Bill Murray – Interview i forbindelse med ny film
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” er Bill Murrays syvende film med hans foretrukne kreative kollega, Wes Anderson. Første gang var på “Rushmore” tilbage i 1998 og siden har de været nære venner. “Wes er min ven nu – ikke blot en fyr jeg arbejder med,” siger skuespilleren. “Han er min ven og jeg elsker at arbejde sammen med ham. Jeg elsker måden hvorpå han laver film og han gør oplevelsen utroligt morsom – meget levende, det er en fantastisk måde at arbejde på”.
I et fiktivt land, Zubrowka, i udgangen af 1930’erne hvor krigen lurer i horisonten, er “The Grand Budapest Hotel” den morsomme og gribende historie om den legendariske Gustave H, spillet af Ralph Fiennes, der forvalter “The Grand Budapest Hotel” med uforlignelig stil og charme.
Gustave tager en ung lobby dreng, Zero Moustafa, spillet af debutanten Tony Revolori, under sine vinger og sammen begiver de sig ud på en række eventyr og involveres bl.a i tyveriet af et uvurderligt billede, en kamp om en familieformue, et mord og en kærlighedsaffære.
Murray spiller M. Ivan, der arbejder på Hotel Excelsior Palace og medlem af Society of Crossed Keys – en hemmelig loge af hotelforvaltere der springer til når deres medlemmer har problemer.
Murray startede sin karriere med The Second City Comedy Troupe i Chicago og sluttede sig senere til det klassiske Saturday Night Live med Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Rader og afdøde, legendariske, John Belushi.
Hans tidligere film inkluderes den højt elskede “Med røven i vandskorpen” (Meatballs, 1979) og “Røven fuld af penge” (Caddyshack, 1980) samt en mindeværdig rolle som Dustin Hoffmans roommate i “Tootsie” (1982). Så, i 1984, slog han følgeskab med Aykroyd, Harold Ramis og Rick Moranis i blockbuster hittet “Ghostbusters”, hvor han spillede Dr Peter Venkman.
Murray’s film CV indeholder adskillige anerkendte moderne klassikere – den roste
“En ny dag truer” for eksempel, og i de senere år har hans arbejde som dramatisk skuespiller givet utrolige resultater. Han blev nomineret til en Oscar og vandt en BAFTA og en Golden Globe for Sofia Coppolas “Lost in Translation” og stor kritikerros for “Rushmore” og hans andre samarbejder med Anderson, der inkluderer “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”, “The Darjeeling Limited”, “Fantastic Mr Fox” og “Moonrise Kingdom”.
Her er et interview med Bill Murray (A)
Q: What was your reaction when you saw the finished film?
A: It’s dazzling. No one else is making a movie like that. He has always had a very singular vision
but he is really just jumped way out. This is spectacular – great, great filmmaking.
Q: Do you think it’s a little more serious than his other films?
A: I don’t know. It’s funny – there are a lot of laughs in this movie. It’s a lot funnier than some
people think and I laughed a lot. I don’t know if I would say it’s serious.
Q: Would you do any role that Wes Anderson offers you?
A: Yes, I enjoy the experience. He’s my friend now – not just a guy I work with. He is my friend
and I love working with him. I love the way he makes movies and he makes the experience of
making movies so much fun – the living of it, it’s a great way of doing the job.
Q: In what way? How is different from other sets?
A: Well let’s just take this one. We were in Gorlitz, which is on the border of Poland and German
and some years it’s German and some years it’s Polish, going back over the last couple of
hundred years. And it’s a town that’s in tact, it wasn’t damaged during World War Two so it’s
beautiful and there are 500-year-old clock towers, it’s really an extraordinarily beautiful place.
