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Casting Bill Murray Is One Giant Wild Goose Chase

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There are so many ridiculous Bill Murray stories out there that it’s impossible to separate truth from fiction in the actor’s insane life. From offering marriage advice to complete strangers to taking a bite out of their sandwiches because “no one will believe you,” Bill Murray has grown to complete folklore status. The legend has only widened with recent news of how Bill chooses his future film projects.

Murray is the kind of guy who marches to the beat of his own drum. He has no agent or manager, and it’s more difficult to get ahold of him than a U.S. president. No one knows this more than Theodore Melfi, who recently locked down Murray for a role in his directorial debut, St. Vincent.

From USA Today:

You just call the 1-800 number. And I left, I don’t know, a dozen messages. It’s not his voice on there. It’s a Skytel voicemail with a menu. You have to record the message and send the message. It’s so confusing. I think if you can get through that and believe in it, he might call you back.”

With no response to his messages, Melfi began calling Murray every week. When that didn’t work, Melfi composed a handwritten note to the actor and sent it through the post office to a New York address provided by Murray’s lawyer.

Two weeks later, Melfi finally got a response from Murray through his lawyer, asking that the filmmaker snail mail a script to another post office box on Martha’s Vineyard.

The fact that Murray has an automated 1-800 number for movie pitches is funny in its own right, but you know this is just the start of Bill and his sick, twisted sense of humor fucking with a wannabe director.

Weeks after the second letter was sent, Murray called Melfi without warning and put him on the spot to explain exactly who he was. The director was able to stumble out a few cohesive sentences and he gained Murray’s curiosity, but the courtship was nowhere near over.

Bill then went weeks without contacting Melfi, because of course, he made him sweat it out. Finally, Murray fired a text that simply read, “Ted it’s Bill. Can you meet me at LAX in an hour?”

Melfi arrived at the airport to see a chauffeur in a black rumpled suit holding a card with “B. Murray” on it. Bill comes strutting down the hallway with his golf clubs and tells Melfi that they’re going for a ride.

I’m sure Melfi was pissing himself as he got into that car–this was his shot to lock down Bill fucking Murray, after all. The two talked as they drove back to Murray’s house–three hours away on a Pechanga Indian reservation.

He goes, ‘OK, we’re gonna do it. We’ll make the movie.’ I said, ‘That’s so great Bill, just one thing, if you could do one thing for me. Could you tell someone other than me that this happened? No one is going to believe this story. I can’t possibly go to the studio and say Bill Murray said yes on the way to the Indian reservation in the back of a town car. Murray said, ‘I’ll call someone, don’t worry about it.’

Murray making a first-time director (pledge) jump through as many unnecessary hoops as possible before getting his approval: it’s a TFM.

[via USA Today]

Image via Youtube

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Dan Regester

Dan Regester @Dan_Regester is a Senior Writer, Podcast Host, and Video Guy for Grandex Media. He's Delco trash to the core and a UCF cinema studies graduate because he never got around to applying to an actual film school. Dan is a gambling man, crypto investor, and procrastinator. He enjoys long walks to the water fountain between bench press sets and is not a fan of the homeless, the elderly, or the Phoenix Airport. Email tips to

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