story is actually done.

“I didn’t read the article,” he says. “I don’t even know where the article is or when it came out. I was calling you on the chance you hadn’t written it because they all said I would enjoy the experience of speaking with you.”

So we talk. We talk about the Chicago Cubs, who he believes are going to turn it around, and musician John Prine, who I mention first, for no particular reason other than that I’ve been listening to him recently, and Murray, as luck would have it, perks up. He tried to actually get the Kennedy Center to bring in Prine for Sunday’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor ceremony. It didn’t work out.

“I thought it would have been a nice deal because John Prine can make you laugh like no else can make you laugh,” he says.

It is clear that Murray, as I’ve heard from some of his friends, is truly conflicted about receiving this honor. But he’s going through with it. Letterman, Ivan Reitman, Jane Curtin, Emma Stone — they’ll all be there to fête him.

“I really thought if I don’t answer the phone for awhile, maybe they’ll just move on to someone else,” says Murray. “But all these people called from everywhere. This is so great. Ugh. If this [NLCS] goes to a Game 6 or 7, which it is going to, I’m not going to be there. I’m going to be there [at the Kennedy Center] having people say, ‘Oh, he’s a funny, funny man.’ I’d much rather be sitting there in a good box seat at Wrigley Field. The game the other night was so much fun. It was delirium. And I was looking forward to more of that. I just have to have faith that they have a TV backstage. It’s very hard to find a transistor radio anymore.”

We talk about the timing of his call. My story – which I worked on for months, and included more than a dozen attempts to interview him – was published a few hours earlier. I tell him that it was a struggle to profile somebody without talking to him, but that, in the end, I felt as if the piece worked. I get a hint of what it might be like to pick the brain of a creative master, the man who has never been satisfied with just doing things the way they’ve always been done.

“I find that if you’re put in a box, you have to find something that you never would have found,” Murray says. “I find that to be almost always the case. Actually, always the case. I will figure out how to do that.”

I tell him I appreciated the kind words from Downey and Norm Macdonald, who Murray says both spoke highly of me. But that at a certain point, I was almost glad he didn’t call.

“I did fear you would call at the last minute and then I’d have to rewrite the whole damn thing,” I say.

“And then I did,” says Murray. “Sorry.”

“No,” I tell him. “It’s published. I can’t go back on it.”

“Then you can relax and enjoy the weekend,” he says.

If only. We talk more about the Cubs, but I already know that he has gummed up the works a bit, but in a good way: I now have to figure a way out of the box, how to tell the story of a subject who won’t talk for his own story until he will, and how he does it when you’re least expecting it.

“It’ll be all right,” he says, really talking about the Twain ceremony this weekend. “We’ll get through this. I’ve got to go now. We’ve made it to the airport and I owe this driver another piece of chocolate.”

And then, for reasons unclear, I mention that if he’s ever in Concord, Mass., where I live, he shouldn’t hesitate to stop by. Maybe we could go to Walden Pond or visit Emerson’s grave.

“I would love to do that,” Murray says, sounding sincere. “I would really love to do that. I’ll take you up on that.”

10 Ways to Live Life Like Bill Murray

bill-murray-the-tao-of-bill-murray-shutterstock_291103331“When Bill Murray went to Japan to film the indie classic Lost in Translation back in 2002, he brought along a little novelty book called Making Out in Japanese,” writes Paul Teetor in LA Weekly.

” It included colloquial phrases for lovers such as ‘You have a beautiful body’ and ‘I don’t want to get married yet.'”

Teetor continues:

For a guy with such a mischievous mind and sly wit, the comic possibilities were endless. Soon after he arrived in Tokyo, he told a startled Japanese crew member, ‘I really don’t love you anymore, so I’m going to change my phone number.’ ”

When he went out for sushi, he would ask the chefs — scowling men wielding big knives — questions such as “Do your parents know about me?” or “Do you have a curfew?” or “Can we get in the backseat?” On special occasions, he would even ask them “Do you mind if I use protection?”

