Bill Murray to star in compelling indie pic St. Vincent De Van Nuys for the Weinstein Co.
I love Bill Murray. Let's just get that straight. I love that he's hilarious, down-to-earth, and that he represents the sort of persona that most of us aspire to. He just doesn't give a f*ck about the bullshit and focuses instead on just living as a human being. Bill Murray is awesome and that's that. So, when Mr. Murray signs on to a new pic, I get a little jazzed, because he isn't a cog in the machine that takes on everything that comes his way. And this news story about his signing on to the lead role in Ted Melfi's ST. VINCENT DE VAN NUYS is further proof of his care for what he does and overall general awesomeness.
"Murray will play a cantankerous train wreck of a neighbor who takes under his corrupt wing the 12-year old son of a struggling single mother who has moved in next door," reports Deadline.
“It’s the worst parenting decision ever made by this single mom, but she works two shifts at the hospital and the guy next door seems harmless enough,” said director Melfi. “The relationship transforms both the man and the boy and even though he teaches the kid everything about his decadent lifestyle, from fighting to drinking, gambling and how to cheat lie and steal. And the 12-year old has such a pure soul that he only extracts the good from all this.”
The idea for the project came from Nelfi's personal life, as he adopted the daughter of his deceased brother, who died tragically. Nelfi's wife (actress Kimberly Quinn) also had an experience in reconciling with her father with whom she had not spoken with since the age of nine.
“It’s about understanding our value as human beings and saying I love you, now, instead of waiting until someone is dying.”
Melfi originally raised the funds to shoot the film himself, but a second pass from his agents generated some bigger interest, including a nibble from Jack Nicholson, who loved the script, but is basically old and doesn't want to work. He suggested Bill Murray and through the many channels it takes to reach the elusive actor, he agreed to read it and then meet with Melfi.
Said Melfi: “I’m driving one day, the phone rings and it’s Bill Murray, and he says, ‘Ted Melfi, I don’t know who you are, but I love your script.’ He asked me to meet him at LAX and go for a ride as he returned home from a golf tournament. I met him in baggage, we got in a town car. He pulls the script out of an attache case. It’s dog-eared and there are notes all over it. We stop at an In-N-Out Burger, and spent a three hour drive to I don’t know where discussing the script. He understood everything about the character, and his notes were simple, direct and to the point. He said, this character is who I am at times, and this is how I talk, at times. It was one of those days where you think, if I died tomorrow, it would be okay.”
A project born of passion with an actor that chooses his material as carefully as you would defuse a bomb? Shut up and take my money!
Murray can next be seen in HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON, out December 7, 2012.
Also, head to The Chive next Monday, November 26th, to snag some great Bill Murray swag, including the coveted BFM t-shirt, in traditional, 3D, and Christmas editions, as well as the BFM ornament. It's what all the cool kids are doing.
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|Extra Tidbit:||I have no advice for Bill Murray except to keep being awesome.|