Bill Murray and Wes Anderson at the Cannes premiere of "Moonrise Kingdom"

Wes Anderson Backs Up Bill Murray Amid Misconduct Allegations: ‘He’s Really My Family’

Wes Anderson stands alongside Bill Murray amid sexual misconduct allegations against the actor.

After numerous allegations of harassment and a formal complaint on the set of ‘To Be Mortal’, Murray attributed his behavior to the changing state of comedy in today’s culture. He added that she hopes to “make peace with it.”

“Asteroid City” director and frequent Murray collaborator Anderson told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn that the allegations against Murray will have no impact on their working relationship.

“My experience with Bill is so extensive. Bill has been a huge supporter of me from the beginning,” Anderson said. “I don’t want to talk about anyone else’s experience, but he really is a part of my family. You know, he’s my daughter’s godfather. In fact, he christened it. He sprinkled the water.”

They worked together on such films as ‘Rushmore’, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’, ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ and others. He’s not in Anderson’s new film “Asteroid City,” out June 16.

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Anderson continued, “Bill was supposed to be in the movie (‘Asteroid City’). It’s not a big deal to say, “Well, this person had to play this part.” Once someone gets a part, you should say, “Well, that’s his part.” But in this case, because there was some confusion about what had happened with Bill. He was supposed to play Steve Carell’s motel manager, and Bill got COVID four days before he was supposed to start shooting. He was in Ireland and in the case of our film, we had so many people’s schedules that they were all perplexed. The people that Bill was supposed to play scenes with would be gone when he canceled the COVID protocols and stuff. And indeed, he was quite ill. So Bill lost his part and Steve Carell suddenly came in. He was great, I enjoyed having him. I met him, he came and we immediately shot.

The “Rushmore” director added: “Then when Bill recovered, he came to Spain. At the end of the movie (where ‘Asteroid’ was filmed), we finished the movie, and Bill and I got in the car and drove to France. It was a great way to end it, but it was the first time I hadn’t seen him in a movie in a long time.

Murray starred in nine of Anderson’s films and had the lead role in ‘The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou’.

Anderson has credited his decades-long personal relationships with actors such as Murray for giving his films a distinct flavor.

“You know, the people that I work with – Owen (Wilson), Bill and Jason (Schwartzman) – these are people that I have such a long relationship with that when I don’t have them, damn, I feel like I miss them,” Anderson said. But at the same time, it’s probably not the worst thing in the world. I always like to have new people. It expands the whole range. You know, we have other films.

Anderson’s upcoming films include the Roald Dahl adaptation of “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” starring Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley and Richard Ayoade; the film will debut on Netflix in the fall of 2023. The director also confirmed to IndieWire that an unnamed film starring Michael Cera will begin shooting later this year. Jeff Goldblum and Benicio Del Toro are also rumored to be cast; Goldblum appeared on ‘Asteroid City’ and del Toro worked with Anderson on ‘The French Dispatch’.

Eric Kohn contributed to the reporting.

Stay tuned for IndieWire’s full interview with Wes Anderson later this week.