Bill Murray explains why he did Garfield

Bill Murray has finally shed light on Hollywood’s most enduring mystery. Why did one of the greatest comic talents of all time (one with discerning taste and no need for big paychecks) agree to voice the lead character in one of the worst films of the past decade? Yes, Murray’s reasoning for voicing Garfield in Garfield has finally been revealed, thanks to the investigative work of Dan Fierman over at GQ.

I’m fully aware that nothing I say in these introductory paragraphs can compare with the genius that spills out of Murray’s mouth, so I’ll immediately hand you over to some choice excerpts from the interview:

Well, how about Garfield? Can you explain that to me? Did you just do it for the dough?

No! I didn’t make that for the dough! Well, not completely. I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I’d never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, “So-and-so and Joel Coen.” And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that. I had these agents at the time, and I said, “What do they give you to do one of these things?” And they said, “Oh, they give you $50,000.” So I said, “Okay, well, I don’t even leave the f*ckin’ driveway for that kind of money.”

And it’s not like you’re helping out an indie director by playing Garfield.

Exactly. He’s in 3,000 newspapers every day; he’s not hurtin’. Then this studio guy calls me up out of nowhere, and I had a nice conversation with him. No bullsh*t, no schmooze, none of that stuff. We just talked for a long time about the movie. And my agents called on Monday and said, “Well, they came back with another offer, and it was nowhere near $50,000.” And I said, “That’s more befitting of the work I expect to do!” So they went off and shot the movie, and I forgot all about it. Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you’re looping a movie, if it takes two days, that’s a lot. I don’t know if I should even tell this story, because it’s kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It’s interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, “That’s the line? Well, I can’t say that.” And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, “Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we’re dealing with.” So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, “Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the f*ck was Coen thinking?” And then they explained it to me: It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.

Yep, not the Oscar-winning, Fargo-writing Joel Coen, but instead the Daddy Day Camp-writing Joel Cohen. Of course, Murray was probably joking. Still funny though.

There is plenty of other Murray-gold in the interview, including his thoughts on Kung Fu Hustle (“the supreme achievement of the modern age in terms of comedy”) the progress of Ghostbusters 3 (“It’s a crock”) and his thoughts on Year One, the last film from the screenwriters of G3 (“Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives”). Quick, go read!

Discuss: Wait, how does that explain Garfield 2?!

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: