Comic genius, selectively reclusive, wildly successful Hollywood/media ignorer, Bill Murray’s unique approach to life is admirably light-hearted. A rare glimpse at what makes him tick, on a personal level, is available in this interview with GQ. Here’s a couple of my favorite bits:
“…how you get the comic pitch. Well, obviously a lot of it is rhythm. And as often as not, it’s the surprising rhythm. In life and in movies, you can usually guess what someone is going to say—you can actually hear it—before they say it. But if you undercut that just a little, it can make you fall off your chair. It’s small and simple like that. You’re always trying to get your distractions out of the way and be as calm as you can be [breathes in and out slowly], and emotion will just drive the machine. It will go through the machine without being interrupted, and it comes out in a rhythm that’s naturally funny. And that funny rhythm is either humorous or touching. It can be either one. But it’s always a surprise. I really don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth.”
“Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What’s the story with that?”
“It’s all a bunch of crock. It’s a crock. There was a story—and I gotta be careful here, I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. When I hurt someone’s feelings, I really want to hurt them.
I got into it one night with a bunch of younger people [at SXSW] who were like, Oh, I love Peter Venkman! I grew up with Peter Venkman! We got to talking, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, Oh Christ, I should just do this thing.”
“Everyone says Danny [Aykroyd] is the nicest guy on the planet.”
“Danny is…Canadian. [laughs] No, he’s the only one I see much of. He’s great. And I owe him…”