It could have been perceived as yet another ugly American abusing the native language for his own twisted entertainment. But because it was Murray delivering these intimate lines with his typical wacky charm and offbeat sense of humor, there were no international incidents, just laughs all around.

It was just part of the Tao of Bill.

If that sounds a bit mysterious, it’s all explained in Gavin Edwards’ new book, The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment and Party Crashing (Random House, $26). Even by the crazy-is-normal standards of Hollywood characters, Murray is a quirky guy. He has no agent and no manager, just a voice mailbox, which he rarely checks, where writers, producers and directors can pitch their projects. Sometimes months later they will get a 30-second phone call: I’ll do it. And there’s no telling when he will actually show up on the set.

Fittingly, then, Edwards has written an equally quirky book. At first glance it looks like a standard biography, and it does include a 33-page introduction that outlines Murray’s life. It starts with his Sept. 21, 1950, birth in a Chicago suburb, details his showbiz start in Chicago’s Second City and his breakthrough performance on Saturday Night Live, and includes most of his film roles all the way through to September 2014, when Edwards interviewed him at the Toronto Film Festival.

The bio-introduction is bookended by a 106-page filmography, in which Edwards analyzes Murray’s role in every one of his 59 films, including classics Caddyshack, StripesGhostbusters, Tootsie, Groundhog DayRushmore and the aforementioned Lost in Translation.

But the heart of the book is the middle 150 pages, in which Edwards breaks down the 10 Principles of Bill. Tao is Chinese for “the way,” and the 10 principles make the case that Murray has a unique way with people that has made him one of the most beloved — and enduring — actors in a business where sell-by dates come and go awfully quickly.

In an interview, Edwards admitted that even he isn’t sure exactly what literary category his book fits into. “A friend said, ‘I think you’ve invented a new form of biography,’ and it certainly is a different approach to biography,” he says. “But I think it also works as a guide to how to live your life. I think people would benefit from following the Tao of Bill. And as a simple bathroom reader, it has a whole lot of funny stories.”

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  Actor Bill Murray tees off from the 2nd tee of Spyglass Hill Golf Course during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am February 8, 2007 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

Indeed it does. Like the day in 1987 when Murray, who loves baseball almost as much as he loves golf, had the privilege of sitting in for legendary Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray during a Cubs-Montreal Expos game. Rather than try to replace Caray, Murray later said, he approached the job from the point of view of the rabid Cubs fan that he is. That led to a series of memorable quips during what he later described as “the peak of my performing career.”

On Montreal’s first batter: “Starting for the Expos in left field, Casey Candaele. He’s no good.” On fans in the Wrigley Field bleachers: “These are people who take bad falls down the stairs and don’t really know.” On fans yelling to him in the broadcast booth: “Nice to see the gang from Joliet maximum security prison here.” On cutting off beer sales after the eighth inning: “Anybody who can’t get drunk at the ball game before the eighth inning doesn’t belong here.” On why he was happy the Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe was pitching so well during the 7-0 victory: “Frankly, he owes me money.”

Just for the record, here are the 10 Principles of Bill that Edwards came up with after interviewing more than 50 people who know Murray and reviewing hundreds of Murray anecdotes recounted in newspapers, magazines and books. (Keep in mind that these are something Edwards came up with, not principles that Murray claims to live by.) “When I was interviewing him in Toronto, I realized that my suspicions were right, that all Bill’s crazy behavior wasn’t just random wackiness,” Edwards says. “He had put a lot of thought into things like why he crashes parties and why he is so generous with his money.”

 gallery-1461139944-esq050116esqa005

The 10 Principles:
1. Objects are opportunities.
2. Surprise is golden. Randomness is lobster.
3. Invite yourself to the party.
4. Make sure everybody else is invited to the party.
5. Music makes the people come together.
6. Drop coin on the world.
7. Be persistent, be persistent, be persistent.
8. Know your pleasures and their parameters.
9. Your spirit will follow your body.
10. While the earth spins, make yourself useful.

