Bill Murray did an "ask me anything" Friday on the website Reddit, giving fans a chance to pose any question they want.
As usual, Murray was charming, fascinating and funny. He even sang (or, wrote) happy birthday to one fan. Here are some of the highlights:
On "Groundhog Day" and the lack of acclaim for its script:
The script is one of the greatest conceptual scripts I’ve ever seen. It’s a script that was so unique, so original, and yet it got no acclaim. To me it was no question that it was the greatest script of the year. To this day people are talking about it, but they forget no one paid any attention to it at the time.
On his repeated collaborations with director Wes Anderson:
I really love the way Wes writes with his collaborators, I like the way he shoots, and I like HIM. I’ve become so fond of him. I love the way that he has made his art his life. And you know, it’s a lesson to all of us, to take what you love and make it the way you live your life, and that way you bring love into the world.
On his accidental involvement in the Garfield movies:
I had a hilarious experience with Garfield. I only read a few pages of [the script], and I kind of wanted to do a cartoon movie, because I had looked at the screenplay and it said "Joel Cohen" on it.
And I wasn’t thinking clearly, but it was spelled Cohen, not Coen.
I love the Coen brothers movies. I think that Joel Coen is a wonderful comedic mind.
So I didn’t really bother to finish the script, I thought, "He’s great, I’ll do it."
On acting in his most fun film, Jim Jarmusch’s "Broken Flowers":
He asked me if I could do a movie, and I said, "I gotta stay home, but if you make a movie that I could shoot within one hour of my house, I’ll do it."
So he found those locations. And I did the movie.
And when it was done, I thought "This movie is so good, I thought I should stop." I didn’t think I could do any better than Broken Flowers, it’s a film that is completely realized, and beautiful, and I thought I had done all I could do to it as an actor. And then 6-7 months later someone asked me to work again, so I worked again, but for a few months I thought I couldn’t do any better than that.
On who he would talk to if he could go back in time:
Albert Einstein was a pretty cool guy. The thing about Einstein was that he was a theoretical physicist, so they were all theories. He was just a smart guy. I’m kind of interested in genetics though. I think I would have liked to have met Gregor Mendel.
Because he was a monk who just sort of figured this stuff out on his own.
On his oddest experience in Japan:
I would go to sushi bars with a book I had called "Making out in Japanese." It was a small paperback book with questions like "Can we get into the back seat?" "Do your parents know about me?" "Do you have a curfew?"
And I would say to the sushi chef "Do you have a curfew? Do your parents know about us? And can we get into the back seat?"
And I would always have a lot of fun with that, but that one particular day, he said "Would you like some fresh eel?" and I said "Yes I would," so he came back with a fresh eel, a live eel, and then he walked back behind a screen and came back in 10 seconds with a no-longer-alive eel. It was the freshest thing I had ever eaten in my life. It was such a funny moment to see something that was alive that no longer was alive, that was my food, in 30 seconds.
On his best experience with a fan:
And I met one person who said, "I couldn’t find anything to cheer me up and I was so sad. And I just watched Caddyshack, and I watched it for about a week and it was the only thing that cheered me up. And it was the only thing that cheered me up and made me laugh and made me think that my life wasn’t hopeless. That I had a way to see what was best about life, that there was a whole lot of life that was wonderful."
On the most horrifying thing he learned while making his latest film, "The Monuments Men":
Well probably the most horrifying thing was that there was something called Nero Edict that was distributed by the Fuhrer, Hitler, which said that if the Reich should fall, or if Hitler was killed or taken, that all the art that was stolen should be destroyed.
On recreational marijuana:
People are realizing that the war on drugs is a failure, that the amount of money spent, you could have bought all the drugs with that much money rather than create this army of people and incarcerated people. I think the terror of marijuana was probably overstated. I don’t think people are really concerned about it the way they once were.
On his favorite place to golf:
My favorite place to play golf is in Ireland. That’s where my ancestors come from, and it’s the most beautiful country to play golf in, and when you come as a guest to play golf you are treated like a king.
—Jim Dalrymple II
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