But when the (Berlin) Wall came down people vanished from the city so it’s kind of like a ghost
town in a funny way although this beautiful ancient part is still in tact and the modern part, that
was built during the communist regime, is sort of empty because all of the young people were
like ‘we’re out of here, we’re going to the big city..’ and they left. So it’s a pretty place and all
the actors arrived there and we took over a small hotel – we had every room in the hotel and
the restaurant was ours; it was for breakfast, lunch, dinner, it was ours. And the other side of
the lobby was the make up and hair department, so you would come down in the morning in
your make up and slippers and robe – Willem Dafoe said it was like an actor’s retirement home
(laughs). You would come down to breakfast and say ‘hi, can I have a couple of eggs and some
ham?’ and we would eat and then go over and get make up done and then it would be, ‘I’m
going over to get some more coffee..’ and you would walk back to the other side. It was our
place. And if you wanted to do something you padded across the square which was covered in
snow the whole time and cold and there would be a bar there and any time of day there would
be someone in the movie in there drinking and it would be like ‘what are you doing in here?’ ‘oh
I don’t know..’ So you had this life and you found out where to go, like you would knock on a
door and they would put a bratwurst out of the window (laughs), that kind of stuff. And it was a
beautiful life and you came very familiar with this small village part of this amazing town. And
you lived with all of these other actors and no one had any limousines or agents, it was just us,
and we would go to work in a big Volkswagen van. And at night we would all have dinner
together – there were only a handful of places to go and someone would say, ‘let’s go there
tonight..’ So it was nice. And working with Wes is like that. In Newport (for Moonrise Kingdom)
we all lived in a mansion – the cameramen, the editor, we were all in this one big old house. In
Rome (for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) we lived on the shore and took over this beach hotel in the middle of winter. There was no one there in the middle of winter and it was just a
movie crew making a film. So it’s nice, you have an interesting life with Wes.
Q: You make it sound like an adventure…
A: It’s absolutely an adventure. India (for The Darjeeling Limited) was that way too. India was
quite an adventure – we were on the other side of the world, it was another time when we were
living in the same house, we rented some mogul’s ancient summer house and so it was like 40 of
us living in this crazy house and there were guys with turbans on their heads making you
breakfast. It was fun.
Q: Do you stay in touch with Wes between projects?
Q: Because we hear you are difficult to get hold of. Other filmmakers say ‘we want Bill Murray
but we can’t find him…’
A: Well, that’s good (laughs). There’s a lot of filmmakers you don’t want getting hold of you.
Q: Are most of the directors you work with now, like Wes and Jim Jarmusch, friends?
A: There are some like that. But when you work with a director your first relationship is
professional. If we don’t do good work together and it’s not good we will never be friends,
because our first relationship didn’t work. I will not be friends with someone I didn’t work well
with. It’s just the way I am. I can be your friend and that can be nice but I can’t be your friend if
we didn’t make a good movie. And it’s not like I’m selfish like that it’s just that somehow we
didn’t get the first thing we needed to get done, done.
Q: What’s Wes’s best quality?
A: That he is able to see. He is able to see the world and what it’s about. He has a unique way of
looking at the world and of understanding it. All of us might look at something but when Wes
does he sees a little bit more – he sees a little bit more of that moment. He’s not clouded by
habitual thinking or wrong thinking, he is able to get a very clear impression of life.
Q: He writes very detailed scripts…
A: Yes and I don’t have a problem with that because the details mean that he knows exactly
what he wants to do.
Q: But is there any space for improvisation?
A: There is always space for improvisation but if the script is really good you don’t really need to
improvise. It’s like do you improvise a lot when you do Shakespeare? No, not so much (laughs).
It’s not, ‘well, here’s some stuff I’d like to throw in. I’ve got a few things to say about “to be or
not to be..”’ If it’s good, you don’t need to improvise. Willem Dafoe was talking about this
yesterday, he said ‘people just don’t get it, they think we’re suffering because we don’t get to improvise in these things..’ Improvising is for fixing more than anything else. I can improvise all
day long but you are just fixing and repairing something and that’s good and that’s a skill and we
can all do that but there’s something really special about seeing something by someone who has
a real vision and saying, ‘I can be so clean, so pure, and do exactly that..’ It’s like a technical
thing where I can walk in and do that and I will make this person, that I really like, happy. And as
I say, he is a friend, and we will make him happy because we can make this, we can do this –
we’re all technically good enough to go in and ‘bang’ knock it out. It’s like a war in a funny way,
because as horrible as war is you want a guy who can shoot straight. And we can all shoot
Q: Your first movie with Wes was Rushmore. What was your impression of him that first time?