Most of them are self-explanatory. For those that aren’t, well, invite yourself to the party, put on some music, drop some coin and buy the book.

 

Indeed, the book sounds like it is a lot of fun, and perhaps it is enlightening too. Here’s what the publisher has to say about it: 

This collection of the most epic, hilarious, and strange Bill Murray stories, many of which have never before been reported, spotlights the star’s extraordinary ability to infuse the everyday with surprise, absurdity, and wonder.

No one will ever believe you.

New York Times bestselling author Gavin Edwards, like the rest of us, has always been fascinated with Bill Murray—in particular the beloved actor’s adventures off-screen, which rival his filmography for sheer entertainment value. Edwards traveled to the places where Murray has lived, worked, and partied, in search of the most outrageous and hilarious Bill Murray stories from the past four decades, many of which have never before been reported. Bill once paid a child five dollars to ride his bike into a swimming pool. The star convinced Harvard’s JV women’s basketball team to play with him in a private game of hoops. Many of these surreal encounters ended with Bill whispering, “No one will ever believe you” into a stranger’s ear. But The Tao of Bill Murray is more than just a collection of wacky anecdotes. This volume puts the actor’s public clowning into a larger context, as Edwards distills Murray’s unique way of being into a set of guiding principles. A sideways mix of comedy and philosophy, full of photo bombs, late-night party crashes, and movie-set antics, this is the perfect book for anyone who calls themselves a Bill Murray fan—which is to say, everyone.

Kirkus Review points out, “The key to Murray’s philosophy is that it is not self-serving. Though he has become known for his carefree antics almost as much as for his acting roles, he does them out of earnest playfulness. “
Bill

What Does Bill Murray Smell Like? This Scratch-N-Sniff Will Let You Find Out

3049769-slide-s-1-a-scratch-n-sniff-guide-to-bill-murray                                         Life Aquatic by Sabrina Elliot

“A NEW BOOK ALLOWS YOU TO BASK IN THE REDOLENT BOUQUET OF A HOLLYWOOD TREASURE.” writes John Brownlee at Fast Company.

3049769-slide-s-3-a-scratch-n-sniff-guide-to-bill-murray                                   Lost in Translation by Henry Kaye

“Bill Murray is one of the most elusive and enigmatic actors in Hollywood, but what does he smell like? Cook Your Own Food is a new scratch and sniff tribute to the Ghostbusters and Scrooged actor that allows you to bask in Murray’s fragrant, ever-changing musk. It’s the literary equivalent of sticking your head under Murray’s armpit and inhaling deeply.”

3049769-slide-s-4-a-scratch-n-sniff-guide-to-bill-murray                                Moonrise Kingdom by Witzje Valkemar

“Published by the self-described “nomadic publisher” Sugoi Press, Cook Your Own Food – A Bill Murray Scratch And Sniff features 10 different pages drawn by 10 different artists featuring 10 different smells inspired by an assortment of Bill Murray films. It’s the next best thing to using a time machine to travel back to the set of his best movies and smell him for yourself.”

3049769-slide-s-2-a-scratch-n-sniff-guide-to-bill-murray                                      Lost in Translation by Grace Danico

“One page illustrated by Grace Danico featuring Bill Murray’s Suntory hawking character in Lost in Translation might smell like whiskey; another page, illustrating the scene from the same movie when Murray and Scarlett Johansson go out for dinner, would smell like sushi. Other pages feature smells from Moonrise Kingdom, Groundhog’s Day, The Life Aquatic, What About Bob? and more.”

3049769-slide-s-5-a-scratch-n-sniff-guide-to-bill-murray                                     What about Bob by Jon Boam

“But why Bill Murray, of all people? “Bill Murray really lends himself to re-interpretation,” says John Jarvis of Sugoi Press. “He has everything: the sadness, the hilarity, the weight. You just need to turn on your laptop and you’re bombarded with illustrations of him. We wanted to add a layer on top, bring people closer to him. So now you can eat sushi with him, chomp on apples with him, and eat a Baby Ruth with him.”

