Bill Murray on losing his Oscar campaign: ‘I got tricked into thinking it was important’

Bill Murray

The elusive, indomitable Bill Murray covers the January issue of GQ, and how excited am I? Very excited. In my warped little mind, Murray is a demigod among men. I’d do anything to shoot the sh-t with him, and I have a hunch that it would be an even better experience over a few shots of tequila. Call me, Bill. I’ll wear a pink wig, and we can start our own (perfectly awful) jazz band together. I promise, it won’t be creepy at all.

At the moment, Bill is promoting his role as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. So far, the reviews are … not good, but Bill’s performance has been praised, and it seems like a case of a bad script that is lacking its treatment of the subject matter. So basically, Bill is still awesome, and he talks to GQ about how he handles comedy, what he wants to do in the future (he might even ditch his infamous 800 number and pick up an actual manager, but I doubt that’ll happen), and how he got all wrapped up in his Oscar run for Lost in Translation. Here are some excerpts:

On successful comedy: “It’s not so much what you do, but the way in which you do it. I can slap you on the back and it can be a wonderful thing, if it’s done with joy. But if I slap you on the back just as you’re coming out of the elevator, and I’ve had too much to drink, it’s a completely different thing.”

On today’s comedies: “I think there’s something that I can bring to a comedy today, but I don’t know where to bring it. I’ve actually thought about having a manager again. Just to clear my head and have a plan. ….Eh, it’s not that attractive to have a plan. I know that if I ever feel that I need to make afunny movie, I’ll figure out how to write one. I’ll get it done. If I ever get some ambition, I’m gonna get some sh-t done.”

He wanted the Oscar for Lost in Translation: “The one time I got a bunch of prizes, I just assumed I’d win them all. Because I’d been winning them all. …I really saw something in myself and I thought, ‘Oh, my God. I really did want that thing!’ Some part of me was disappointed that I got tricked into thinking it was important. I told myself, if that happens again, I don’t want to do that. I’ve since realized that it was good I didn’t win, because I wasn’t ready. Guys go for five years without working because they’re thinking, ‘Oh, this isn’t Oscar-worthy.’ They become paralyzed. So. It would have fed that thing that I found in myself, without my even knowing. It would have been really malformed. Because I had it wrong.”

Is Hyde Park On Hudson Oscar-worthy? “They look at this film as an award-winning film, and that road is paved with glass and razor wire, as far as I’m concerned.”

[From GQ]

I left out the part of the interview where Bill’s friend, Mitch Glazer, discusses how Bill prank calls him every time Roadhouse is on television because Patrick Swayze does the nasty with Mitch’s wife in that movie (“Oh… He’s pushing her up against the wall“). That portion of the discussion is slightly explicit but still rather hilarious.

On the topic of the Oscars, I actually do feel for Bill for being disappointed in his loss for Best Male Actor. He’s never been a famewhore, so he wasn’t mentally chasing the Academy for a reason. It’s more of a case of Bill really wanting to make his way as a dramatic actor (and he was fantastic in Lost in Translation and the underrated Broken Flowers but admittedly dreadful in The Razor’s Edge) instead of just being a funny guy. I think that, eventually, Bill will be more formally recognized for his efforts in his less frenetic endeavors. But even when people realize that Bill can successfully be less than serious, it’s always a case of “no one will ever believe you.”

Bill Murray

Photos courtesy of GQ

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35 Responses to “Bill Murray on losing his Oscar campaign: ‘I got tricked into thinking it was important’”

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  1. marie says:

    I love Bill Murray, that’s it..

  2. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Gah! Bill Murray is one of the few celebrities that I get fangirl over.
    I just want him to be my friend 🙁

    Great interview. Always appreciate his humor and honesty.

    • emmie_a says:

      Yes! I want to meet him in a dark hotel bar (just like Scarlett) and sit there and drink with him all night.

    • j.eyre says:

      Maybe me and my good friend Steve (Martin) can meet you guys for that drink? Let’s hope the martinis are as dry as the humor.

      • Sassy says:

        Jane, so correct! Sexy to me is a man who is funny and extremely smart. Not looks, not money (well, maybe money). Someone said “Looks fade, but dumb is forever”.

      • emmie_a says:

        Let’s go! I’ll meet you at the nearest hotel bar. I’m officially off work until 2013 (have to use up my vacation days) and I’m about to enjoy a dirty martini right now. Yeah!!!!

  3. RN says:

    I have a dream of arranging it so that Bill Murray and my husband could go play a round of golf together. I think Mr RN would squeal and cry with happiness. Bill Murray is in both of our “celebs who would be cool to meet” lists.

