So, as far as red carpets go, Bill Murray fans can’t compete with the raucousness of Kristen Stewart, Selana Gomez, Johnny Depp and Will Smith diehards.
The atmosphere at Roy Thomson hall was tepid when the 61-year-old funnyman showed up to promote Hyde Park On Hudson last night. Other than a few fanboys who kept chanting, ‘It just doesn’t matter’ (Murray’s signature line from Meatballs), it was easily the tamest red carpet at TIFF so far.
It might have had something to do with the, er, other red carpet, To The Wonder, with Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko, making noise at the nearby Princess of Wales Theatre, but Murray’s co-stars heaped praise on both the actor and director, Roger Michell.
“(Michell) has great command of narration and he’s fantastic,” actress Laura Linney told reporters. “And Bill,” she continued, smiling, “is Bill Murray. It was so much fun to watch him tackle his character and rise to the challenge of playing this figure.”
“Bill was wonderful,” actress Olivia Williams said, radiating in red.
Hyde Park On Hudson probes the relationship between the polio-suffering Franklin Roosevelt (Murray) and his mistress (and distant cousin) Margaret Suckley (Linney) during a visit to his country estate by the King and Queen of England right before the start of WWII.
For his part, Murray told reporters he drew on a real-life inspiration to play the part of FDR.
“I have a sister who has polio,” Murray said. “She’s battled it her whole life. So her stoicism is really something I carried with me into playing FDR. After wearing the brace for two days, I called her and said, ‘I had no idea.’ I thought I had some idea, but the pain and constant discomfort told me so much more about my sister. Because of the way she was, she didn’t talk about it that much. And that informed me a bit into what FDR must have gone through. There’s an expression, ‘Can you walk in another man’s Moccasins?’ Well, walking in another man’s braces is a whole other challenge.”
Hyde Park On Hudson screens again Tuesday, September 11, 12:30 p.m., Winter Garden Theatre. The film hits theatres this December.