Peter Howell: Bill Murray on new zombie flick: ‘I don’t know how the hell I got this job’

Peter Howell: Bill Murray on new zombie flick: ‘I don’t know how the hell I got this job’
Neither is he all that riled up by zombies, judging by the laid-back way his small-town police-chief character Cliff greets an undead apocalypse in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, the horror comedy that opened the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

Bill Murray poses for photographers at the photo call for the film The Dead Don t Die at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 15, 2019.  (Arthur Mola / Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

So what does scare the comic actor? The bright orange sports shirt he was wearing was actually kind of terrifying, in a fashion-crime way.

“I find Cannes frightening,” he deadpanned to a press conference Wednesday morning, where he joins writer/director Jarmusch and cast members Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny and Selena Gomez. (Co-star Adam Driver seems to have skipped town after Tuesday’s premiere.)

The Dead Don’t Die, which opens wide on June 14, marries Jarmusch’s bemused detachment with George Romero-inspired zombie terror for a frighteningly droll take on horror, a genre he last visited with the vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive, which competed at Cannes in 2013.

Murray, 68, was asked what prompted him to do another supernatural-themed movie — his long career includes two Ghostbusters movies and Zombieland — and also to work again with Jarmusch, with whom he made the oddball romance Broken Flowers and the existential life riff Coffee and Cigarettes.

“Jim just throws a lot of money at you, and gifts,” Murray replied. “He’s an operator. The guy’s a shyster. He’s a manipulator … It’s about shadows with him,” Murray replies.
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