“I had to do it with him”: Scarlett Johansson’s Breakout $118M Movie Director Had to ‘Stalk’ Bill Murray for the Role That Made Marvel Star Miserable

2003’s Lost in Translation not only popularised Scarlett Johansson among a wider audience but also achieved remarkable success and left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. Directed by Sofia Coppola, daughter of the legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Just like her father, she has also created some exceptional films.
Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation (2003)
Sofia Coppola was the director, writer, and producer of Lost in Translation so, naturally, there was a lot of pressure. For the role of Bob Harris, the actress had eyes on one specific actor for months. It was revealed that actor Bill Murray was stalked by the filmmaker because she wanted him to star in her movie. In the end, Murray and Johannson gave an outstanding performance, however, the experience wasn’t so good for Johannson.

Sofia Coppola stalked Bill Murray for months

Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray and Scarlett JohanssonSofia Coppola, Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson
Filmmaker Sofia Coppola wrote the character of Bob Harris while keeping a specific actor in mind, Bill Murray. In a past interview with Charlie Rose, Sofia Coppola revealed that she had to stalk him for months in order to convince him to play a role in Lost in Translation (2003),
“I had to do it with him. I just knew he was the perfect person. There’s just no one like him. He’s just Bill Murray. He’s just this great combination of funny and sensitive and sincere. And I wanted to see him in this romantic part that I’d seen him have moments of in Groundhog Day and Rushmore. And I wanted to do a film centering around him.”
It is well-known that Murray is often unreachable, so, Sofia Coppola managed to contact him through another iconic director, Wes Anderson.

Filming the movie was tough for Scarlett Johansson

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in TranslationBill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation
Not just Bill Murray, but Sofia Coppola also wrote a character specifically for actress Scarlett Johansson. Although the actress was the first choice, it seemed she didn’t really like working in the film. In a 2017 interview with Howard Stern, Johansson recalled,
“It was hard, it was a hard shoot for me. I felt sort of out of the loop. I was 17 years old when I made that movie, you know. I think it was because, you know, he (Bill Murray) kind of has his – he’s a comedian, he’s quirky… and he had a lot of, like, ups and downs, and he had a lot of energy, and he was really, like, kind of always on. And I was, you know, a 17-year-old, and I was sort of like – I was more introspective, I guess… Yeah, it was hard for me. I think that’s what was kind of isolating about it – is that everybody was so deferential [to Murray].”
The role changed the trajectory of Scarlett Johansson’s career as she earned a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA win for her work in the film. Certainly, the film was important for everyone as Coppola also earned an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Murray earned a BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award as well as an Oscar nomination.

Source: YouTube

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