A: Well, he is so quiet and he’s a little shy. And he was a little nervous. He was happy that I was
going to be on the job and he was trying to be considerate and thoughtful and that’s the way he
is – he is a thoughtful guy and a considerate person. He’s aware of what’s going on. If someone
needed something at this table, he would notice it. He has a large scale vision, it’s not just him
and his cup of coffee. He sees the whole room, he sees the light coming from the side of the
window and he sees the reflection in the mirror, he hears the noise from the next room so he
really has the whole thing going and he is processing it all. He’s kind of like a computer because
he is processing the whole thing and he already has a vision in his head of what the camera is
going to do and where you are going to stand and what tone you are doing to speak in. I’m
trying to describe what it’s like to be with him when he is working. He is in a different state. We
all are – when we are working in our jobs we are in a higher elevated state because there is a
professional thing that rises in us and we can do it. He’s unusually good so he rises a little
Q: It seems like you entered a different phase of your career when you worked with Wes and
with Sofia Coppola on Lost in Translation. Do you feel that too?
A: Well it wasn’t a new direction maybe but it could appear that way. It wasn’t an intentional
change of direction although I wanted to do a film like what Lost In Translation was. I started
wishing for something like that and then it came. And really what happened was that I sort of
came to another generation of directors, a younger generation like Sofia and Wes and Jim
Jarmusch too, although he is a little older, he’s almost my age. But they were different kinds of
directors and they saw I could be helpful to them; I could do what they want.
Q: What defines your choice of role now?
A: It’s what I like. If I read it and like it I will do it. I don’t like to think about characters so much. I
would never do a job just because there was a great character. I got a script once where there
was the greatest character I’d ever seen – it was a spectacular character and I thought, ‘oh my
God, I could kill this thing..’ but the person that was directing it didn’t know anything about
directing. I don’t even remember the name of it but I think it got made.
Q: Is the work still the same for you as it was, say, back in the 1980s?
A: Well we were talking about improvising and the scripts weren’t as good back in the 80s and
90s, the scripts are better now. People are maybe a bit more demanding or knowledgeable or I maybe I only get scripts from good directors. When I had an agent I used to get a lot of scripts
and a lot of them weren’t great because a lot of them were written by someone else in the
agency and they were pushing their own people and you would read it and go ‘what is this? This
is terrible..’ So you would see a lot of bad scripts. But now because I don’t have an agent I don’t
get all those bad scripts anymore. I only get good scripts.
Q: Why don’t you have an agent anymore?
A: I don’t need it. After a few years you realise ‘they’re not getting me any work..’ My work is
getting me work, they are not getting me work, the performances I’m giving is getting me work.
So after a while you become aware of that and you don’t really resent it but then you sort of
think ‘I don’t need all of this noise in my life..’ It’s just a lot of noise.
Q: But how can people reach you to offer you a role?
A: That’s not my problem (laughs). If you want to reach someone you can figure it out. If you
can’t figure out how to reach me I sure as hell don’t want to work with you.
Q: Do you ever think that you might have taken the direction you did, working with those
filmmakers like Wes and Sofia Coppola, earlier? Or maybe done things differently?
A: No, there’s no point in that. And I like all the jobs I did and there was never a plan. I never had
a plan like ‘oh I’m going to become a very serious actor..’ I’ve always been a serious actor it’s
just that I happen to do comedy. I’m a very serious professional. I take it seriously. I like my job
and I take it seriously, which means I have to be very relaxed and have fun. It sounds funny but
you have to really have fun and it’s hard to always have fun at work. I’m going to have fun at
work today! But not everyone can do that. And it’s not easy. But if you take your job seriously
and you know that’s how you do your best work then you go, ‘shit I can’t be miserable, I’ve got
to have fun here, how can I do this? How can I make everyone else have fun?’ It’s just rolled this
way and who knows what will happen next.
Q: Do you think there is anything in common with the scripts and roles that you do choose?
A: That’s a good question and someone who is better at looking at the big picture might know
the answer. I suppose if I was really objective about it, you know the way I talked about Wes and
the way he looks at the world and sees something, I think when a story looks at the world and
sees something more, more of a moment or a situation we may think is common, sees more of a
human being, more of a possibility for love, more of the possibility of the effect on yourself and
others, something like that. It almost sounds precious but that’s what it is.
Q: Are there many scripts around like that?
A: It’s more who can do it. There are some and there’s good writing out there and there are
good movies every year but everyone has to contain that idea of it – ‘this is what we are going
to do all the way.’ And it’s hard to finish it that way, it’s hard even with the selling of the movies,
if it doesn’t have that feeling behind it, it changes the presentation of it. It sounds odd but you
can kind of look at a movie poster and go ‘I don’t want to see that..’ And why? And sometimes the movie is a lot better than the poster and it surprises you because you think it looks like a
piece of junk but it’s good. But it’s because someone didn’t get the message about what it is.
