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Murray gets defensive about being difficult

Actor says confrontational attitude spurred by fight for underdog
/ Source: The Associated Press

Bill Murray gets defensive when told he has a reputation for being difficult.

“If it keeps obnoxious people away, that’s fine,” he tells Time magazine in its editions on sale Monday. “It makes me think of that line you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. People say this to you with a straight face, and I always say, ‘Who. Wants. Flies?”’

Murray, the star of “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” grew up in a blue-collar family and suggested his outbursts are generally spurred by an empathy for the underdog.

Recently on the set of his still-untitled film for director Jim Jarmusch, Murray got into a fracas with the location manager when he arrived at a rented house for a scene with child actors and discovered that there was no heat. When he started a fire in the fireplace, the location manager told him to stop.

“’Who are you?”’ Murray told her. “She said, ‘I’m locations.’ I said, ‘Well, if locations had done their job and made sure it was warm enough for these people, we wouldn’t be lighting a fire in the fireplace.”’

But at the wrap party, Murray approached the woman again. “I said, ‘You know, we had our moment, and I don’t apologize for that for a second.”’ But she had excelled at other aspects of her job, and Murray told her so. “I wanted to let her know I could see it both ways.”