It says something about what the Academy thinks of comedies that, of all his movies, the only Oscar nomination Bill Murray has is for Lost in Translation. The 2003 movie was directed by Sofia Coppola and starred Murray and Scarlet Johansson. It touched a lot of people, and if you are one of them, you might like to find out more about the making of the movie.
1. SOFIA COPPOLA WANTED BILL MURRAY—AND ONLY BILL MURRAY—FOR THE LEAD ROLE.
Mutual friend Mitch Glazer showed Murray an early draft of Coppola’s script for the movie. Murray liked enough of what he read to meet Coppola at a downtown New York restaurant with some of his friends. Murray and Coppola talked for five hours, though very little of their conversation was about the movie. Murray agreed to do it, but did not sign a contract.
Though director Wes Anderson, who has worked with Murray on several films, assured Coppola that, “If [Murray] says he’s going to do it, he’ll show up,” she was nervous. Especially considering that $1 million had already been spent on the film in pre-production. “It was nerve-wracking,” Coppola told Filmmaker Magazine. One week before filming was scheduled to commence, Murray arrived in Tokyo.
9. THE LOCATION MANAGER RESIGNED.
When the filmmakers overstayed their welcome at the shabu-shabu restaurant, the owner simply turned the lights out, forcing Coppola to finish shooting the take in the dark. The incident, however, prompted the location manager to resign. The crew didn’t have permits and shot illegally on the subway and on some streets. Charlotte crossing the street was shot in a Starbucks that overlooked the road. (They paid for their coffee.)
Other factors, from language to jet lag made the film shoot difficult, but the cast and crew pulled it off well in the end. Read more about Lost in Translation at mental_floss.