Bill Murray is a legendary misanthrope. His public image is full of quirks, oddities and random photo-bombs. Though not necessarily the most cheerful of celebrities, his antics have nonetheless earned him a large and loyal fan base.
Though he has been notoriously overlooked for awards, Murray has nonetheless created a library of work that is eclectic and shows off his ability to play serious and funny with equal skill. One of the most interesting of Murray’s quirks is his decision to fire all his representation, instead creating a 1-800 number and having scripts sent to a local PO box. Though admirable as a rebuff of blockbuster-chasing, Murray has missed out on some big roles (ones he could have done a lot with) with this decision. He rarely checks his voicemail, and even if he does, he’s unlikely to respond.
But even with this being the case, Murray continues to take on roles that play on his ability to be unlikable while still making you wish you could spend some time with him. His recent film, St. Vincent, is one great example of this (and a thoroughly enjoyable film in which Murray plays the quintessential anti-hero, a man who drinks too much, gambles too much and is overall a deadbeat, and yet manages to become a positive presence in the life of his neighbour’s son).
Even if you’ve been a fan of Murray’s throughout his career, there’s a lot about the man you don’t know. This book, set up as an alphabetical catalogue of ever movie he’s been in (or could have been in), every single thing he’s offered an opinion on and a great selection of anecdotes, will fill in all the blanks. For example, did you know:
- Murray once joined MC Hammer onstage and performed the Hammer Dance with so much gusto that he split his pants.
- His childhood nickname was “Sleepy” on account of his ability to nap in the most unlikely settings.
- Murray’s Second City bio stated, “Bill has lots of personal problems… he hopes his experience in theatre, movies, and television can perhaps get him work as a Playgirl centerfold.”
- Murray took a 6 month sabbatical in 1984 following his Ghostbusters success. He fled to Paris where he learned French, watched French films and walked the city. He says taking this time was one of his best decisions.
- He jumped out of a plane as part of the kickoff for Chicago’s Air and Water Show in 2008 and performed air guitar and a brief hand jive before his parachute opened.
- He was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from his former college, Regis University. He accepted the degree in a suit jacket and pyjama pants – he habitually wore pyjama pants and a sport coat to class during his time as a student.
- A huge fan of Elvis, Murray crashed The King’s funeral in 1977.
- He was up for roles in Batman (as Batman), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as Willy Wonka), Forrest Gump, Little Miss Sunshine, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rain Man, Shrek, Star Wars, Toy Story, The Witches of Eastwick and Philadelphia, among others.
- He has a thing for pickles. And peanut butter. (His favourite sandwich is peanut butter, lettuce and mayonnaise on pumpernickel bread – though he admits, with some surprise, to never having combined pickles and peanut butter.)
- He love John Hughes’ movie The Breakfast Club, calling it, “an American gem, an amazing film, as important as any of Marty [Scorsese]’s movies. It’s just a real fuckin’ piece. And those kids were never better than that, and [Hughes] let ’em roll.”
- He’s a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs.
And these are just a few of the things you’ll learn about the great man between the covers of The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray.
Though ideal as a coffee table or bathroom reader, this book is one that contains enough interesting and entertaining info that a die-hard fan could happily read the entire book. I’d know, because I did. So if you’re a fan, or if you know someone who is, you should probably pick up a copy right away.
“Nothing prepared me for being this awesome…. It’s kind of a shock to wake up every morning and be bathed in this purple light.” – Bill Murray, to an interviewer who asked, “What’s it like to be so awesome?” – p. 4
Uncensored, unauthorized, and packed with unbelievable photos, here is a packed-to-the-gills critical appreciation of Quirk’s Favorite Actor of All Time: William James “Bill” Murray.
Part biography, part critical appreciation, part love letter, and all fun, THE BIG BAD BOOK OF BILL MURRAY chronicles every single Murray performance in loving detail, and relates all of the milestones and controversy in the life of this very enigmatic performer. Author Robert Schnakenberg (of Christopher Walken A to Z ) has provided a ridiculously comprehensive resource for Bill Murray fans of all ages!
- Hilarious text offers a comprehensive look at the life of Murray.
- 50+ photos of Murray throughout.
- Naturally Murray has a full slate of new projects in the works that will keep his name in the news
Book Title: The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray
Author: Robert Schnakenberg
Published By: Quirk Books
Released: September 15, 2015
Genre: Biography, Celebrity, Non-Fiction
Date Read: April 6-May 31, 2015