Posted on Monday, July 19th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Be thankful for Bill Murray. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but every time he does an interview, Murray seems to give answers that are actually honest and thoughtful, as opposed to spitting out a party line. Not that I’d expect much different from a guy who goes against the Hollywood grain. But refreshing nonetheless.
What’s Murray talking about this time? Well, Garfield, for one, and the reason he did the film. And Ghostbusters 3, which he continues to dismiss as “a crock.”
GQ has a great, monster interview with Murray (motivated by Get Low, which is a great little film) and Ghostbusters 3 is naturally brought up.
It’s all a bunch of crock. It’s a crock… Harold Ramis said, Oh, I’ve got these guys, they write on The Office, and they’re really funny. They’re going to write the next Ghostbusters. And they had just written this movie that he had directed…Year One. Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives. So that dream just vaporized. That was gone. But it’s the studio that really wants this thing. It’s a franchise. It’s a franchise, and they made a whole lot of money on Ghostbusters.
All of which is dismissive, as Murray has been about the film, but he goes on to explain that interacting with fans who love the first film leaves him thinking “Oh, Christ, I should just do this thing.” Which seems to leave us back at square one.
And what about Garfield? Why did Murray, who always seems rather choosy about his films, decide to voice Garfield? Because he thought it was a Coen Brothers film, or so he’d have us believe.
I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I’d never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, “So-and-so and Joel Coen.” And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that. I had these agents at the time, and I said, “What do they give you to do one of these things?” And they said, “Oh, they give you $50,000.” So I said, “Okay, well, I don’t even leave the fuckin’ driveway for that kind of money.”
The money thing was worked out, and the movie was shot, and then time came for Murray’s contribution…
Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you’re looping a movie, if it takes two days, that’s a lot. I don’t know if I should even tell this story, because it’s kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It’s interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, “That’s the line? Well, I can’t say that.” And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, “Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we’re dealing with.” So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, “Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?” And then they explained it to me: It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.
Oops! Ok, negativity, negativity…what movie does Murray like? Kung Fu Hustle. No shit. Let’s go to the tape:
Unfortunately, the last time I watched [Quick Change, the one film Murray directed] was right after Kung Fu Hustle, which is the supreme achievement of the modern age in terms of comedy….Quick Change after it looked like a home movie. It looked like a fucking high school film. I was like, “Oh man, I just saw this thing,” and “God, that’s just staggering, just staggering. That movie is just AHHHHHH!”