BILL MURRAY INTERVIEW:
What was the biggest challenge in expressing this characters issues?
Weve seen a movie where theres a guy whos conflicted and hes married [and] hes away. The thing for anybody whos ever been married and away - whether youre a man or a woman - youre married and youre away, so what does that mean? Does that mean you dont meet people? Does that mean you dont talk to them? Does that mean you dont have interchange? Does it mean you dont flirt with them? Does it mean you dont talk to them? Is it wrong to be up in the middle of the night with someone thats not your spouse? Well, if youre 13,000 miles away, all of a sudden its like what else am I going to do? It sort of comes to that. And then theres this moment where you kind of go, Oh, we could sort of tumble down and end up complicating things more. Are we going to do that? Then [its] like, Well, I don't know. Its not really on my mind. Im just sort of lonely, really. So you go a little further and you spend more time with someone.
As an actor, and as a writer/director, the question is is it going to be very noble here? [Is] this guy going to say, I just cant call you. We cant share room service anymore? Is it going to be like that sort of thing, or is it going to be a little more real where they actually get really close to it?
I think theres one interesting scene - well, theres a lot of interesting scenes - but theres sort of a tricky scene where theyre in the same room and theyre watching 8 ½ and theyre talking about stuff. Ive been in this situation before and Ive seen people do it. Ive seen other people do it in other movies. I know that you sort of want to, because youre so close to somebody Its so promising. It would be so easy to do this right now and all Id have to say is, My wife is a bitch. My wife is a pain and my kids drive me nuts. I love them but they drive me nuts. And that, to me, was the moment where, Okay, how is this guy going to be respectable and not in a politically correct way, but in a way that I can feel like its true? It validates all the complication of it. Its going all the way and just saying, Okay, and theres more to it than this. Even though youre with a beautiful girl and its the middle of the night in Tokyo, youre never going to be one of my kids. Once you know that, now what are you going to do? Lets get that straight. Instead of saying, This is the end of the conversation. Im not going to walk out the door and slam it or anything. Its just matter of fact. This is who we are.
I think hes also a guy that ends up having too much to drink and he ends up with a crazy dingbat singer. These are the nightmares that people have. These are the nightmares that people live through. So its not like hes flawless or anything, but hes trying. He picks his fights and he fights as much as he can, like anybody.