“What About Bob?” famously paired Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray as, respectively, a fed-up therapist and his clingy patient. A new interview with the former “Jaws” star reveals the relationship between the co-stars was more than a little tense.
Speaking with Yahoo! Entertainment, Dreyfuss, 71, recalls Murray, 68, as an “Irish drunken bully” prone to physical violence.
“I didn’t talk about it for years,” Dreyfuss divulged. “Bill just got drunk at dinner. He was an Irish drunken bully, is what he was.”
Dreyfuss recalled one incident in particular. “He came back from dinner. He walked in, and I said, ‘Read this [script tweak], I think it’s really funny.’ And he put his face next to me, nose to nose,” said Dreyfuss, “and he screamed at the top of his lungs, ‘Everyone hates you! You are tolerated!'”
Dreyfuss was understandably taken aback. “There was no time to react,” he continued, “because he leaned back and he took a modern glass-blown ashtray. He threw it at my face from [only a couple feet away]. And it weighed about three-quarters of a pound. And he missed me. He tried to hit me. I got up and left.”
This isn’t the first time Dreyfuss has bashed Murray over his experience on “What About Bob?”, which he described to the A.V. Club as a “funny movie” but a “terribly unpleasant experience. We didn’t get along, me and Bill Murray. But I’ve got to give it to him: I don’t like him, but he makes me laugh even now.”
In fact, Dreyfuss doubled down during an appearance at 2017’s Fan Expo in Toronto, describing Murray as “an Irish drunken bully — and a better golfer than I am… he makes me laugh, even though I find him a despicable pig.”
Meanwhile, Murray has likewise discussed working with Dreyfuss and the pleasure he took in “annoying” his co-star.
“While he was talking, I got in real close to crowd him, I put my head on his shoulder, screamed into his ear and did all sorts of annoying things,” Murray told the Deseret News in 1991. “Some of that was even in the script . . . no wait, none of that was in script. I made it all up.”
In a 2000 interview with IGN, director Frank Oz confirmed that “What About Bob?” was “a tough, tough movie to shoot. The memories of that are, that there was a lot of tension on the set because everybody had their own viewpoint on how to make the movie better. My viewpoint on that is relief that it turned out so well and was liked so much because there was a lot of tension.”