Geena Davis made headlines in October 2021 after revealing in her memoir, “Dying of Politeness,” that Bill Murray allegedly harassed her during the making of their 1990 crime comedy “Quick Change.” Davis wrote that Murray tried to use a massage device on her in a hotel room and then berated her on set. In a new interview with journalist Kara Swisher (via the “On With Kara Swisher” podcast), Davis opened up in even more detail about Murray’s alleged set abuse.
“I went to meet with Bill Murray and his co-director and a producer in a hotel suite,” Davis said. “And, uh, I came in and went to sit down with everybody sitting there. But Bill Murray popped up and said, ‘Hey, have you ever tried the thumper?’ And I’m like, ‘What? No. What’s that?’ ‘Well come try it.’ ‘No, no, no.'”
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Davis said Murray pointed to the bed where there was “a giant massage device with big handles on it.” Murray allegedly told her, “Lay down here. I wanna try it on you.”
“I’m like, ‘No, no, no thank you.’ And he keeps at it,” Davis said. “And I keep saying ‘No’ to the point where I would’ve had to scream at him, ‘Stop fucking asking me! I am not doing it. Do you understand?’ Which I was far too timid to do. So I perched on the corner of the bed and let him do it, and he did it for like one second, and then didn’t ask how I liked it or anything. So I realized it was just to see if he could force me to do something inappropriate.”
Davis said the co-director and the producer who were in the hotel suite did nothing to stop Murray. “And I looked to them hoping they would say, ‘Come on, Bill, give it up’ or something,” she added.
A second incident allegedly occurred during the first day of shooting. “We were shooting a huge scene out on an intersection in Manhattan with hundreds of extras and giant crew and all that stuff,” Davis recalled. “And they said, ‘We’re ready for you to come to set.’ And I said, ‘Well, costumes asked me to wait here one second. Can I do that, or should I come with you?'”
Davis said she was given permission by the assistant director to stay and wait for costumes.
“Seconds later, Bill Murray — in a full clown costume, by the way — slams into the trailer with rage coming out of his eyeballs and starts screaming at me and swearing at me, ‘Get the fuck out there! What the fuck are you doing? Move! Move!'” Davis continued. “And he got behind me and screamed in my ear, ‘Move! Move faster! Move it!’ And we’re getting to this intersection where there’s hundreds of people watching this, and he keeps it up and keeps it up until he says, ‘Stand there’ and points to a mark on the pavement and starts shooting.”
Davis said she was “literally shaking” because of Murray and added, “Talking about it actually, it’s still — it’s very emotional for me because I felt so ashamed, you know, for somebody who wants to do things right. You know?”
Davis is one of several actors who have spoken about Murray’s behavior on set. Lucy Liu revealed on a 2021 episode of the Los Angeles Times’ “Asian Enough” podcast that Murray made “unacceptable” and “inexcusable” insults to her on the “Charlie’s Angels” set. Searchlight Pictures suspended production on Aziz Ansari’s feature directorial debut in April 2022 over complaints about Murray’s inappropriate behavior on set. The film has yet to go back into production.
Variety has reached out to Murray’s representative for further comment.
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