Bill Murray is unusual, but it’s a quality that he embraces versus shuns. He has remained anti-Hollywood throughout his entire career and it’s something that works well for him.
That peculiarity was on display when director Cameron Crowe was trying to book the former Saturday Night Live star for his new film, St. Vincent. Murray doesn’t have an agent and he takes pitches for roles on his infamous 800 number. He takes a long time to return phone calls, too.
Murray explained to Variety, “What agents do is try to package you with other people they got. I don’t really require that. If you have an agent, you get a lot of bad scripts. I could probably make better deals. I could probably make more money.”
While Crowe was waiting to hear a response from the elusive star, it was Emma Stone who helped the process along. She knew him from Zombieland. He texted her on an old Blackberry he uses to stay in communication with his teen sons. Murray wrote, “You. Hawaii. Crowe. Sounds interesting.”
Even though Crowe sent music and a script along to the Lost in Translation actor, he still had no confirmation. One evening, 10-year-old actor Jaeden Lieberher, who had been hired for the film, texted the director.
Crowe explained, “And then late one night came another text, not from Bill, but from young Jaeden: ‘Don’t listen to the suits. I’m coming to Hawaii. Aloha, Bill.’ And that’s how we found out he was going to be in the movie. He told us through his 10-year-old costar, who I immediately nicknamed Bill Murray’s Agent.”
Don’t expect Murray to change anytime soon, either. He’s a bit of a technophobe who even shuns email.
He shared, “I mean I have done it, but I have no interest in it. The kids’ school stuff is all email, and they send thousands of emails. It’s complete overload.”
For now, the entertainment industry, including his lawyer, has to call the 800 number. Murray might call you back… if he’s interested.