Bill Murray once lost a lead role to Jack Nicholson for the most hilarious reason
As Bill Murray continues to swiftly fill up Far Out Magazine’s Hollyweird section, we’re revisiting a time when the man himself lost out to Jack Nicholson after some typically unorganised antics.
Murray, whose personality seems to have no bounds both on and off the screen, has seen him gatecrash engagement photos, give impromptu speeches at bachelor parties or, in some cases, randomly applying for a job in an Asian restaurant at the back of Atlanta Airport.
We previously reported that Murray once hired an assistant who “was profoundly deaf” to stop people from contacting him and, to make things more difficult, the actor confirmed that he has no agent, manager or contactable phone number because he became too annoyed with people offering him different film roles.
While this system has worked well for him in the most part, Murray’s unconventional working routine resulted in him missing out on a big film role opportunity because, quite typically, he lost the tape. Murray, who was on the set of Ghostbusters reboot, was approached by Kristen Wiig who went on to star in the Oscar-nominated remake of German film Toni Erdmann and asked Murray to explore the opportunity of being involved.
“I’m in trouble with myself, because that Kristen Wiig, who I think is so wonderful, sent me something and said, ‘Would you look at this thing?’” Murray once revealed in an interview with CNBC while explaining that he had been handed an original copy of the original film. “And I’m just not very organised,” he added.
The remake, which was written and directed by Maren Ade, went on to become one of the best films of the year and was subsequently nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. Murray, however, was not part of the success.
The actor’s lack of organisation resulted in him losing the tape of the film “for a while” before eventually rediscovering it, watching it and deciding he’d love to be involved. Getting back in touch with Wiig to discover the next steps, Murray was met by some unfortunate news: “She said, ‘Well, Jack Nicholson took the job,’” Murray explained. “You know, that guy’s a poacher, he’ll take anything. So I think I’m out of that one.”
He then admitted: “I just do what I like,” in the interview. “There’s no real plan, I don’t have a plan – and I’m basically lazy.”