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Thursday July 22, 2010 12:41 pm

Bill Murray: I Thought Joel Coen Wrote Garfield


When it comes to ‘s cinematic career, there are many things left unanswered. What exactly did he say to Scarlett Johansson at the end of Lost in Translation? Was Lucy Liu’s acting really the reason why he didn’t do Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle? And what the heck was he thinking when he signed on for Garfield?

Well - we finally know the answer to at least the last question.

In an interview with GQ, the Oscar nominee explains his participation was based on a few things: a new challenge, a nice paycheck and a case of mistaken identity.

Read More | GQ via MTV

Okay. Well, how about Garfield? Can you explain that to me? Did you just do it for the dough?

No! I didn’t make that for the dough! Well, not completely. I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I’d never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, “So-and-so and .” And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that. I had these agents at the time, and I said, “What do they give you to do one of these things?” And they said, “Oh, they give you $50,000.” So I said, “Okay, well, I don’t even leave the f**kin’ driveway for that kind of money.”

And it’s not like you’re helping out an indie director by playing Garfield.

Exactly. He’s in 3,000 newspapers every day; he’s not hurtin’. Then this studio guy calls me up out of nowhere, and I had a nice conversation with him. No bulls**t, no schmooze, none of that stuff. We just talked for a long time about the movie. And my agents called on Monday and said, “Well, they came back with another offer, and it was nowhere near $50,000.” And I said, “That’s more befitting of the work I expect to do!” So they went off and shot the movie, and I forgot all about it. Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you’re looping a movie, if it takes two days, that’s a lot. I don’t know if I should even tell this story, because it’s kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It’s interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, “That’s the line? Well, I can’t say that.” And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, “Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we’re dealing with.” So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, “Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the f**k was Coen thinking?” And then they explained it to me: It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.

For the record: Garfield was actually written by Joel Cohen, the man also behind Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. It’s doubtful Joel Coen - who co-wrote No Country for Old Men and Fargo - would pen a movie either Breckin Meyer or would star in.

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