Primarily known for his tendency to get slimed, actor Bill Murray is also known to be a rather reclusive fellow. He keeps to himself, and doesn’t have an agent or manager to book work for him. Instead of having to look through job offers, he instead asks of anybody who wants to work with him (although preferably not Dan Akroyd) that they leave a voice message on his answerphone, which he checks whenever he gets tired of staring at himself, deadpan, in the mirror.

This made it rather difficult for when Robert Downey Jr wanted to bring in Murray for a role in the Iron Man movies, as the actor either didn’t pick up the message or was on Captain America’s side during Civil War. In an interview with Esquire magazine, questioneer Scott Raab mentions in passing to Murray that poor ol’ Downey Jr wanted him for a part in the movie, but had no way of getting hold of the actor. Raab mentions this as an example of Hollywood’s inability to grab hold of Murray when they are looking to Assemble, and doesn’t give us the details. Did Downey Jr leave a series of increasingly desperate/drunken messages? Did he sing at any point? We may never know. 

What part Downey Jr had in mind for the star of Garfield is anybody’s guess, although the obvious choices would likely be either Tony Stark’s father Howard, Pepper Potts, or the voice of Jarvis. Or perhaps something even more left-field? Fans have long contested that Murray would be the perfect choice to play Groot, if the Guardians of the Galaxy were ever to show up in the Marvel film universe.

We may never know.


  1. Fun fact, Murray played The Human Torch on a Fantastic Four radio show in the 60s.

    It consisted of actors reading the comic into a mic.
    You can hear them turn the pages.

  2. Murray and Ackroyd are said to still be friends. Ackroyd is one of the few people who can easily get ahold of Murray. It’s why Murray did the Ghostbusters video game.

  3. @ Jacob
    I profiled the radio show and interviewed the producer for COMICS SCENE magazine way back in the early 1990s. They didn’t read straight from the comic. These were scripts that lifted large passages of dialogue from the comics, but they had been modified for sound … and time constraints. Smilin’ Stan Lee narrated each episode.