Bill Murray on Saturday acknowledged that there had been a complaint about his behavior on the set of the upcoming film Being Mortal, confirming recent reports about why production shut down.
"I had a difference of opinion with a woman I’m working with. I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn't taken that way,” Murray said in an interview with CNBC. “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."
Murray’s comments, which he shared from the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, come after Searchlight Pictures opened an investigation into Murray’s behavior on the set of the movie, which also stars Keke Palmer and Seth Rogen and is being directed by Aziz Ansari. Without going into detail about the incident, Murray said he’s been in contact with the woman and is communicating with her about how to move forward.
"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," he said. "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 said he hasn’t been in touch with Searchlight Pictures, which previously declined to comment on an open investigation.
Even though he didn't say what happened, Murray shared his reaction to the complaint and said that he's hoping for a good outcome for the woman.
“It’s been quite an education for me. I’ve been doing not much else but thinking about it for the last week or two,” Murray said. “The world is different than it was when I was a little kid. 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.”
Being Mortal, an adaptation of the 2014 book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, is Ansari’s directorial debut. It was originally set to be released in 2023, and it’s unclear how the suspension will impact the future of the film. According to Variety, it had completed half of its principal photography before cast and crew members received a letter on April 20 saying that production was halted.
Murray added that he was optimistic the situation would be resolved and said that he was prepared to learn from it.
“We’re talking about it; I think we’re going to make peace with it. I’m very optimistic about that,” he said. “You have to be. I think it’s a sad dog that can’t learn anymore. I 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 both of us to go back into work and be able to trust each other and work at the work that we both spend 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 who are movie-makers, and the movie studio as well.”