  4. aims says:

    Love him!! Just a really cool guy.

  5. Mira says:

    Love him. I want to see Rushmore now.

  6. Gia says:

    Let’s not forget ‘Scrooged’. That is such a good movie!

    • j.eyre says:

      Did he say “oh, I am having the WEIRDEST day” in Scrooged or Groundhog Day? That line has been running through my mind for the last few days and I can’t remember where he said it.

      • Marty says:

        @ J- It was Scrooged right after the Ghost of Christmas Present sequence. I literally just finished watching that movie this morning!

    • Sweet Dee says:

      That’s my must-watch every year Christmas movie!

      J.Eyre- That was Groundhog day. Another good one.

    • j.eyre says:

      Thanks guys. I think I will just watch both anyway… and maybe Stripes too. Anyone want to join me in a Murrathon?

  7. Cathy says:

    Ya just gotta love him. I’ve loved him since his SNL days back in the 70’s (showing my age here). I’d love to just sit and have a major bullsh-t session with him over a few beers. Bet it would be interesting.

  8. Ally says:

    There’s always been alot of adoration for Bill and rightly so. He looks dapper in these pics.

  9. midnightmoon says:

    He is NOT a nice fellow, in the same way Rosie O’Donnell is not nice. He lived in my hometown (as does RO’D) and was married to a woman my mom knew. NOT NICE.

    That said, he is a brilliant actor and may some day win an Oscar. He has exactly the right attitude, and will find the right film.

    He has lost a lot of weight and looks great! Was worried how schlumpy he was getting, for about a decade…

    • carrie says:

      do you know the story about him and McG the director “Charlie’s Angels” on the set?
      when McG promoted his movie with Pine,Hardy&Witherspoon,some interviews were made in his office.
      A journalist askes him “your worst memory ?” McG replied “Bill Murray”
      the journalist ” not Bale?” and McG showed him a Xmas card sent by Bale “and he always was professional”

    • mytbean says:

      I always got the impression – just squeezed through the fine filters of media – that he’s “not nice” in a very necessary to retain a normalish life kind of way. Like that he’d either completely ignore you or cut you to psychological shreds if he thought you were treading past a certain line.

      Otherwise, I figured he treated co-actors like co-actors, business as business… and know that most people in the industry who say they are your friend are actually snakes in the grass.

      I like him. I think he’s wise… if only for the fact that, once he had the money, he threw off the shackles of mainstream Hollywood to do his own thing and not necessarily what won awards or brought in the most cash.

  10. skuddles says:

    A Bill Murray story!!! I love this guy – always have, always will – he is the ultimate King of Cool. Funny how so many of us have the same fantasy of drinking and shooting the breeze with him 🙂

  11. ramona says:

    I’ve never disliked Bill Murray in a film. Never found him unbelievable. Particularly love him in Wes Anderson movies… oh, that man.

  12. Leigh says:

    He’s adorable.

  13. silver says:

    Anne Hathaway take note.

    • kristin says:

      My first thought was, “on how to get out of a car without flashing biscuit?”

    • Lyn says:

      …take note of what? Anne will probably win. From what I know, I do ‘t think she should – I haven’t seen Les Mis, but I’ve seen Amy Adams and Helen Hunt and they were both phenomenal. But I’m sure it will go to Anne for her starving, dying, haircutting performance.

      Lost in Translation was a seriously overrated movie, and Bill was a sore loser at the time. He’s fantastic in Wes Anderson movies, but I cringed through the Hyde Park trailer because he was so miscast. Laura Linney deserves better!

  14. JM says:

    I love Bill Murray even if he is a big jack hole. Because of him in Meatballs, I wanted to go to camp. Stripes, Ghostbusters, Scrooged, Kingpin…I love them all. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I just watch Bill.

  15. Post-It's says:

    I’ll watch him in anything, even though he’s a notorious asshole. And I can’t remember any actor looking as pissed off as he did when he lost the Oscar.

  16. Sweet Dee says:

    I am so sick of these whores posing all the time with their GD mouths open. Murray, you look like a skank.

  17. Persephone69 says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE I’ve had a crush on him since I was a child watching SNL with my mother and not understanding a damn thing… but loving Bill!

  18. boo says:

    Loved Groundhog Day, Scrooged (watch it every Christmas as many times as it comes on) and anything else he does. It seems to me a lot of his films probably have a bit of his personality in them, he seems like a smart man that does not suffer Hollywood or any kind of fools gladly.

  19. Vi Vi Vi says:

    His neck wattle is gone. His tiny double chin is gone.

  20. bELLA says:

    love him! and his plastic surgery!