Bill Murray Garfield

Bill Murray thought Garfield was a Coen Brothers movie

“I kept saying, ‘What the fuck was Coen thinking?’ And then they explained it to me: ‘It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.'”

Bill Murray as Garfield was perfect casting. In fact, Lorenzo Music, the voice actor of the Monday-hating cat on the television series Garfield and Friends, modelled his voice after Murray.

However, the two CGI/live action films that were released in the 2000s were horrendous, to say the least. You may ask yourself, how did Bill Murray, whose career from 1998’s Rushmore onward is stellar for the most part, end up in such a poorly written film?

Bill Murray thought Garfield was a Coen Brothers movie

The comedian answered this question in a hilarious 2010 interview with GQ. As the story goes, Billy Murray mistook Garfield screenwriter Joel Cohen for Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers:

“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 Joel Coen.’ 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 fuckin’ driveway for that kind of money.”

“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. [pause] 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 fuck was Coen thinking?’ And then they explained it to me, ‘It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.'”

So why the sequel, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties? Bill Murray explained that decision years later, during a Reddit AMA:

“The girl, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, she was sweet. In the second movie they dressed her like a homeless person. You knew it wasn’t gonna go well.”

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