Geena Davis Talks About Being Harassed By Bill Murray On The Set Of “Quick Change”: ‘I Should Have Walked Out

In her new memoir, “Dying of Politeness,” Geena Davis writes of a “terrible” incident she had with Bill Murray while the two were working on their 1990 crime comedy “Quick Change,” which Murray co-directed with Howard Franklin. Davis describes an awkward initial meeting with Murray in a hotel suite, followed by a scene on set where Murray yelled at her in front of the crew.

“She’s introduced to [Murray] in a hotel suite, she writes, where Murray greets her with something called The Thumper, a massage device he insists on using on her, despite her emphatic refusal; later, while they’re filming on location, Murray tracks Davis down in her trailer and begins screaming at her for being late (she’s waiting for her wardrobe), continues to scream at her as she hurries onto the set and even as

“That was terrible,” Davis told The New York Times. “The way he acted at our first meeting… I should have walked away or defended myself vehemently, in which case I would not have gotten the part. If I had known how to react or what to do during the audition, I may have avoided that treatment. But, you know, I was so non-confrontational that…”

Geena Davis

When a Times reporter asked Davis if she was blaming herself for Murray’s actions, she said, “Ha. That is correct. There’s no point in regretting things, but that’s exactly what I was doing. And, absolutely, that was not my fault.”

“I shouted no several times, but he wouldn’t back down,” Davis writes about Murray and the massage gadget (via People). “I would have had to yell at him and make a commotion to get him to stop trying to compel me to do it; the other males in the room did nothing to stop it.” With great grief, I recognized that I didn’t yet have the strength to withstand this bombardment — or simply walk away.”

Murray’s representative has been contacted for comment on Davis’ story.

Davis isn’t the only actor who has spoken out about his uneasy experience working with Murray. On a 2021 episode of the Los Angeles Times “Asian Enough” podcast, Lucy Liu said that Murray made “unacceptable” and “inexcusable” slurs to her on the set of “Charlie’s Angels.”

“As we were doing the scene, Bill began to sort of hurl insults, and I won’t get into the specifics, but it went on and on,” Liu explained at the time. “I wasn’t about to sit there and take it. So, yeah, I stuck up for myself, and I have no regrets. Because there’s no need to condescend or put others down, no matter where you are on the totem pole or where you came from. And I would not, and should not, have backed down.”

Murray’s on-set behavior made headlines once earlier this year when Searchlight Pictures halted production on Aziz Ansari’s feature directorial debut, which was to star Murray. According to Variety, production was halted due to complaints regarding Murray’s unprofessional behavior on set. The film has yet to resume production.

FAQs

Bill Murray, what did you do to Geena Davis?

Geena Davis claims Bill Murray attempted to use a massager on her without her permission. “I told him no several times, but he wouldn’t listen.” Geena Davis, the Oscar winner, is the latest woman in Hollywood to criticize comedy star Bill Murray for inappropriate behavior.

Is Geena Davis still friendly with Jeff Goldblum?

Her second husband, actor Jeff Goldblum, claims that they have remained close friends in the years following their divorce.

Is the story of swift change true?

Quick Change is based on Jay Cronley’s novel of the same name, and while the premise is largely the same, Murray’s fingerprints are all over the film to the point where it feels like a metaphor for his own life and career as a comedy actor.

How can magicians perform rapid changes?

Here are a few examples of how quick-change artists work their magic: Snaps, Velcro, and magnets: Some quick-change apparel, such as articles held together by Velcro, snaps, and magnets, lend themselves to quick changes, similar to Gob’s rip-away pants in “Arrested Development.”