Since then, Murray has appeared in countless classics: Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and What About Bob? to name a few. Fast forward to this millennium, and Murray’s discovered new-found success with a string of successful offbeat films. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that he’s one of Wes Anderson’s favorite actors to direct.
But despite Murray’s on-screen charm and rather impressive and prolific resume, the actor is anything but your typical Hollywood celebrity.
For starters, he doesn’t have an agent. He doesn’t have a publicist, either.
In fact, if you want to get in touch with him, you’ll have to track down his nearly impossible-to-find toll-free phone number and leave a message. Murray will call you back if he feels like it.
The Keys to Murray’s Success: Being Hard to Find & Being Relaxed
So how does the 64-year-old actor who’s nearly impossible to track down stay productive? After all, the man tackled at least six projects in 2014, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Well, for starters, since he’s hard to locate for movie roles, he’s created an aura of scarcity. This makes his brand lowly available and highly in-demand. (It’s worth noting that Murray isn’t necessarily hard to locate elsewhere: He routinely pops up at events like random bachelor parties and random house parties.)
Fans of Murray’s will attest to the fact that the actor seems calm, cool and collected on screen in most roles. Just look at The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers for examples of that behavior.
But there’s a reason for that demeanor: Bill Murray pretty much seems to be calm, cool and collected whether he’s on camera or not. The actor says that being relaxed and having fun with work is the key to being productive and successful.
“You have to remind yourself that you can do the very best you can when you’re very, very relaxed,” Murray explains. “The more relaxed you are, the better you are. That’s sort of why I got into acting.”
You spend so much time working, so you might as well spend that time having fun, too, Murray says.
“I realize the more fun I had, the better I did,” he says. “No matter how I feel [about] what’s going on in my life, if I can relax myself and enjoy what I’m doing and have fun with it, then I can do my job really well. And it’s changed my life. It’s made me better at what I do.”
You Will Fail—But Don’t Let It Get to You
Even actors of Murray’s caliber will fail from time to time.
In 1984, the actor followed up Ghostbusters with The Razor’s Edge—a war drama that tanked at the box office and was lambasted by critics who had hoped to see the hilarious version of Murray, not the serious one.
Murray was crushed by that failure. He subsequently took a four-year hiatus from acting to study philosophy in France. But by 1988, he was back to success on the silver screen with Scrooged, a film that’s since turned into a modern holiday classic.
During his brief retirement in the ‘80s, the actor learned to accept failure as part of life. And he hasn’t looked back since.
“I made a lot of mistakes and realized I had to let them go,” Murray says. “Don’t think about your errors or failures; otherwise you’ll never do a thing.”
In order to be successful in both your personal and professional lives, you’ve got to be in good spirits. You’ve got to accept that you won’t knock it out of the park every day.
For Murray, the very act of working helps him maintain the positive state of mind that brings him success.
“I really enjoy what I do. I really like my job. I really like to go to work,” Murray says. “I’m a better person when I go to work. My whole day is better.”
So do your best to love what you do. And try to remain as calm and relaxed as possible whenever you can. That’s your ticket to success as per Bill Murray, and you’d be wise to listen to him.