GQ published a new profile of Bill Murray this afternoon that’ll appear in its January issue. It was written by Brett Martin, who is a friend of mine. While I’m seething with envy at the moment, I can’t wait for the next time I go out for drinks with him to hear all about his time hanging with the master internet-baiter.
Anyway, here are my five favorite anecdotes/takeaways from the piece…
1. Bill Murray is keenly aware of the fact that he’s famous and has an effect on people.
Above all, he remains supremely aware of the effect he has on others, a scholar of eye contact and personal space. It is his genius. “It’s not so much what you do, but the way in which you do it. I can slap you on the back and it can be a wonderful thing, if it’s done with joy,” he says. “But if I slap you on the back just as you’re coming out of the elevator, and I’ve had too much to drink, it’s a completely different thing.”
2. Bill Murray is a man of his word.
He recounts a classic anecdote when the actor dragged O’Donoghue and him to Rancho La Puerta, the tony vegetarian health spa in Baja California. “We were like the only three men there, among all these Beverly Hills housewives,” Glazer remembers. On the final day, a middle-aged woman guest approached Murray for an autograph. “Okay,” he told her. “But then I get to throw you in the pool.”
The woman laughed and accepted the autograph. Then she dropped into what Glazer recalls as “a civil rights resistance pose,” screaming as Murray, a man of his word, dragged her toward the pool. He deposited her as promised.
“He’d made the deal and that was it,” Glazer recalls, in a statement that seems to confirm the authenticity of the entire Murray oeuvre, real-world adventures included. “He’s always been that way. Even in the beginning. He’s always been…pure.”
3. Bill Murray enjoys f*cking with publicists.
A knock comes at the hotel-suite door. Murray has a full arsenal of strategies to deal with the publicists trying to hasten him on to the next in a long line of events that will culminate in traveling to England tomorrow, to screen Hyde Park at the BFI London Film Festival. “Go away! Go clean another room!” Murray shouts. Footsteps meekly retreat. “I didn’t mean it,” he says, much lower. He rolls his eyes.
A few minutes later, the publicist is back, this time having learned not to knock. “So, Bill, we have to go to the thing,” she begins.
“Oh, the thing.” Murray snaps his fingers. “I see what you’re talking about now. The thing.”
“You know what we would really like?” Murray interrupts her. “Ice cream.”
“Ice cream.” The poor woman stares.
“Would you like a little ice cream, Brett?” He raises an eyebrow conspiratorially. “We’d really like a little ice cream.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” says the publicist. She retreats, never to return.