The actor describes how he came up through the idea because that a phone call number to assess his roles, and also why it set him free.

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Bill Murray has come to be a mystical character in well-known culture, and not only due to the fact that he periodically pops up in ~ wedding parties. Through no agent or manager, the elusive Murray assesses many roles the come his method through a 1-800 number the he produced years ago. Without plenty of filmmakers confirming its existence, Murray’s unexplained answering maker might sound like one more apocryphal tale from his quixotic mythology. However, in a current interview v, the actor explained that he developed the number — i beg your pardon is not listed, and only passed around through native of mouth — to save Hollywood agents turn off his back.

“I had actually a residence phone, and it would simply ring and ring,” Murray said, while fostering his starring role in Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy “The Dead Don’t Die,” which opens this week. “Finally, I’d choose up the phone and I’d say, ‘Who in the fuck is calling me and also letting my phone ring prefer that?’ The agent would certainly say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m calling for so-and-so.’ I’d say, ‘Look, friend can’t carry out this. This is my house. If ns don’t answer the phone, don’t execute that since you’re making me not like you.’”



He taken the pressure at the other finish of the line. “Their project is, ‘Get me invoice Murray on the phone.’ They have nothing else to do.” for this reason he determined one much more step to be necessary. “I simply unplugged the phone and then I got this 800 number, which is very handy,” the said.

But the hasn’t been rather as convenient for the people trying to reach him. Once Murray starred in “St. Vincent” in 2014, director Ted Melfi claimed he left messages on the actor’s voicemail across several months before finally getting to him v his attorney. Together Melfi defined it, Murray’s voicemail leader to a computerized message. Because that Murray, that expected he can browse his alternatives at his convenience. “I’m not an extremely disciplined anymore,” Murray said. “This was a way you could not answer any type of phone, and whenever girlfriend felt prefer engaging, girlfriend could check to see who had actually bothered come call and what the message was. It simply freed up mine life a totality lot.”

And anyway, Murray prefers to work-related with his pals fairly than gambling on arbitrarily offers. To the end, his circuitous route in recent decades is not without its interior logic. Sofia Coppola can constantly get to him (he’s currently starring in her following project, “On the Rocks,” shoot in new York). Ditto Wes Anderson (Murray appears in Anderson’s upcoming “The French Dispatch”). As for Jarmusch, he very first cast Murray in a meta-sketch for 2003’s “Coffee and also Cigarettes,” whereby the gibbs plays himself opposite RZA, and also later provided him among his subtlest late-period turns in 2006’s “Broken Flowers” (Murray’s son, Homer, additionally appears in the movie’s closeup of the door moments).

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“I gained the number from bill a long time ago,” claimed Jarmusch, “but I have actually a couple of of his numbers.” The filmmaker added that he admired the ideology behind Murray’s approach. “What ns love is that Bill protects himself,” Jarmusch said. “I don’t understand that many world of that kind of high profile that can. Invoice protects what he feels is his directive in his life — what is his job and also how he wants to live. For this reason he structures it in a way where the doesn’t have an entourage or a hedge of people roughly him. It’s an extremely direct, yet he deserve to kind that close it off.” Jarmusch claimed that Neil Young, whom the filmmaker profiled in the 1997 documentary “Year the the Horse,” had actually a comparable approach. “Neil’s favor that,” Jarmusch said. “He’s very much like, ‘Hey man, I’m getting brand-new song ideas right now. The remainder of the people can crap off. I don’t owe you anything.’”

At the Cannes movie Festival, reps for “The Dead Don’t Die” stated they were unsure if Murray would display up at the premiere till he stepped top top the red carpet. Logistics for the festival were relayed to him via message messages, and also he responded days later, confirming his attendance. Interviews to be scheduled, however publicists were wary the confirming Murray for any kind of sitdowns until he surfaced in the room. “The people that recognize me, they gain to me,” Murray said. “The human being that don’t know me just have a little an ext difficulty.”

Filmmakers who occur to get their hands on the mysterious 1-800 number shouldn’t expect any type of timeline for hearing back from the actor, or assume he’ll ever before bother in ~ all. “It’s not choose at 11 o’clock it’s time to check the messages,” that said. “Sometimes ns go job or weeks. Sorry I’m busy living.” that shrugged. Pull in the khakis and also a Hawaiian T-shirt he’d worn to a Cannes photocall earlier that day, Murray looked favor he to be living his own inner life wherever he went. “I’m not trying to job-related for anyone,” he said. “So now I barely preserve that facade anymore. I don’t yes, really do much of anything because that this. I don’t even know how anybody get me anymore.”

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