Bill Murray never saw "Seinfeld" until the finale, which he hated, and only did the "Garfield" movies because he mistakenly thought one of his favorite directors wrote it. Oh, and "Ghostbusters III?" Maybe.
Those were some of the revelations the reclusive actor gave in a rare interview with GQ magazine that will do nothing to change Murray's reputation as a genius oddball happy to steer clear of Hollywood. The 59-year-old actor, who considers movie pitches only when messages are left on an 800 number, shows up unannounced at strangers' parties and lives in a rural county above New York City, has only given four interviews in the last decade, according to the magazine.
He's likely a busy man, but he's not busy with the things the rest of us are busy with. Like television.
"I never saw the original Office. I never saw this Office. I never even saw Clerks. Like I never saw, what's-his-name, Larry David's show," Murray says.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm?" prompts the interviewer.
"No! The other one. With the other guy. "Seinfeld!" I never saw "Seinfeld."
"Really! I never saw Seinfeld until the final episode, and that's the only one I saw," Murray said. "And it was terrible. I'm watching, thinking, "This isn't funny at all. It's terrible!"
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There's no telling if the famously deadpan Murray was putting on his interviewer, but that doesn't seem to be the case. And if his explanation for doing the voice of a cartoon cat in two poorly-regarded "Garfield" movies was a joke, it came at his own expense.
"I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I'd never done that," Murray explained. "Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, "So-and-so and Joel Coen." And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They're funny.
But later, "I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, "Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?" And then they explained it to me: It wasn't written by that Joel Coen."
Nope, it was written by Joel Cohen. Still Murray went through with that 2004 offering and its 2006 followup. But one two-part franchise he does not intend to build on is "Ghostbusters." Despite persistent rumors that fellow stars Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis want to do it, Murray says it isn't happening.
"It's a crock," he said. "There was a story—and I gotta be careful here, I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. When I hurt someone's feelings, I really want to hurt them. [laughs] Harold Ramis said, Oh, I've got these guys, they write on The Office, and they're really funny. They're going to write the next Ghostbusters. And they had just written this movie (Year One) that he had directed."
But Murray didn't slam the door on GB3.
"I was down in Austin at South by Southwest, and you go at it hard down there—fun but, man, you need to sleep for days afterwards," he said. "Anyhow, I got into it one night with a bunch of younger people who were like, Oh, I love Peter Venkman! I grew up with Peter Venkman! We got to talking, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, Oh Christ, I should just do this thing."