With just a week to go before the Ghostbusters reboot slimes everyone in ghost goo, director Paul Feig has revealed how he finally was able to secure Bill Murray for a cameo in the movie.
“We figured he would like the part we wrote for him, because it’s so different than what anyone would expect him to play in the movie. But it was always like, “Will we be able to get him?” I ran into him at the 40th anniversary Saturday Night Live party last year. He had already made that statement about who he thought should be in the movie, so it was on his radar; when I saw him, he was lovely, congratulating me on doing it and all that. And at the very end I said, “Well, Bill, we’d really love it if you would join us.” And he was all like, “Oh yeah, yeah…”, and just sort of extracted himself. So I was like, “Oh, no—did I blow it?”
Murray, who has publicly approved of the casting and will cameo in the film said he had to think seriously about appearing in the film before he ultimately decided he was in. Murray famously doesn’t have an agent, and provides an 800 number for those who need to get in touch. Feig continued:
“We were working it all from our backchannels, including calling that mystery number—I left this message, and I didn’t know where it went. It could have gone into a black hole, for all I knew, because it just clicks and you’re like, “Did I just get hung up on?” So we didn’t know. A couple of weeks before [shooting], we were like, “Should we be lining up someone else as a back-up, just in case?” What a terrible thing for an actor: “You’re hired, but if Bill Murray shows up, you’re fired.” With about a week to go, we heard, “It looks like he’s going to do it.” And when Bill came on the set, it was really emotional and completely nerve-racking.”
Bill Murray may or may not be available for your wacky idea for an indie film, your parties, or your various Bill Murray-themed events, but you won’t know for sure until the last minute.