Bill Murray's unique casting adventure for St. Vincent revealed

    Ted Melfi's extraordinary journey to cast Bill Murray in St. Vincent unveiled the actor's unconventional approach to selecting roles.

    Bill Murray (Source: Youtube)

    Bill Murray (Source: Youtube)

    Imagine being a first-time filmmaker like Ted Melfi with a perfect role for Bill Murray, yet facing the daunting task of reaching him through a 1-800 number. This was the incredible journey Melfi embarked on for his film St. Vincent. “Good luck,” Fred Roos, one of the producers, had said, alluding to Murray's elusive presence in Hollywood. Melfi's mission was far from ordinary; it was a 12-step plan filled with persistence, unique approaches, and a dose of humor.

    The journey began with multiple voicemails left at Murray's infamously mysterious contact number. “Leave a dozen messages over the course of a month, telling different stories, varying your approach — serious, funny, endearing,” Melfi recounted. The process was grueling and uncertain, echoing the sentiments of Sofia Coppola who had a similar experience casting Murray for Lost in Translation.

    Bill Murray's eccentric path to yes

    The breakthrough in Melfi's quest came after several weeks of back-and-forth communication, including sending a letter and the script to various P.O. boxes across the United States. Then, a phone call from Murray changed everything. “Ted Melfi? It’s Bill Murray. Is now a good time?” Murray asked. This led to an impromptu meeting at LAX, where Melfi, despite his physical discomfort, eagerly attended

    Bill Murray (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

    Their meeting was as unconventional as the journey to it. “You want to go for a drive and talk about the script?” Murray proposed. This car ride became a creative session, with Murray offering insightful notes and ideas on the script. The moment of truth came at Murray’s ranch-style house in Temecula, where after a thorough discussion, Murray agreed to do the film. “We should do this. Do you wanna do this with me?” Murray asked, sealing the deal.

    Reflecting on a Hollywood anomaly

    Looking back, the story of how Bill Murray was cast in St. Vincent is not just about a filmmaker’s determination but also about Murray’s unique approach to the film industry. His lack of an agent and the infamous 1-800 number are part of what makes Murray a Hollywood enigma. For Melfi, it was a journey filled with uncertainty and challenges, yet one that ultimately led to a rewarding collaboration.

    The story behind St. Vincent serves as a reminder of the unconventional paths that can lead to success in Hollywood. It’s a testament to the fact that sometimes, the most unorthodox methods can lead to the most extraordinary outcomes. And for Bill Murray, it was another chapter in his storied career as one of the film industry's most distinctive and unpredictable talents.

    (Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)