Bill Murray is notoriously hard to get a hold off if you’re wanting to ask him about being in a movie. He uses a voice mailbox instead of an agent, and the mailbox goes largely unchecked. He has famously missed out on parts such as Sulley in Monsters Inc. and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to name a few.
Robert Downey Jr. was one of the many people that couldn’t get in contact with Murray about a little project. That project being the 2008 Marvel movie Iron Man, which of course set off everything that has followed. Scott Raab of Esquire chatted with Murray and asked him about being reclusive (click for full interview).
SCOTT RAAB: Your name came up once in an interview with Robert Downey Jr. and a hush descended upon him.
BILL MURRAY: Well, people get pretty quiet when they hear his name, too.
SR: Downey told me: “We wanted Bill to consider a role in Iron Man, but nobody could find him.” Show people are awestruck by your inaccessibility.
BM: I’m not trying to be coy. It’s just practical for me. When the phone started ringing too many times, I had to take it back to what I can handle. I take my chances on a job or a person as opposed to a situation. I don’t like to have a situation placed over my head.
SR: You want control?
BM: To the degree that I can get the things that want to control me out of the way, then there’s less stuff in my field of vision. Then I can work.
There are no clues as to who Murray would have played if they had gotten in contact with him. That makes a pretty interesting game of what if. Could we have had a real life Jarvis instead of a computer? Would he have played himself like he did in Zombieland? We’ll probably never know.
Interestingly enough, Murray did take a shot at the Marvel Universe once. He played Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, in 1975 for a radio play. The Fantastic Four Radio Show was made by two New York DJs who got Marvel to give the OK for 13 episodes. Stan Lee narrated the stories based on the Lee/Kirby run of the comics with a 25 year-old Bill Murray among the cast.
Cody "The Thorverine" Ferrell
Latest posts by Cody "The Thorverine" Ferrell (see all)