Actor Bill Murray has broken his silence after being accused of “inappropriate behavior” on the set of his film Being Mortal. “I had a difference of opinion with a woman I’m working with, I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way,” the 71-year-old actor said in an interview with CNBC on April 30, during coverage of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting.
Production of Being Mortal, the first feature directed by actor and comedian Aziz Ansari, was suspended on April 20 after Searchlight Pictures sent a letter to the cast and crew saying: “We were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it. After reviewing the circumstances, it has been decided that production cannot continue at this time.”
The letter did not name Murray, but an anonymous source revealed that he was the target of the complaint. According to The New York Times, the incident was investigated for three days before it was decided to bring production to a halt.
In the CNBC interview, Murray said: “It’s been quite an education for me. I have been doing not much else but thinking about it for the last week or two.”
He stressed that he has been in contact with the woman he offended with his behavior, but not with the producer responsible for the film: “First things first.”
The actor added that he and his female co-star are talking and “trying to make peace with each other” after what happened. “The world’s different than it was when I was a little kid. What I always thought was funny as a little kid isn’t necessarily the same as what’s funny now,” he said.
“We are both professionals. We like each other’s work, I like each other I think. And if we can’t really get along and trust each other there’s no point in going further working together or making the movie as well,” he said.
The film is based on the book by the same title by Atul Gawande and also stars Seth Rogen. It’s slated for release in 2023. “What would make me the happiest would be to put my boots on and for both of us to go back into work and be able to trust each other and work at the work that we’ve both spent a lot of time developing the skill of,” Murray said.
This isn’t the first time the Ghostbusters star has been accused of bad behavior on set. In 2000, actress Lucy Liu said Murray insulted her with “inexcusable and unacceptable” language on the set of Charlie’s Angels after a scene was rewritten in his absence.