You can buy a copy of Cook Your Own Food – A Bill Murray Scratch And Sniff now from Sugoi Press for a little under $10 here.”

The Sugoi site  says “Feel closer to the greatest man alive! Delve into his scenes, drink with him, laugh with him and smell as he smells.We’ve brought together some amazing artists to re-interpret some classic Bill Murray films. Focusing on his culinary habits.Scratch the smelly pads at the top right and enter the world of Bill Murray.”

New Bill Murray “ROCK THE KASBAH” Trailer and Poster—”Opportunity Rocks Where You Least Expect It”

rock-the-kasbah-poster

“Opportunity Knocks Where You Least Expect It.” Great tagline on the awesome new poster for Bill Murray’s ROCK THE KASBAH.

Open Road Films has also released the trailer for director Barry Levinson’s road comedy.  Starring with Bill Murray are Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, Scott Caan, Bruce Willis and Leem Lubany.


Scripted by Mitch Glazer (who also wrote the Murray holiday classic SCROOGED) the film tells the story of Richie Lanz, a rock manager who takes his act on the road. “Bill Murray and Barry Levinson are the perfect team to capture the lunacy, heartbreak and hope of this story. I’m ecstatic,”  Glazer told Deadline when the film was announced.

Comingsoon.net describes Richie as having “a golden ear and a taste for talent” but “has seen better times. When he takes his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO tour of Afghanistan, she gets cold feet and leaves him penniless and without his passport in Kabul.”

“I’m royally screwed!” complains Richie.

“Welcome to Afghanistan,” replies the hotel manager.

Richie considers this. “Nice to be here.” MurrayBarWhile trying to find his way home, Richie befriends a band of misfits and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice.

Against all odds, Richie will take his last shot at creating an unlikely superstar.

ROCK THE KASBAH hits the big screen October 23, 2015.

This image is not from the film, but it reminds us just how much Bill Murray enjoys music.

bill-murray-set-to-star-in-rock-the-kasbah-header

A Very Murray Christmas – Watch the Teaser

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06:  Bill Murray at the "St. Vincent" Press Conference at the Fairmont Royal York on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario.  (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Slashfilm reports that Netflix will present the holiday special                A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS. Bill Murray will star as a fictional TV celebrity named Bill Murray in “an homage to the classic variety show … as he worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snow storm in New York City.”

By some holiday miracle, though, the show goes on. “Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at the Carlyle hotel to help him; dancing and singing in holiday spirit,” the press release continues.

Variety reports that guests include George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Julie White, Dimitri Dimitrov, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix, Frederic Moulin, Rashida Jones, and Miley Cyrus.

The director is Sofia Coppola. She and Murray will write A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS along with Mitch Glazer, who co-wrote Murray’s Christmas classic SCROOGED, and was Associate Producer on the Coppola directed LOST IN TRANSLATION.

Murray first revealed his plans for the Christmas special last year. “It won’t have a format, but it’s going to have music,” he told Variety at the time. “It will have texture. It will have threads through it that are writing. There will be prose. It will have a patina style and wit to it.” Coppola added,  “It will be nice. My motivation is to hear him singing my song requests.”

Here’s the teaser:

Jon M. Chu Double Feature Opens BAM 3-D Festival—Step Up 3D and Bieber On The Same Night

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 28:  Director Jon M. Chu arrives at the Premiere of Paramount Pictures' "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 28, 2013 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jon M. Chu

Jon M. Chu

BAMcinematek opened it’s latest film series 3D IN THE 21ST CENTURY at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas  on Friday night.

