Bill Murray reveals the one performance that made him want to become an actor
Bill Murray has been reflecting on his career in cinema after being awarded the lifetime achievement award at the 2019 Rome Film Festival.
Having risen to fame with his appearances on Saturday Night Live, Murray’s career has grown from strength to strength with performances ranging from Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day to Rushmore and Lost in Translation — the latter earning him a nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards.
With strong working relationships established with the likes of Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson, it was Anderson himself who was chosen to host a close encounter public talk with Murray at the Italian festival over the weekend. While Murray did manage to sleep through a press conference, he did make it to the talk which resulted in numerous different stories from his life in film to date.
During the event Frances McDormand, Murray’s former co-star Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom, made a surprise appearance and said: “I show up for Bill because he shows up for me,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “But he can hurt you, literally. He once threw me over his shoulder and cracked my ribs. He didn’t mean to. He eventually put me down, but he has never let me down.”
Anderson and McDormand then asked Murray if he could pinpoint one moment that inspired him into becoming an actor, to which he answered: “Someone I thought who was really great was Paul Scofield, when he played Thomas [A Man for All Seasons]. I thought that was some of the greatest acting I’d ever seen. I thought, there was a man who was going through absolutely all the questions of life and death, what he was going to make the meaning of his life about.”
He added: “He doubled down on whatever he thought to be the meaning of his purpose on earth,” said Murray on being an actor. “And that’s accidentally what’s happened to me, that I’ve tried to make that my life, too.”