In April, disturbing news emerged from the set of Being Mortal, Aziz Ansari’s first foray into directing a movie: Production had been put on hold because of a complaint. It was later revealed that the complaint involved one of the actors, Bill Murray. At the time, Murray didn’t go into specifics, only saying he “did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way.” Now specifics have been revealed — mere days after word broke that he’d been unprofessional with Geena Davis in a movie from over three decades ago.
Being Mortal first: Multiple sources tell Puck that Murray allegedly straddled and kissed, via masks, a “much younger” female production staffer. Murray may have thought he was being funny, but the staffer “interpreted his actions as entirely sexual” and was “horrified” by what he’d done.
The woman made an official complaint and they entered mediation and was awarded over $100,000. At the time, the film was about 50 percent done, and while the fate of the production is unknown, it was reported that it “looks like it’s headed toward cancellation rather than a reshoot.”
Now for Davis: The actress wrote about her experience filming the 1990 bank robbery comedy Quick Change, which Murray also co-directed, in her new memoir, Dying of Politeness. She talked about it in a new interview with The Times (UK), saying the troubles began when she first met him in a hotel suite, where Murray insisted on greeting her with a massage device called The Thumper. She emphatically refused, but he did it anyway.
Later, while filming on location, Murray screamed at her in her trailer for being late, even though she was waiting for her wardrobe to arrive. Even once she hurried to set, he kept screaming at her, in front of hundreds of people: cast, crew, passersby.
“That was bad,” Davis told The Times. “The way he behaved at the first meeting… I should have walked out of that or profoundly defended myself, in which case I wouldn’t have got the part. I could have avoided that treatment if I’d known how to react or what to do during the audition. But, you know, I was so non-confrontational that I just didn’t.”