No, he kept his miserable face on. Maybe it was jet lag (he'd flown in from Italy, where he was shooting his latest movie, "The Life Aquatic"). Between the new movie and promotion of "Lost in Translation," [Bill Murray] has been away from his home and family since Labor Day, something that is said to weigh on him. The PR people for "Lost in Translation" declared him unavailable for an interview in a way that suggested vast, don't-even-think-about-it unavailability. This even though "Translation," which was released quietly as a "small movie" that happened to star Bill Murray, is now being hard- sold as a Bill Murray comedy, even though the movie isn't a comedy (that scene of him losing control on the Life Cycle, while hilarious, is hardly representative of the tone of the film, which is generally deadpan and wistful).
"I'm 40, and he's truly a god-like, iconic hero to me," [Quentin Tarantino] said of Murray. He suggested that, for a generation, Murray is to comedy what John Lennon was to pop music. He said that other stars had cut their teeth copying him. Tom Hanks was doing Bill Murray in "Bachelor Party," Tarantino said, and John Cusack was doing Murray in "The Sure Thing."
Coppola turned to screenwriter Mitch Glazer, who co-wrote "Scrooged" and has known Murray since his "SNL" days. Glazer said he sent Murray the "Translation" script and called him "every few weeks, saying, 'You need to read this.' " He bugged Murray while Coppola bugged Glazer and Murray. Eventually, Glazer brokered a dinner, in New York.