Bill Murray failed to attend a press conference designed to celebrate his lifetime achievement award at the Rome Film Festival because he was fast asleep.
The iconic 69-year-old actor was due to show up at the conference on Saturday afternoon but waylaid, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and the press were left disappointed as Murray rested up on his beauty sleep. He did, however, appear later in the day at a Close Encounter public talk at the festival which was hosted by Murray’s close friend Wes Anderson.
Anderson, who has directed Murray in films such as The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Grand Budapest Hotel and more, took part in an onstage conversation in Rome with Murray about the actor’s career and began reminiscing about some of the more memorable on-set moments. “I had the first opportunity of actually shooting a scene with Bill Murray just a few days after we met,” explained Anderson. “At some point, during a short break, a group of my old classmates came to see me and while I was greeting them, Bill appeared [in the hedges]. Through these bushes he emerged. I didn’t really know him. I said ‘Do you want to meet my friends?’ He said, ‘OK, do you want to meet mine?'”
Anderson continued: “He motioned back toward the bushes as a group of 10 to 12 men came scrambling out behind him dressed in business suits. They were the salesmen from a Jaguar car dealership around the corner where Bill had gone in between takes. Somehow he had gone for a test drive and he came back with the entire sales force.”
Murray’s new friends ended up staying on set for the entire week, according to Anderson: “I think they probably didn’t meet their quota of selling Jaguars that week, but I wouldn’t be stunned if at least one or two of them made some big changes in his life right then, and maybe stopped selling Jaguars and did something else. I know that happens because it happened to me.”