[At the end of this week Wes Anderson will release Moonrise Kingdom. That means all this week we’ll be celebrating by diving into his past films with a slew of features on the distinctive director and his films. Head here to see all our coverage during this week of Wes Anderson.]
Bill Murray is one of a handful of actors that celebrated Indie director Wes Anderson returns to a lot in his projects, and with good reason. Bill Murray is not only an absolutely beloved celebrity in American culture, but the dude is an excellent actor.
His knack for playing lovably flawed men has made him perfect for so many Anderson roles, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few key moments, but read on, intrepid reader for my list of some of the best Bill Murray + Wes Anderson moments ever! [Warning – will contain spoilers!]
5. Bill Murray as Badger in Fantastic Mr. Fox
Badger was one of Bill Murray’s supporting roles in his Wes Anderson cannon, but of course he still brought everything to the table as the hot-headed woodland creature. Playing opposite George Clooney as Mr. Fox, Badger brought a voice of conservative concern to counter Mr. Fox’s outrageous adventurousness. And it’s Bill Murray playing a badger wearing a suit. Come on.
4. Raleigh St. Clair wants to die in The Royal Tenenbaums
Raleigh, please. You can’t help but love Murray’s poor character in The Royal Tenenbaums. Even though you’re secretly rooting for Margot to leave him throughout the movie, there’s something undeniably charming about the broken, hapless guy. Bill Murray definitely knows how to work the pity angle.
3. Murray’s Cameo in The Darjeeling Limited
After having been the central character in Anderson’s previous movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, (don’t worry, we’ll get there) seeing Bill Murray as a simple, understated cameo in The Darjeeling Limited was a hilarious Easter Egg for Anderson fans. And Murray is such a recognizable actor for most people, so for him to just be around as an overwhelmed business man and have virtually no lines was a great move by Anderson.
2. The revenge scene in Rushmore
This is one of the most memorable scenes in the whole movie. Just watch it.
1. Everything in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
It may seem like a cop-out to just say “everything is the best moment in this movie,” but I seriously couldn’t choose any one part that took precedence over the others and I think that really says something about how this movie works. There is really something special about Bill Murray’s role as Steve Zissou, the heartbroken, washed up aquatic explorer who tries in vain to conquer his own past. Anderson really couldn’t have chosen a better actor for this part, since “lovable curmudgeon” is essentially the part Bill Murray was born to play.
Now with Moonrise Kingdom on the horizon, Bill Murray is poised to return to Wes Anderson’s wacky movie world as Walt Bishop, a townsperson in a sleepy 1960s New England town that gets turned upside down when a young boy and girl decide to run away together. Will this next role be able to contend with the rest of this admirable list? We’ll have to wait and see!
What are your favorite Bill Murray/Wes Anderson moments? Let us know in the comments!