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22 Awesome and Inspiring Bill Murray Quotes

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Sure, Bill Murray has done his fair share of hilariously random and weird things. But in addition to having a killer sense of humor, the actor is pretty deep—as these quotes show.

1. ON WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE BILL MURRAY, PART ONE

“Nothing prepared me for being this awesome. It's kind of a shock. It's kind of a shock to wake up every morning and be bathed in this purple light.”

— From a 2014 Reddit AMA

2. ON WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE BILL MURRAY, PART TWO

“There's a wonderful sense of well-being that begins to circulate . . . up and down your spine. And you feel something that makes you almost want to smile. So what's it like to be me? Ask yourself, ‘What's it like to be me?’ The only way we'll ever know what it's like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself that's where home is.”

— From a 2014 Q&A during Canada’s Bill Murray Day, via Rolling Stone

3. ON HOW HE LIVES HIS LIFE

“I live a little bit on the seat of my pants, I try to be alert and available ... for life to happen to me. We’re in this life, and if you’re not available, the sort of ordinary time goes past and you didn’t live it. But if you’re available, life gets huge. You’re really living it.”

— From an interview with Charlie Rose, via Flavorwire

4. ON BEING RELAXED

“The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”

— From a 2012 interview with The New York Times

5. ON BEING AN ACTOR

“I don't believe that you can give the same performance every take. It's physically impossible, so why bother? If you don't do what is happening at that moment, then it's not real. Then you're holding something back.”

— From a 1984 interview with Rolling Stone

6. ON MARRIAGE

“If you have someone that you think is The One, don't just sort of think in your ordinary mind, ‘OK, let's pick a date. Let's plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if, when you come back to JFK ... you're still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”

— From an impromptu speech at a stranger’s bachelor party, via Huffington Post 

7. ON HIS INTERACTIONS WITH THE PUBLIC

“My hope, always, is that it's going to wake me up. I'm only connected for seconds, minutes a day, sometimes. And suddenly, you go, ‘Holy cow, I've been asleep for two days. I've been doing things, but I'm just out.’ If I see someone who's out cold on their feet, I'm going to try to wake that person up. It's what I'd want someone to do for me. Wake me the hell up and come back to the planet.”

— From a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone 

8. ON ACTING CLASS VS. LIVE IMPROV

“If you go to actors' class, you don't really die, because there's never really an audience. But if you work for Second City, there's an audience, and you die in the improv set five times out of nine. So, once you get over your fear of dying, nothing else ever really scares you. And Saturday Night Live was as tough as Second City. Once you get through those, making movies is a joke.”

 — From a 1990 interview with Roger Ebert

9. ON SEINFELD

“I never had seen Seinfeld, and they said, ‘Oh, it’s the last episode.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I’ll watch Seinfeld.’ And it was terrible.”

— From a 2014 interview with Howard Stern

10. ON WHEN FAME IS A GOOD THING

“There's only a couple times when fame is ever helpful. Sometimes you can get into a restaurant where the kitchen is just closing. Sometimes you can avoid a traffic violation. But the only time it really matters is in the emergency room with your kids. That's when you want to be noticed, because it's very easy to get forgotten in an ER. It's the only time when I would ever say, ‘Thank God. Thank God.’ There's no other time.” 

— From a 2012 interview with Esquire

11. ON HIS NOTORIOUS INACCESSIBILITY

“A moat can be a pretty good thing. It can be lovely. It keeps rodents away from the castle. It can have fish in it. Even fish that talk. … If you give people access, they take advantage. My phone would ring 75 times in a row. Finally, I would pick it up and say, ‘Who the hell is this?’ ‘Oh, hi! I’m calling from so-and-so’s office…’ What kind of person would ever, ever let the phone ring 75 times? And I guess that’s when I started thinking: ­I can do without these people.” 

— From a 2013 interview with TimeOut London

12. ON BEING AN ARTIST

“It's hard to be an artist. It's hard to be anything. It's hard to be.”

— From a 2014 interview with The Independent

13. ON HIS FATHERING TIPS

“If you bite on everything they throw at you, they will grind you down. You have to ignore a certain amount of stuff. The thing I keep saying to them lately is: ‘I have to love you, and I have the right to ignore you.’ When my kids ask what I want for my birthday or Christmas or whatever, I use the same answer my father did: ‘Peace and quiet.’ That was never a satisfactory answer to me as a kid—I wanted an answer like ‘A pipe.’ But now I see the wisdom of it: All I want is you at your best—you making this an easier home to live in, you thinking of others.”

