So Apparently Bill Murray Threw an Ashtray at Richard Dreyfuss’s Face

So Apparently Bill Murray Threw an Ashtray at Richard Dreyfuss’s Face


Thank you Kevin Burwick of MovieWeb for making me feel so conflicted about one of my favorite actors. I’m kidding really but what the writer did contribute is kind of troubling since not only does it put Bill Murray (my personal favorite) in kind of a bad light, but it does kind of shine that same light on Richard Dreyfuss. What Burwick did was pretty fair and even-handed though since most people know by now that despite being one of the absolute greatest comedians of all time, Bill Murray can act like a bit of a male diva at times, since he knows he can get away with. And on the other hand Richard Dreyfuss has been a great actor as well and has contributed a great deal to the film industry, by he’s still a bit egotistical. The fact that they clashed on What About Bob? isn’t too hard to imagine since the entire movie was about Murray’s character, Bob, trying to work through his problems and never getting the hint that Leo, played by Dreyfuss, and his family just wanted to have a nice vacation.

Kellie Chudzinski from Daily Mail adds to this by stating pretty much the same thing, as Dreyfuss went on to say that Murray was a drunken Irish bully one night at dinner and actually lobbed a glass ashtray at him. Thankfully Bill was a bit drunk and his aim was off as he missed Richard completely, but this was after the verbal assault in which Bill went nose to nose with Richard and hollered that he wasn’t liked, he was tolerated. It’s true that no one should have to weather this kind of verbal or physical abuse no matter who’s doing it or what reason they could possibly have for being so nasty, and Bill Murray has been the kind of guy that has stacked a few complaints in his time and simply not cared about them. But there seems to be something here that we’re not really getting and despite Bill’s nastiness, which is unfortunate since it can’t really be defended, there is the feeling that Richard wasn’t the easiest person to work with either. His ego is definitely a big part of what could make this a volatile mix since the whole ‘me’ attitude is kind of tiring no matter who’s doing it.

As Donald Clarke from The Irish Times has shown, Richard has no trouble with promoting his own self-image and telling things his way, and he’s been kind of a problem to deal with on more than one set. While it’s perfectly okay to believe that he and Murray had a serious problem on the set of the movie it’s also to be taken with a big grain of salt since this isn’t the only movie where he’s had an issue with a fellow cast member. On the set of Jaws and in other movies he’s been seen to have difficulties with other cast members and has been quite vocal about his displeasure, calling out anyone that happens to get on his nerves or says or does something that he doesn’t agree with or approve of. That’s all well and good, that’s his right and he may very well be making good points when he’s speaking of such incidents, but given that few if any other actors have come forward to support him in this matter. A lot more folks have simply accepted that this is the way Murray is and, for better or worse, have allowed it to go on. Now honestly being a jerk and a bully isn’t the best way to go through life or behave in general, but one has to ask what Dreyfuss had done to facilitate or worsen this matter. Some might argue that he did nothing, that it wasn’t something he had coming, and that Murray was just being kind of a pain in the butt at that time. Some might argue however that Dreyfuss is just annoying enough in his manner and doesn’t work well with others. It doesn’t matter what people say, something set Bill off just enough to physically threaten Richard after verbally abusing him, and right or wrong, there’s more to the story that we’re not hearing.

If you go by Richard’s story then yes, Bill is just a mean person that has no regard for other people, but if you go by the legend that is Bill Murray you’ll see that like everyone he does have his ups and his downs and his moments when he’s simply had enough. It’s not enough to believe he’s simply a diva that can’t stand other people, there had to have been something that went on between the two men that set him off. Were his actions wrong? Yep, no doubt about it. But were they without reason? That’s something we won’t know if all we take is one side of the story.

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