Hi, I'm Bill Murray
Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM Central
by John Couture
I'm sorry, that headline might be a bit misleading.
I am not Bill Murray. I can't even pass for dead and bloated Bill Murray from Zombieland. I debated whether that was a spoiler and finally decided that it wasn't. At this point, if you haven't seen Zombieland, then there's no hope for you.
He is an acting legend whose fame knows no bounds. Young or old, black, white or green, everyone idolizes Bill Murray. They know the films, they can quote back most of his iconic roles to him. In fact, I'm pretty sure his interaction with Woody Harrelson in Zombieland plays out on a weekly basis. Well, not actually with Woody Harrelson, but any random Joe in a bar would probably have the same sort of reaction.
He has become larger than life. And now he's playing up the part.
He recently crashed a stranger's birthday party and that was only the latest in an odd string of Bill Murray sightings. How surreal most it be to suddenly turn around and see a random Bill Murray? But really, should we expect anything else?
Aging and acting are two things that have been linked intrinsically forever and seemingly have different meanings for men and women. When actresses age, they fall out of favor with audiences and are often replaced with younger, perkier versions. When actors age, they are seen as being more stately and often find new careers ala Liam Neeson.
Obviously, this connection is messed up and really needs to change and perhaps Bill Murray is making a point with the way he is handling his own aging process.
It's not often that actors choose to retire and pursue other interests. Usually, they either get put out to pasture so to speak or act until they take their final breath. But a select few are starting to take greater control over their acting paths and dictating to studios when they are done.
A great example of this is Sean Connery. Pop quiz, name the last live-action film that Sean Connery starred in. Well, if you didn't click on his name and get the answer, then you probably had a tough time trying to answer that one. For the record, it was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and that film was released in 2003. That's right, we haven't seen Sean Connery act in a film in over a decade.
Some might say that we haven't missed much, but I counter with the argument that no one else can say "Welcome to The Rock" and get the hairs on my arm to stand on end. And yes, that was a veiled compliment towards Michael Bay. You might want to take note, it may never happen again.
Back to Bill Murray and his sort of, not really retirement. A few years ago I was in a meeting with several Sony honchos and one of them nonchalantly mentioned that Bill Murray would never appear in Ghostbusters 3 and that the (at the time) upcoming film Hyde Park on Hudson would be his last film.
Thankfully, that person was wrong about it being his last film and while still possible, it's pretty unlikely that Bill Murray will be involved in Ghostbusters 3. Of course, since he's an expert on all things Ghostbusters, everyone asks his opinion on the recently announced reboot with female Ghostbusters.
Interestingly, he calls out some of the suspects that we mentioned. I should also further toot my own horn in that I did mention Linda Cardellini when I was spitballing the idea with Tim given her connection with Paul Feig.
So, what does an aging comedic actor do when he gets long in the tooth? Well, he starts appearing in more dramatic fare (such as the upcoming St. Vincent) and randomly popping up in random spots.
What is there left to prove? Nothing. But, you know what? The only thing cooler than Bill Murray randomly crashing your party is Bill Murray randomly crashing your party with his Oscar. St. Vincent expands nationwide this weekend and many think this performance will be the one that finally earns Murray that elusive golden statuette.
One thing is certain though. As we recently re-learned with Robin Williams, life is short. So, if you do see Bill Murray at a party. Thank the man and move on. No need to go full-on Bill Fuckin' Murray, we all know that he's a national treasure.