“You know what the truth is? You don’t find Bill Murray,” filmmaker Theodore Melfi says. “Bill Murray finds you.”
This fateful lesson is one learned by many directors, though not all succeed in the quest to recruit the Ghostbusters and Rushmore star for their projects.
Melfi, a longtime commercial director making his feature writing and directing debut, was certain Murray would be perfect for the title role in St. Vincent, his indie comedy about a rotten, miserable old man who reluctantly discovers he’s not so rotten and miserable after all.
“He finds everything he’s supposed to be involved in by not chasing anything,” Melfi says. “If it’s supposed to happen, the person will hound him until it happens, or he’ll run into them at a bar or restaurant. He has a zen-like protocol in regard to what he does and doesn’t do.”
Here’s how the odd journey to St. Vincent played out, in three acts.