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Bill Murray ‘Garfield’ mistake: Actor regrets feline role

Bill Murray
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Bill Murray might pay more attention, from now on, to the roles he signs up for. The comedy actor is not a fan of the chubby cartoon character known as “Garfield,” but he is a fan of screenwriter Joel Coen, revealed the New York Post on Sunday, Jan. 19. Coen wrote such hits as “Fargo” and “The Big Lebowski.” But Bill Murray made a big Garfield mistake, back about a decade ago. He is now sharing the fiasco with fans.

When a script from Joel Cohen came across Murray’s field of vision, about a decade ago, he did not look too closely. He saw the name “Joel Cohen” and grabbed for the voice role of the demanding and irritating feline. But oops – did he not spot the different spelling of the screenwriter’s name and the far-more-famous Joel Coen? No.

Nor did he actually read the script he would be expected to put across as title character? No, he did not take that crucial step, either. So when he got to the studio, for what would become “Garfield: The Movie,” and he heard dialog that did not meet his quality standards, he was appalled – and also stuck.

“There was just this long, two-minute silence,” he recalled. “I probably cursed a little, and I said, ‘I can fix this, but I can’t fix this today. Or this week. Who wrote this stuff?’ ”

To make things worse, there was a second movie “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties,” in 2006, which went straight to DVD. So when a fan recently asked if there would be a third movie, the whole thing came tumbling out. “I don’t think so,” Bill Murray said of the Garfield mistake. “They sort of shot themselves in the foot, the kidneys, the liver and the pancreas on the second one.”

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