— From a 2012 interview with Esquire

14. ON PREPARING FOR HIS ROLES

“I’m not that organized. I’m not one of those guys. I mean you read it, you look at it, and you go: I have that in me, I can do that. I don’t necessarily get all mental. There are people that are working with you on every level and on a movie you’re working with people that are, ideally, all serving the same goal and that’s what helps me get into a role.”

— From an interview with The Talks

15. ON HIS MOTHER

“My mother is a real character, a talkative soul who can make friends with anyone, and she'd always been a massive influence on me. She's so animated, I even used to tape phone conversations with her in order to steal material!”

— From a 1988 interview with The New York Times

16. ON MAKING MOVIES

“[I]t's an amazing triumph even to make a bad movie. Even a crap film is really an extraordinary achievement. You're taking a two-dimensional object and making it three-dimensional. The number of people. The number of days. The number of cuts.”

— From a 2012 interview with Esquire

17. ON GILDA RADNER

“Gilda was a fantastic laugher. I never enjoyed making anyone laugh more than her. I remember one day, I made her laugh so hard, she thought she was going to die. And I just couldn’t stop. I used to be really funny, and in those days I used to have almost like a vengeful thing; I could go for a long period of time and try to be funny. I don’t do it like I used to. And I miss that. I’m still funny, but back then I would take something and not let go of it.”

— From Live in New York, via Vanity Fair

18. ON SENTIMENTALITY

“Sentimentality to me is a symbol that we've left the planet. OK, bye-bye. Let me know when you come back because you're no longer here. You left. It reminds of being at a funeral, like my dad dies and the grief is just overpowering. And all anyone can say to you is, ‘Well, he's probably up there in heaven, bowling with Uncle George.’ It's like, ‘Yeah, that's probably it. He's up there bowling with Uncle George.’ He's dead. He's gone. What am I going to do? Talk to ME. Don't make up your own dreamscape. Stay here with me, will you? Don't go away.”

— From a 2014 interview with The New York Times

19. ON PREPARING TO PLAY FDR

“I’ve always tried to be a little bit loose. This great director we had at Second City [Del Close] said: ‘You wear your characters like a trench coat. It’s still you in there, but there’s like a trench coat.’ So I figured this was like a winter trench coat, because there was just a little bit more character that comes to the party. So I did a lot more reading, a lot more studying.”

— From a 2012 interview with The New York Times

20. ON SAYING NO

“It’s extremely powerful to say no; it’s really the most powerful thing to say.”

— From a 2012 interview with the Washington Post

21. ON FAILURE

“Don't think about your errors or failures, otherwise you'll never do a thing.”

— From a 2005 interview with The Guardian

22. ON HOW TO LIVE LIFE

“As I once said to one of my brothers, ‘This is your life, not a rehearsal.’ Somewhere there’s a score being kept, so you have an obligation to live life as well as you can, be as engaged as you can. The human condition means that we can zone out and forget what the hell we’re doing. So the secret is to have a sense of yourself, your real self, your unique self. And not just once in a while, or once a day, but all through the day, the week and life. You know what they say: ‘Ain’t no try, ain’t nothing to it but to do it.’”

— From a 2013 interview with TimeOut London

All images courtesy of Getty

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6 Times There Were Ties at the Oscars
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Only six ties have ever occurred during the Academy Awards' near-90-year history. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) members vote for nominees in their corresponding categories; here are the six times they have come to a split decision.

1. BEST ACTOR // 1932

Back in 1932, at the fifth annual Oscars ceremony, the voting rules were different than they are today. If a nominee received an achievement that came within three votes of the winner, then that achievement (or person) would also receive an award. Actor Fredric March had one more vote than competitor Wallace Beery, but because the votes were so close, the Academy honored both of them. (They beat the category’s only other nominee, Alfred Lunt.) March won for his performance in horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (female writer Frances Marion won Best Screenplay for the film), and Beery won for The Champ, which was remade in 1979 with Ricky Schroder and Jon Voight. Both Beery and March were previous nominees: Beery was nominated for The Big House and March for The Royal Family of Broadway. March won another Oscar in 1947 for The Best Years of Our Lives, also a Best Picture winner. Fun fact: March was the first actor to win an Oscar for a horror film.

2. BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT // 1950

By 1950, the above rule had been changed, but there was still a tie at that year's Oscars. A Chance to Live, an 18-minute movie directed by James L. Shute, tied with animated film So Much for So Little. Shute’s film was a part of Time Inc.’s "The March of Time" newsreel series and chronicles Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing putting together a Boys’ Home in Italy. Directed by Bugs Bunny’s Chuck Jones, So Much for So Little was a 10-minute animated film about America’s troubling healthcare situation. The films were up against two other movies: a French film named 1848—about the French Revolution of 1848—and a Canadian film entitled The Rising Tide.

3. BEST ACTRESS // 1969

Probably the best-known Oscars tie, this was the second and last time an acting award was split. When presenter Ingrid Bergman opened up the envelope, she discovered a tie between newcomer Barbra Streisand and two-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn—both received 3030 votes. Streisand, who was 26 years old, tied with the 61-year-old The Lion in Winter star, who had already been nominated 10 times in her lengthy career, and won the Best Actress Oscar the previous year for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Hepburn was not in attendance, so all eyes fell on Funny Girl winner Streisand, who wore a revealing, sequined bell-bottomed-pantsuit and gave an inspired speech. “Hello, gorgeous,” she famously said to the statuette, echoing her first line in Funny Girl.

A few years earlier, Babs had received a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical Funny Girl, but didn’t win. At this point in her career, she was a Grammy-winning singer, but Funny Girl was her movie debut (and what a debut it was). In 1974, Streisand was nominated again for The Way We Were, and won again in 1977 for her and Paul Williams’s song “Evergreen,” from A Star is Born. Four-time Oscar winner Hepburn won her final Oscar in 1982 for On Golden Pond.

4. BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE // 1987

The March 30, 1987 telecast made history with yet another documentary tie, this time for Documentary Feature. Oprah presented the awards to Brigitte Berman’s film about clarinetist Artie Shaw, Artie Shaw: Time is All You’ve Got, and to Down and Out in America, a film about widespread American poverty in the ‘80s. Former Oscar winner Lee Grant (who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1976 for Shampoo) directed Down and Out and won the award for producers Joseph Feury and Milton Justice. “This is for the people who are still down and out in America,” Grant said in her acceptance speech.

5. BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) // 1995

More than 20 years ago—the same year Tom Hanks won for Forrest Gump—the Short Film (Live Action) category saw a tie between two disparate films: the 23-minute British comedy Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and the LGBTQ youth film Trevor. Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi wrote and directed the former, which stars Richard E. Grant (Girls, Withnail & I) as Kafka. The BBC Scotland film envisions Kafka stumbling through writing The Metamorphosis.

Trevor is a dramatic film about a gay 13-year-old boy who attempts suicide. Written by James Lecesne and directed by Peggy Rajski, the film inspired the creation of The Trevor Project to help gay youths in crisis. “We made our film for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider,” Rajski said in her acceptance speech, which came after Capaldi's. “It celebrates all those who make it through difficult times and mourns those who didn’t.” It was yet another short film ahead of its time.

6. BEST SOUND EDITING // 2013

The latest Oscar tie happened only three years ago, when Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall beat Argo, Django Unchained, and Life of Pi in sound editing. Mark Wahlberg and his animated co-star Ted presented the award to Zero Dark Thirty’s Paul N.J. Ottosson and Skyfall’s Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers. “No B.S., we have a tie,” Wahlberg said to the crowd, assuring them he wasn’t kidding. Ottosson was announced first and gave his speech before Hallberg and Baker Landers found out that they were the other victors.

It wasn’t any of the winners' first trip to the rodeo: Ottosson won two in 2010 for his previous collaboration with Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Sound Mixing); Hallberg previously won an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing for Braveheart in 1996, and in 2008 both Hallberg and Baker Landers won Best Achievement in Sound Editing for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Ottosson told The Hollywood Reporter he possibly predicted his win: “Just before our category came up another fellow nominee sat next to me and I said, ‘What if there’s a tie, what would they do?’ and then we got a tie,” Ottosson said. Hallberg also commented to the Reporter on his win. “Any time that you get involved in some kind of history making, that would be good.”

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11 Haunting Facts About Beloved

Toni Morrison—who was born on February 18, 1931—made a name for herself with The Bluest Eye, Sula and Song of Solomon, but it wasn’t until 1987’s Beloved, about a runaway slave haunted by the death of her infant daughter, that her legacy was secured. The book won the Pulitzer Prize and was a key factor in the decision to award Morrison the Nobel Prize in 1993. All the awards aside, Beloved is a testament to the horrors of slavery, with its narrative of suffering and repressed memory and its dedication to the more than 60 million who died in bondage. Here are some notable facts about Morrison’s process and the novel’s legacy.

