The actor starred in Sofia Coppola’s sophomore effort Lost in Translation, for which he earned an Oscar nomination.
Actor Bill Murray is one of the few veterans who still remain relevant in ever-changing Hollywood. The actor has starred in films such as Ghostbusters, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Groundhog Day, and more. Murray is a recipient of a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and two Primetime Emmy Awards and has been in the business for fifty years.
Murray is also notorious for his reclusive and confrontational behavior, which has landed him in a number of controversies. The actor reportedly was so hard to get for director Sofia Coppola that she pursued him for a year to get him to agree to be a part of Lost in Translation, which he almost said no to.
Bill Murray’s Reclusive Behavior
Bill Murray has obtained a legendary status due to his immeasurable contributions to comedy. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from its second season till its fourth season and gained national prominence for his deadpan humor. The actor then transitioned to films and starred in hit comedies such as Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, and Tootsie.
Murray became known for his anti-Hollywood style of functioning, where he had no manager or an entourage. In fact, he became so reclusive and unattainable, that many did not ever get a proper telephone number from him as he just gave out a toll-free number to potential clients. He revealed his reasoning to IndieWire,
“I had a house phone, and it would just ring and ring…Finally, I’d pick up the phone and I’d say, ‘Who in the f*ck is calling me and letting my phone ring like that?’ The agent would say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m calling for so-and-so.’ I’d say, ‘Look, you can’t do this. This is my house. If I don’t answer the phone, don’t do that because you’re making me not like you.’”
The actor reportedly has a 1-800 toll-free number that goes to a voicemail that he checks at his leisure. The actor reportedly has no qualms about his system and says that the people who know him can find him.
Sofia Coppola Had To Chase Bill Murray For a Year
A still from Lost in Translation
While Bill Murray’s system allows Bill Murray to live his life, it has also led to him losing out on a couple of roles. Due to this process, Murray has reportedly lost out on roles in films such as Little Miss Sunshine, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Monsters, Inc.
The actor reportedly almost lost out on one of the most famous and important roles in his filmography. Bill Murray starred in director Sofia Coppola’s sophomore drama Lost in Translation along with Scarlett Johansson. The actor played an aging Hollywood star, who meets a younger woman in Tokyo as she grapples with being in a loveless marriage.
Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation
Coppola mentioned in an interview with the American Film Institute that she had no one else but Murray in mind for the role and chased him for almost a year before she finally contacted him. She said that she even contacted his agents who too had not spoken to him in a month. She said,
“Bill Murray’s just really elusive and hard to track down. People said, ‘Oh, I hope you have a couple of years’. I just couldn’t think of anyone else. It was Bill Murray. So I just asked everyone I knew if anybody knew Bill Murray.
She stated that she had tried the 1-800 number and reached his voicemail, a call which he had returned when Coppola’s phone was not working. However, as her final resort, she contacted her father Francis Ford Coppola’s friend Al Pacino, and asked him for a meeting with Murray. Murray ended up getting an Oscar nomination for his role in the film.