Dying of Politeness: Geena Davis’ Memoir–Details about Bill Murray’s Bad Behavior

Geena Davis: Bill Murray Screamed at Me on Set: ‘I Should’ve Walked Out or Defended Myself’

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Oscar winner Geena Davis writes in her new memoir, Dying of Politeness, about a “bad” experience she had with Bill Murray, when the two were making the 1990 crime comedy Quick Change, which Murray co-directed with Howard Franklin.

Davis details an uncomfortable first meeting with Murray in a hotel suite, followed by a time on set when Murray repeatedly screamed at her in front of the crew.

As summarized by The Times UK (via NME): “She’s introduced to Murray, she writes, in a hotel suite, where Murray greets her with something called The Thumper, a massage device he insists on using on her, despite her emphatically refusing.

Later, while they’re filming on location, Murray tracks Davis down in her trailer and begins screaming at her for being late (she’s waiting for her wardrobe), continues to scream at her as she hurries onto the set and even as she gets there, in front of hundreds of cast, crew, curious passers-by.”

When The Times reporter told Davis she was blaming herself for Murray’s behavior, she responded, “Ha. Point taken. There’s no point in regretting things, and yet, here I was regretting. Yes, exactly, it wasn’t my fault.”

“I said no multiple times, but he wouldn’t relent,” Davis writes about Murray and the massage device (via People). “I would have had to yell at him and cause a scene if I was to get him to give up trying to force me to do it; the other men in the room did nothing to make it stop. I realized with profound sadness that I didn’t yet have the ability to withstand this onslaught–or to simply walk out.”

Davis isn’t the only actor who has detailed an uncomfortable experience working with Murray.

Lucy Liu revealed on 2021 episode of the Los Angeles Times’ podcast that Murray made “unacceptable” and “inexcusable” insults to her on the Charlie’s Angels set.

“As we’re doing the scene, Bill starts to sort of hurl insults, and I won’t get into the specifics, but it kept going on and on,” Liu said at the time. “I was not going to just sit there and take it. So, yes, I stood up for myself and I don’t regret it. Because no matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there’s no need to condescend or to put other people down. And I would not stand down, and nor should I have.”

Murray’s on-set conduct made headlines again earlier this year after Searchlight Pictures suspended production on Aziz Ansari’s feature directorial debut, which was to star Murray.

Shooting was halted over complaints about Murray’s inappropriate behavior on set. The film has yet to get back into production.