Bill Murray Wanted to Be Really Involved in Garfield 2: A Tale of Two Kitties

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Here’s a pretty great Bill Murray anecdote (aren’t they all?) from Breckin Meyer, who played Jon to Bill Murray’s CGI Garfield in those movies that we have all seen and won all those awards for being so good. Apparently, Murray treated the experience as more than just a contractual obligation/pay day, wanting to really talk out the nuances of loving lasagna/hating Mondays. Here’s the relevant snippet of the AV Club’s interview with Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar:

Did you meet Bill Murray?BM: I met Bill Murray on the second one. [Laughs.] Bill, oddly enough, even against what he said in Zombieland, he was very involved in the script in number two.MPG: Really?BM: I did not know what reason he had, but he really wanted to be involved in number two. The stories around what he wants to do are all kind of weird. He has that 800 number.BM: Right, can’t get a hold of him. He doesn’t have a cell.MPG: And that’s legit?BM: Yeah, you just leave a message; hope he can get back to you.He’s done weird student films. He’ll turn down big things but he’ll do whatever appeals to him.BM: It was the first movie I’ve ever done that you’re actually contractually obligated to do. When I signed the first one, it was for that and the sequel. And then it did well enough that we started doing a sequel. I had a lot less to do in the second one, though. I was like, “You’re not going to get Bill.” And they got Bill. He really wanted to be involved. So I met him on the set, he came up and said, “I’m Garfield.” And I’m intimidated. It’s scary. Bill Murray’s a genius. There I am suddenly talking, this story about Arbuckle and Garfield and stuff. “Aren’t we just doing the comics? Don’t you just like lasagna? Are we done?”