Bill Murray addresses conduct complaint that led to ‘Being Mortal’ film shutdown

Bill Murray poses in a white hat
Bill Murray poses for photographers at Cannes Film Festival in July 2021.
(Vadim Ghirda / Associated Press)

A little more than a week after production of the film “Being Mortal” was shut down over a complaint of inappropriate behavior lodged against Bill Murray, the actor addressed the situation Saturday, calling it “a difference of opinion” with a woman on the set.

In an interview with CNBC during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, Murray did not share any specifics about what led to the complaint on the set of Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut. But the actor, who is set to star in the project alongside Ansari and Seth Rogen, suggested it arose out of a misunderstanding over an intended joke and expressed his hope that the situation will soon be resolved.

Filming on Aziz Ansari’s first feature, “Being Mortal,” was suspended over a reported complaint against co-star Bill Murray.

April 21, 2022

”I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn’t taken that way,” Murray said. “The company, the movie studio, wanted to do the right thing, so they wanted to check it all out, investigate it, and so they stopped the production. But as of now, we’re talking and we’re trying to make peace with each other.


”We’re both professionals,” Murray continued. “We like each other’s work. We like each other, I think, and if you can’t really get along and trust each other, there’s no point in going further working together or making a movie as well…. So we’re talking about it. I think we’re gonna make peace with it. I’m very optimistic about that.”

Adapted from Atul Gawande’s nonfiction book “Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End,” the film — which Ansari also wrote and is producing alongside Youree Henley (“The Lighthouse”) — began production in late March in Los Angeles and is slated to be released next year. Searchlight Pictures, which is releasing the film, has said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.

Murray said he has been using the pause in production to reflect on what happened. “It’s been quite an education for me,” he said. “You know, what I always thought was funny as a little kid isn’t necessarily the same as what’s funny now. Things change and the times change, so it’s important for me to figure it out. And I think the most important thing is that it’s best for the other person. I thought about it, and if it’s not best for the other person, doesn’t matter what happens for me.”

Murray has earned a reputation for sometimes difficult behavior with co-stars and producers alike. Last year, “Charlie’s Angels” co-star Lucy Liu spoke of an incident in which Murray hurled insults at her while the two were working together on the 2000 film.

“Some of the language was inexcusable and unacceptable, and I was not going to just sit there and take it,” Liu told The Times’ “Asian Enough” podcast. “I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it.”


Speaking of the current situation, Murray acknowledged that he still had some things to learn. “I really think that’s a really sad puppy that can’t learn anymore. I don’t want to be that sad dog and I have no intention of it. 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.”