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Bill Murray Talks Big ‘Garfield’ Mistake

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Bill Murray starred as the voice of Garfield in the 2004 film, Garfield: The Movie, but recently admitted via a Reddit chat his huge mistake in taking the role. Believing the script was created by renown film writer Joel Coen–known for hits like The Big Lebowski and Fargo–he didn’t even completely read through it, assuming he was signing on for a fantastic film. After signing on the dotted line and committing to the role, he realized the writer was instead Joel Cohen–known for flops like Cheaper by the Dozen and Howard Stern’s failed TV talk show.

It was actually during a recording session, voicing the big orange cat, when Bill Murray realized something was horribly wrong.

“There was just this long, two-minute silence,” he said. “I probably cursed a little, and I said, ‘I can fix this, but I can’t fix this today. Or this week. Who wrote this stuff?’ ”

Known for getting his start on SNL, Murray also starred in Caddyshack and Lost in Translation–the second of which he earned an Academy Award nomination for.

Needless to say, when Bill Murray was approached about voicing Garfield in the next film installment, he answered with an unequivocal and resounding “No!”

“They sort of shot themselves in the foot, the kidneys, the liver and the pancreas on the second one,” he said.

Despite Bill Murray’s big film mistake with Garfield, the rest of his career has involved one success after another. Long remembered for his classic lines in the 1991 film What About Bob, fans still love to quote his famous line, “I’m sailing!”

Bill Murray is 63 years old and still going strong in the world of comedy. Who would have known–back in the mid-1970s–when he performed with other comedy greats like John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Dan Aykroyd that his career would span four decades? Sadly, he and Aykroyd are all that remain of the famous four, with Belushi dying of a drug overdose and Gilda Radner dying following a hard-fought battle with ovarian cancer. Murray started out as a troubled young man who was once arrested for smuggling almost nine pounds of marijuana through O’Hare Airport in Chicago. And while no one is saying he hasn’t smoked a joint or two since then, he certainly lives a much different life these days.

Hopefully Murray will look back at his Garfield film experience as a minor blip on the big screen. It doesn’t seem like most people these days even knew it was his voice behind the snarky orange cat–and that’s probably a good thing.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Bill Murray Talks Big ‘Garfield’ Mistake
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  • Chris

    “Needless to say, when Bill Murray was approached about voicing Garfield in the next film installment, he answered with an unequivocal and resounding “No!””

    But HE DID voice Garfield in the second film.

  • Rich Anderson

    Poorly written. Writers and authors need to learn grammar. Anyone can get a job as an internet author, few take the job seriously enough to proofread. And the glaring inaccuracy about Garfield 2 is shameful.

  • Drew

    The author needs to do research…Murray DID return to voice garfield for the sequel. And when the writer calls “Cheaper By The Dozen” a flop…it actually was a huge success…spawning a less than stellar sequel. Learn your stuff before you write about it

  • Tony

    What about Bob a good film? Are ye kidding?

  • Linda Mann

    Bill Murray when did he become a great actor? every thing I’ve seen him in is depressing. If he is so great he could have made things better.