The festival explores the state of the art in recent stereo film, stating “The unprecedented resurgence of 3D in the last decade has expanded the visual and emotional possibilities of cinema in frequently wondrous—and sometimes divisive—new ways. At its best, the technology creates almost hallucinatory immersive landscapes and retina-dazzling surprises with an immediate visceral impact. From big-budget blockbusters to high-concept mind-benders by arthouse icons, this first-of-its-kind series surveys recent films that showcase the full range of stereoscopic cinema’s expressive potential.”

stepup3d_613x463Kicking off the opening night of the series was an eye-popping pair of films, both from director Jon M. Chu: STEP UP 3D and JUSTIN BIEBER NEVER SAY NEVER.

The BAM site says about STEP UP 3D: “This visually dazzling hip-hop musical gives filmed dance an innovative 3D update. The wisp of a plot—in which a ragtag group of young New York City hoofers compete to win an epic dance battle—is just a pretext for the nonstop stream of exhilarating dance sequences, in which the novel use of three dimensions gives the breathtaking displays of popping, locking, and spinning a visceral jolt.”

“This is jump-n-jive cinema done right, with cinematography to match.”
—Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
justinbieberneversaynever_613x463
Regarding JUSTIN BIEBER NEVER SAY NEVER, BAM says: “Bieber is bigger than life in this slick monument to a pop culture sensation. Part behind-the-scenes documentary, part Madison Square Garden concert spectacular, it’s all engagingly engineered to drive legions of tweeny bopper fans to hysterics. For non-Beliebers, it’s a frighteningly effective glimpse of the teen-idol-generating hype machine.”

The film also features Usher, Miley Cyrus, Ludacris, Jaden Smith, Sean Kingston, Boyz II Men, and Scooter Braun.justin_bieber_never_say_never

BAMcinématek presents classic films, premieres, festivals, and retrospectives, with appearances by filmmakers, actors, and critics.

BAM Rose Cinemas (BRC) opened in 1998 to offer Brooklyn audiences an alternative to the standard multiplex, screening independent films that might otherwise not play in the borough and making BAM the only performing arts center in the country with two mainstage theaters and a multiplex cinema. In July 1999, beginning with a series celebrating the work of Spike Lee, BAMcinématek was born as Brooklyn’s only daily year-round repertory film program.

Over the course of its decade-long history, BAMcinématek has presented major retrospectives by such well-known auteurs as Michelangelo Antonioni, Shohei Imamura, Manoel de Oliveira, Luchino Visconti, and Vincente Minnelli and has introduced New York audiences to contemporary filmmakers, such as Pedro Costa and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In addition, BAMcinématek has programmed the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Hong Sang-soo, among others. BAMcinématek has also featured many exciting marquee guests, including Gena Rowlands, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Milos Forman, David Byrne, Jonathan Demme, Isabella Rossellini, Paul Thomas Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Larry Clark, D.A. Pennebaker, Catherine Deneuve, and many more.

You Had Me at Aloha: Rachel McAdams and Bradley Cooper Shine in Cameron Crowe Film, Plus Wisdom from Bill Murray

screen-shot-2015-02-11-at-9-02-20-pm-png-1Sony has just released a new clip from the upcoming Cameron Crowe film ALOHA. Could this be a return to form for the director of JERRY MAGUIRE, ALMOST FAMOUS, and SAY ANYTHING ? This scene suggests the answer is yes.

In ALOHA, a celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs – the US Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii – and reconnects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, and produced by Scott Rudin, ALOHA also stars Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, and Alec Baldwin.

screen-shot-2015-02-11-at-9-04-00-pm-pngMurray dispenses wisdom in the first trailer for the film: “The future isn’t just something that happens. It’s a brutal force., with a great sense of humor, that’ll steamroll you if you’re not watching.”

The song in the trailer is an instrumental version of ROCKS by Imagine Dragons. This song is not on the soundtrack, but there are a number of familiar names on the album, including  indie and classic acts such as Beck, David Crosby, Fleetwood Mac, Kurt Vile, The Blue Nile, Radical Face, The Tallest Man On Earth. and Jónsi & Alex.

