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How did Bill Murray celebrate Bill Murray Day? He stayed inside his hotel room as much as possible to avoid the sticky weather. “I think seven different people came up to me and said, ‘It’s real humid and it’s going to get even more humid,’” the actor quipped in his best Canadian accent during a Sept. 5 Q&A following a special screening of Ghostbusters.
The festival, working in concert with The Weinstein Co., declared Sept. 5 Bill Murray Day, timed to the world premiere of his new movie, St. Vincent, directed by Ted Melfi and co-starring Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy.
Murray, known as one of Hollywood’s most eccentric characters, didn’t disappoint fans, attending the Q&A in red pants, a gray trapper hat and a blue plaid shirt.
He was flanked by two of his longtime collaborators, Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and Scrooged screenwriter Mitch Glazer. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, and one woman in the audience dressed her baby in a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume in honor of the movie’s villain. Reitman is producing the much-discussed new installment in the Ghostbusters franchise, with Paul Feig on board to direct (rumors continue to swirl that the new film will feature an all-female team).
Murray and Reitman both said they knew Ghostbusters was a seminal moment in their careers. “I knew then that I was going to be rich and famous — and be able to wear red clothes and not give a damn,” Murray proclaimed. “All you people in red, you know what I’m speaking?about.”
The liveliest part of the Q&A came when the audience was allowed to chime in, sparking a philosophical discussion that led to instructions from Murray to feel “the weight” of your body.
He also mistook one woman in the audience for a man. “Sorry, you were backlit,” Murray said. He followed up by noting that she was “full-figured,” adding: “You’re just bringing more to the party, as far as I’m concerned.”
Murray also advised audience members to always be in the moment, recalling the time he grabbed a cab in Oakland and discovered that the driver played the saxophone. When the driver confessed he had little time to practice, Murray asked him to pull over. The actor drove the while his passenger played the saxophone in the back.
“Not only did he play all the way to Sausalito, we stopped for ribs in Oakland,” Murray said. “If you saw that moment, you’d say, ‘I’m available’ and make the connection.”
Not long after the Q&A, a severe thunderstorm struck the area, soaking those lined up to see St. Vincent at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Murray, who could have easily escaped into the theater, instead braved the bad weather and greeted fans. Security guards tried to provide umbrella cover, but he paid no mind and got wet.
Sept. 5, 6:00 p.m. Updated with details about Bill Murray saying hi to fans outside the premiere of St. Vincent.
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Jamie Lee Curtis
Monday Night Football