'Reclusive National Treasure' Bill Murray

Bill Murray i i

hide captionBill Murray tips his hat to the gallery during the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Bill Murray

Bill Murray tips his hat to the gallery during the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Like a lot of people, I adore Bill Murray for reasons I can't really explain.  What About Bob? was one of my favorite, most-watched movies in the early 1990s. His melancholy portrayals of Herman Blume in Rushmore and Bob Harris in Lost in Translation affected me, though I identified with neither character. Hell, I even tune into the Pro-Am golf tour just to see Murray play himself (though I missed him accidentally nailing a spectator in the bean with a wayward drive).

Dan Fierman at GQ got a rare opportunity to sit down with the actor, who eschews most interviews, and though the resulting article's four pages long, I'm no closer to figuring out why I'm so taken with Murray. There's a clue here (emphasis in original),

I've taken a couple of breaks. I've retired a couple of times. It's great, because you can just say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm retired." [laughs] And people will actually believe that you've retired. There are nutters out there that will go, "Oh, okay!" and then leave you alone.

And another here,

Last question. I have to know, because I love this story and want it to be true. There have been stories about you sneaking up behind people in New York City, covering their eyes with your hands, and saying: Guess who. And when they turn around, they see Bill Murray and hear the words "No one will ever believe you."

[long pause] I know. I know, I know, I know. I've heard about that from a lot of people. A lot of people. I don't know what to say. There's probably a really appropriate thing to say. Something exactly and just perfectly right. [long beat, and then he breaks into a huge grin] But by God, it sounds crazy, doesn't it? Just so crazy and unlikely and unusual?

But still, it's inexplicable.  Click here for the full interview, and be sure to check out the portrait of Murray by Daniel Clowes.  Bonus: Clowes is on Talk today, be sure to tune in for that.

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