The marketing tagline for the picture is “Sometimes you have to say goodbye before you can say hello.” Here’s the poster:

aloha-poster

Great Closing Lines in Films

The Telegraph has collected a gallery of memorable closing lines in films. The list includes:

rains-casa-2Humphrey Bogart to Claude Rains at the end of CASABLANCA: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

120836_story__deloreanChristopher Lloyd to Michael J. Fox in BACK TO THE FUTURE: “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

0529238_520_MC_Tx304Anthony Hopkins to Jodie Foster in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: “I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner. Bye.”

SuspectsKevin Spacey in THE USUAL SUSPECTS: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that – poof – he’s gone!”

425fcf3c8756d266360277618e63ab70Joe Mantell to Jack Nicholson in CHINATOWN: “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”

originalPaul Newman to Robert Redford in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID: “Oh Good. For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble.”

groundhogday_2409378kBill Murray to Andie McDowell in GROUNDHOG DAY: “It’s so beautiful. Let’s live here! We’ll rent to start.”

sunset_2408090kGloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULEVARD: “You see, this is my life. It always will be! There’s nothing else – just us – and the cameras – and those wonderful people out there in the dark. All right, Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

 

Bill Murray’s Fantastic Female Cast for GHOSTBUSTERS Reboot – Plus His Secret About Living

8b2424e6-a069-4128-b696-7bca13aedb51WallpAutoWallpaper2The Toronto Film Festival celebrated Bill Murray Day last week, and some choice moments occurred.

Murray himself was on hand to take part in events, including a special question-and-answer session for fans.

“I like to feel that every day is Bill Murray day. At least for a second every day,” the star told BBC News. He was at the festival to promote his latest film, ST VINCENT, in which he plays a cantankerous war veteran who finds himself having to look after his neighbour’s 12-year-old son.

b58007f8-8c84-47c7-b0fe-d5fffdd51d65-460x276Bill Murray in ST VINCENT.

When asked about the possibility of an all female Ghostbusters reboot, “I’m fine with it,” Murray said. “I would go to that movie, and they’d probably have better outfits, too.”

The Star reports: “He’s not involved in the project, and the sequel-averse comic actor has long resisted the idea of making a third chapter of the original 1980s franchise that teamed him with Dan Aykroyd, the late Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson as New York City spook chasers.

Yet he’s got ideas when asked which women he’d like to don the Ghostbusters jumpsuits and proton packs. One of his preferred candidates is Melissa McCarthy, his co-star in St. Vincent, the dramedy that had its world premiere at TIFF on the weekend.

“Melissa would be a spectacular Ghostbuster. And Kristen Wiig is so funny — God, she’s funny! I like this girl Linda Cardellini (Mad Men) a lot. And Emma Stone is funny. There are some funny girls out there.”

KWMMESLCBill-Murray-Ghostbusters-810x426

Page Six relayed a great Murray anecdote: “He recalled that the night before the festival, he got into a taxi in Oakland and ended up driving the cab driver around… the driver mentioned he was a saxophone player.

“I said, ‘When do you practice?’ He said, ‘I drive 14 hours a day.’ ” Murray then asked him, “Well, where’s your sax?” The driver replied, “In the trunk.” Murray told the cabbie, “Pull over and get in the back, I know how to drive a car.’ ”

“Not only did he play all the way to Sausalito, which is a long way, we stopped and got barbecue. He [wound up] playing in what some would call a sketchy, weird place in Oakland at 2:15 in the morning. I was like, ‘Relax, man, you’ve got the [bleeping] horn! We’re cool!’ And it was great and it made for a beautiful night!”

Fans dressed up in costumes of Murray characters in honour of the star, according to BBC News. _77424070_imageThe actor picked out a baby in the crowd, who was dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, saying: “That is one good-looking baby.”

Murray told fans at the Q&A he was honoured to be recognised at the festival for his life’s work.

“The only reason I’ve had the career I’ve had is someone told me some secrets early on about living – the more relaxed you are the better you are,” he said.

timthumb