Did you know that after the huge success of “Ghostbusters”, actor Bill Murray took a long break of almost four years with the cinema, spending six months in Paris in particular? Back to a funny escape.
It was with Ghostbusters, released in theaters in 1984, that Bill Murray truly revealed himself to the general public. However, right after the huge success of the fantastic comedy, the American actor took an astonishing four-year break from his career.
The Fantastic Mr Murray, a documentary broadcast last night on Arte and available until March 1 on Arte.tv, evokes this strange period when Bill Murray, promoted to stardom with his role as a ghost hunter, suddenly decided to disappear from the radar. A long parenthesis which notably saw him go into exile for six months in Paris.
With the card of SOS Fantômes, Bil Murray is very well known and very rich. However, as the Arte documentary tells, the actor is not happy and sees himself as the victim of an injustice, he whose very personal project Le Fil durazor, financed in return for his participation in the ectoplasmic blockbuster , was a bitter failure. It is undoubtedly for this reason that, at the end of 1984, the star… disappears!
In The Edge of the Razor, this cursed project which was so dear to him, Bill Murray embodies a man who, back home after the First World War, decides to go to Tibet to find meaning in his existence. In real life, probably also to try to get answers about his life, the actor goes to live … in France!
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This disappearance of Bill Murray is sudden, to the point of worrying all-Hollywood. In fact, the actor left, with wife and children, to settle in Paris. Incognito. In the French capital, for six months, he studied history and philosophy at the Sorbonne, and spent his afternoons at the Cinémathèque to watch a number of classics. Bill Murray retains in particular the comic genius of Buster Keaton, whose impassive face will be a certain influence, thereafter, in his acting.
But Bill Murray’s Parisian trip does not rhyme only with studies and the seventh art. In Paris, the American, in search of spirituality, finds himself rubbing shoulders with members of the Fourth Way, a method of self-development created by the Russian Georges Gurdjieff.
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After these six months like no other spent in the City of Light, a period he describes as “the best thing he ever did”, and his nearly four-year sabbatical, Bill Murray returns to the United States and spends his time at home with his family. He no longer has a taste for comedy. But he will still end up returning to the set, again for ghost films, Fantômes en fête and Ghostbusters 2.
“I will never take such a long break again, because the recovery is really too hard”, says the actor. “We forget so many things about the job. The cameraman says ‘Bill, lean a little to the left’ and suddenly I realize that ten years earlier, I would have done it myself. We lose control . It took me four weeks to find my bearings.”
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