Bill Murray Speaks Out On ‘Being Mortal’ Production Suspension: “I Did Something I Thought Was Funny, And It Wasn’t Taken That Way”


Murray has been silent following the news that production was suspended on Searchlight’s Being Mortal. Insiders add that Aziz Ansari — who is starring, writing, and making his directorial debut on the film alongside his partner, Youree Henley — was not a part of the complaint, nor was costar Seth Rogen.

Searchlight said it does not comment during ongoing investigations. The film’s production has been halted until next steps are decided, and Murray’s future role is unclear.

The film is based on Atul Gawande’s nonfiction book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Principal photography had started March 28, and sources say it was halfway through before the production halted. The plan was to release the film in 2023. It is unknown at this time if the suspension will affect the release.

Sitting down with CNBC at the 2022 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting today, Murray revealed his thoughts to Becky Quick. He did not provide specifics on what happened, but instead talked about how he was coping with the fallout from it. Murray characterized it as a “difference of opinion” with a woman on the set.

“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. I think that’s where the real issue is, between our peace. We’re both professionals. 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.”

He allowed that he’s been spending the time since production was halted doing not much else beyond thinking about what happened, adding that “It’s been quite an education for me.”

“And I feel like if I don’t see that, you know, the world is different than it was when I was a little kid. 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 said he pondered, “How could I misperceive? How could I be so inaccurate and so insensitive when you think you’re being sensitive to some sensibility that you’ve had for a long time? So we’re talking about it. We’re, I think we’re gonna make peace with it. I’m very optimistic about that.”

He added that he is trying to learn from what happened. “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. I’ve, what would make me the happiest would be to, you know, 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, and hopefully do something that’s good for more than just the two of us, but for a whole crew of people, a whole crew of movie makers. and the movie studio as well.”

He also likened his situation to Berkshire Hathaway’s openess about its own missteps.

“I couldn’t not connect to it. I mean, I see these two brilliant fellas who are most proud, in a way, of their mistakes”