Q: Does it take long for you to decide whether or not you will do a project?
A: I pretty much decide when I read it. The first cut is the deepest, you know, you read it and
you think ‘that’s good, I can do this..’
Q: Do you still feel you have to work or if the right thing doesn’t come along are you happy
A: I’ve always been that way. I don’t take jobs I don’t like and that’s kind of why I’ve lasted as
long as I have. I sort of ride at a certain level, you know, I don’t take jobs for money, I don’t take
jobs because I’m forced to take jobs, I just do the ones I like and if you just do the ones you like
you don’t get into the kind of trouble that people get into where you have three or four movies
around that are just terrible.
Q: With Wes could you say ‘yes’ before you even know what the project is?
A: Well it’s gotten that way, yes. But I have extreme confidence in him – unusual confidence in
him. And I know that he has a very good understanding of what I can do. I’ve led his movies, I’ve
been the star of his movies, I’ve been just a player in his movies, so he knows what I can do and
he is not going to put me in a situation where I’m not going to succeed. It’s not going to happen.
Q: You said when you work you want to be relaxed and have fun. Apart from work what are
the things that make you relax and have fun?
A: You know for me, I’m really at my best when I’m working because you can fool yourself in
your daily life to think, ‘oh shit, this moment isn’t that important..’ I can walk across the lobby
from one side to the other and it didn’t even happen because there was no one there, no one
home, and all of a sudden I’m outside on the street and there’s nobody there, I wasn’t even
home. But in the movies, when I work, I know that someone is taking a picture of me that says
I’m there or I’m not there and if I’m not there I have to look at it and go ‘I wasn’t there…’ So it’s
a very powerful reminder (to be in the moment). And the way I work when we actually shoot is
that I try my hardest to be alive, awake and in my body. So in the rest of my life when I do that
life goes really well. And life is alternately very difficult or very exciting and fun, it’s the greatest
adventure we’ll ever have. So if you are aware of that part of it, that A. it’s hard and B. it’s the
greatest adventure you’ll ever have while you are doing it, it makes it a whole lot better. No one
is taking a picture of it but you connect to like a different time space continuum – you become
part of the big picture.
Q: When you are switching through TV channels and you come across an old film of yours
what do you do? Do you like to watch a little bit of it?
A: Sometimes I’ll watch a little bit. I don’t vomit or anything when I see something (laughs).
Sometimes I think ‘I wish I’d done that a little faster..’ There’s a famous pianist who made all
these recordings of Chopin and they played him a record of a guy playing the piano and they
said ‘what do you think of it?’ And he said ‘he’s very good but he is playing too fast..’ And it was himself 30, 35 years earlier. So I look at something and I go ‘now I would do it better than that…’
But sometimes I look and go ‘yeah, I got it right..’
Q: Like Groundhog Day?
A: Yeah, Groundhog Day is beautiful.
Q: Many believe it should have won the Oscar that year…
A: The idea that Groundhog Day did not win the Best Screenplay is like one of the most
ridiculous things that ever happened. It’s the greatest screenplay I’ve ever seen and the one that
won was completely derivative and an imitation, it was terrible.
Q: If you do see something on TV does it make you a little bit nostalgic?
A: Well sometimes if, say, I see myself in a movie like Stripes and I see John Candy. He was my
friend and we started in the theatre together the same week, at Second City, and he was my
great friend and he’s gone. So I get nostalgic for him. I loved him. Warren Oates was in that
movie – another great person. These are people that I loved and are gone – Rodney Dangerfield.
People that were spectacular, enormous, fun people to work with. Rodney was one of the
funniest guys ever. And so that’s nostalgia, whatever that word means, that feeling of loss. You
know I think of (John) Belushi and he’s gone and now he has been dead as long as he was been
alive. He’s been gone as long as he lived. And it’s like shit and all you can say is ‘I’d better do
something..’ I know John would have liked to be here and I have to remember that. This is it –
this is the shot.
Q: Did you know Philip Seymour Hoffman?
A: I didn’t know him. I know that there are a couple of people here that did know him and are
just a mess because they were very close to him. I didn’t know him though but it’s ridiculously