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Geena Davis Recounts Her Terrible First Impression Of Bill Murray

Actress Geena Davis just released her new memoir "Dying of Politeness," and in it, she shared a lot of stories about her lengthy career in entertainment, including one about what working with Bill Murray in the '90s was like. The two starred in the 1990 comedy "Quick Change", which follows three criminals who successfully rob a New York City bank but struggle trying to escape the city itself. Davis alleges that Murray displayed toxic behavior towards her on multiple occasions during the production of the movie, which Murray starred and co-directed.

The two actors crossed paths for the first time at the audition for the movie when Davis was trying out for a lead role. Davis, despite having a couple of successful movies to her credit already, was still far out of Murray's league. The "Ghostbusters" star was already a household name at that point with nearly two decades of projects under his belt.

Specifically, Davis' memoir describes her first meeting with Murray and what it was like to work with him on the set of the movie. Just days before "Dying of Politeness" hit store shelves, Davis spoke with The Times and shared her experience at an audition for "Quick Change" with Murray in a hotel suite.

Geena Davis alleged that she had an inappropriate first encounter with Bill Murray

"That was bad," Geena Davis said to The Times in reference to the first meeting with Bill Murray at the audition. The memoir's publisher offered a brief description from the book about that first impression of Murray: "She's introduced to [Murray], she writes, in a hotel suite, where Murray greets her with something called The Thumper, a massage device he insists on using on her, despite her emphatically refusing."

Back in the '90s, this type of behavior would sometimes be thought of as comical and non-threatening, but in more modern times, such actions are obviously not appropriate and are considered toxic. "The way he behaved at the first meeting ... I should have walked out of that or profoundly defended myself, in which case I wouldn't have got the part. I could have avoided that treatment if I'd known how to react or what to do during the audition. But, you know, I was so non-confrontational that I just didn't," Davis said.

Davis went on to say that Murray also had an outburst while on set, in front of hundreds of cast and crew. The excerpt from the memoir went on to read, "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 she gets there, in front of hundreds of cast, crew, curious passers-by."

There haven't been any other witnesses who have corroborated that account yet, but those behaviors aren't the first allegations of toxicity against Murray.

Murray's alleged bad behavior isn't anything new

Bill Murray's alleged toxicity towards Davis definitely isn't the first allegation the actor has seen in his half-century career. The actor has complaints against him dating back all the way back to the set of "Saturday Night Live" in the '80s and as recent as April 2022, when the production of "Being Mortal" had to be paused because of a complaint of inappropriate behavior against Murray, as reported by Deadline.

Murray did seemingly recognize that whatever he was accused of on the set of "Being Mortal" wasn't okay. "You know, what I always thought was funny as a little kid isn't necessarily the same as what's funny now. Things change and the times change, so it's important for me to figure it out," Murray said in his first interview after the film's pause in production. But who knows how sincere he may have been in that interview when these types of complaints aren't few or far between.

The Los Angeles Times even went as far as to create a list of allegations of toxicity against Murray that include complaints from big names like Lucy Liu, Richard Dreyfuss, and Chevy Chase. Dreyfuss even went as far as to call Murray a "drunken bully" in an interview with Yahoo News in 2019.

Davis probably wasn't aware of any complaints against Murray when she worked with him in 1990, and at the time she blamed herself for Murray's alleged behavior. It wasn't until more recently that Davis said that she regrets blaming herself. "There's no point in regretting things, and yet, here I was regretting," she said to The Times. "It wasn't my fault."