1. IT’S BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

While compiling research for 1974's The Black Book, Morrison came across the story of Margaret Garner, a runaway slave from Kentucky who escaped with her husband and four children to Ohio in 1856. A posse caught up with Garner, who killed her youngest daughter and attempted to do the same to her other children rather than let them return to bondage. Once apprehended, her trial transfixed the nation. "She was very calm; she said, 'I’d do it again,'" Morrison told The Paris Review. "That was more than enough to fire my imagination."

2. MORRISON CAME UP WITH THE CHARACTER BELOVED AFTER SHE STARTED WRITING.

The book was originally going to be about the haunting of Sethe by her infant daughter, who she killed (just as Garner did) rather than allow her to return to slavery. A third of the way through writing, though, Morrison realized she needed a flesh-and-blood character who could judge Sethe’s decision. She needed the daughter to come back to life in another form (some interpret it as a grief-driven case of mistaken identity). As she told the National Endowment for the Arts’ NEA Magazine: "I thought the only person who was legitimate, who could decide whether [the killing] was a good thing or not, was the dead girl."

3. SHE WROTE THE ENDING EARLY IN THE WRITING PROCESS.

Morrison has said she likes to know the ending of her books early on, and to write them down once she does. With Beloved, she wrote the ending about a quarter of the way in. "You are forced into having a certain kind of language that will keep the reader asking questions," she told author Carolyn Denard in Toni Morrison: Conversations.

4. MORRISON BECAME FASCINATED WITH SMALL HISTORICAL DETAILS.

To help readers understand the particulars of slavery, Morrison carefully researched historical documents and artifacts. One particular item she became fascinated with: the "bit" that masters would put in slaves' mouths as punishment. She couldn’t find much in the way of pictures or descriptions, but she found enough to imagine the shame slaves would feel. In Beloved, Paul D. tells Sethe that a rooster smiled at him while he wore the bit, indicating that he felt lower than a barnyard animal.

5. SHE ONLY RECENTLY READ THE BOOK HERSELF.

In an appearance on The Colbert Report last year, Morrison said she finally got around to reading Beloved after almost 30 years. Her verdict: "It’s really good!"

6. THE BOOK INSPIRED READERS TO BUILD BENCHES.

When accepting an award from the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1988, Morrison observed that there is no suitable memorial to slavery, "no small bench by the road." Inspired by this line, the Toni Morrison Society started the Bench by the Road Project to remedy the issue. Since 2006, the project has placed 15 benches in locations significant to the history of slavery and the Civil Rights movement, including Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, which served as the point of entry for 40% of slaves brought to America.

7. WHEN BELOVED DIDN’T WIN THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN 1987, FELLOW WRITERS PROTESTED.

After the snub, 48 African-American writers, including Maya Angelou, John Edgar Wideman and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., signed a letter that appeared in the New York Times Book Review. "For all of America, for all of American letters," the letter addressing Morrison read, "you have advanced the moral and artistic standards by which we must measure the daring and the love of our national imagination and our collective intelligence as a people."

8. IT’S ONE OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY CHALLENGED BOOKS.

Between 2000 and 2009, Beloved ranked 26th on the American Library Association’s list of most banned/challenged books. A recent challenge in Fairfax County, Virginia, cited the novel as too intense for teenage readers, while another challenge in Michigan said the book was, incredibly, overly simplistic and pornographic. Thankfully, both challenges were denied.

9. MORRISON ALSO WROTE AN OPERA BASED ON GARNER’S LIFE.

Ten years ago, Morrison collaborated with Grammy-winning composer Richard Danielpour on Margaret Garner, an opera about the real-life inspiration behind Beloved. It opened in Detroit in 2005, and played in Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York before closing in 2008.

10. MORRISON DID NOT WANT IT MADE INTO A MOVIE.

Although she publicly claims otherwise, according to a New York magazine story, Morrison told friends she didn’t want Beloved made into a movie. And she didn’t want Oprah Winfrey (who bought the film rights in 1988) to be in it. Nevertheless, the film came out in 1998 and was a total flop.

11. THERE'S AN ILLUSTRATED VERSION.

The Folio Society, a London-based company that creates fancy special editions of classic books, released the first-ever illustrated Beloved in 2015. Artist Joe Morse had to be personally approved by Morrison for the project. Check out a few of his hauntingly beautiful illustrations here.

This article originally appeared in 2015.

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