Skip to main content
Bill Murray

Bill Murray Quotes

Quotes by and about Bill Murray

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Murray: "I don't want to have a relationship with someone if I'm not going to work with them. If you're talking about business, let's talk about business, but I don't want to hang out and bullshit."

Murray: "I don't like to work. I only like working when I'm working."

Murray: "I didn't get into this position by being like a stiff sitting on the set in a folding chair. I did it by walking around on the streets and stirring things up."

[On how to be funny:]
Murray: "You can usually guess what someone is going to say. You can actually hear it before they say it. But if you undercut that just a little, it can make you fall off your chair."

Murray: "Whenever I think of the high salaries we are paid as film actors, I think it is for the travel, the time away, and any trouble you get into through being well known. It's not for the acting, that's for sure."

Murray: "I wish you could hold all of Congress prisoner and they'd get Stockholm syndrome and have to go along with their captors. And their captors would be people who were real true American citizens."

Murray: "I scrub my teeth every day. I don't necessarily go to sleep every day. I don't necessarily change my clothes every day. I don't necessarily exercise. I don't necessarily eat or drink coffee. I've really lived it on the fly. But I'm not sure that that's the way to go. I'm more of a person when I'm working on a movie than at any other time. Because I actually have to really be there. I really gotta show up."

The Guardian: "When you meet him, he has an old-fashioned politeness and you notice that he does not laugh much."

The Guardian: "At last year's Oscars, when he was beaten to a best actor award for his performance in Lost In Translation, he alone among the other four nominees didn't applaud Sean Penn's victory. It was refreshing to see an actor refusing to fix a false smile and cheer a rival's triumph. What you see with Murray is what you get. 'Pissed off?' he says, when I mention the Oscars. 'You bet I was. I don't approve of award ceremonies, so I was wondering what had persuaded me to attend that one. I was pissed at myself.'"

The Guardian: "[He] spent much of his spare time in his teens on a golf course, caddying for rich local businessmen. 'It was my first glimpse of comedy. When you see grown men near to tears because they've missed hitting a little white ball into a hole from three feet, it makes you laugh.'"

The Guardian: "He's ... clearly unnerved by the inevitable gaps between working. When he's not filming, he says, 'I do absolutely nothing. I go home and stay there. I wash and scrub up each day, and that's it. One month I actually grew a moustache, just so I could say that I'd done something. I am years behind on reading or seeing movies. I find myself watching sports on television or riding a stationary bicycle. Once I break into a sweat, I get off it. But I can only take so much TV, because there is so much advice. I find people will preach about virtually anything - your diet, how to live your life, how to improve your golf. The lot. I have always had a thing against the Mister Know-It-Alls.'"

Tilda Swinton: "[He has] a kind of hopeful aspect; maybe only a trick of the light or something about his look that suggests a constant readiness to play. The sense that no foolishness you could ever admit would faze him. The impression of knowing where the best fun can be found at all times."

Roger Ebert: "[In the movie 'Quick Change'] Murray's face is recognizable, sort of, beneath the greasepaint, but what comes through more obviously is his manner: The laconic, wise-cracking character with the ironic asides and one-liners. That kind of dialogue has been a Murray trademark right from the start, in the early 1970s, when he and John Belushi were regulars in the same Second City company. Belushi was always the more physical comedian, and perhaps that helped Murray develop his own persona, of the detached observer who stands in the midst of chaos and maintains his wry point of view."

The Guardian: "Murray is loved for being carefree. But face to face he can seem not just serious, but sober, even sensible. People may tweet when he turns up to serve tequila, but I suspect he also spends quite a lot of time quietly reading the paper. ... Today what really fires him up turns out to be seatbelt safety. In particular the 1965 legislation making them compulsory in new cars. For this, he thinks Ralph Nader is 'the greatest living American'. 'People thought: 'Why is this son of a gun making me wear a seatbelt?' Well, in 1965 I think the number was 55,000 deaths on the highway a year. That's a lot of people dying. So he's saved just about a couple of million people by now. It's crazy! And that's just one thing he did! ... I mean, they made a movie about the German who smuggled the Jews out. He saved hundreds. Great man. Deserved a movie. Spectacular. Great film and a great human being. But this guy, Ralph – there's no movies about Ralph.'"

George Clooney: "He's the best comic actor in the world by a mile."