How Andie MacDowell Drove Bill Murray ‘Nuts’ During ‘Groundhog Day’
Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell’s 1993 comedy movie, Groundhog Day, remains a beloved classic. The actors’ shared an undeniable chemistry on-screen. But behind-the-scenes, Murray says, there was one thing about MacDowell that drove him nuts.
What is ‘Groundhog Day’ about?
Groundhog Day follows weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) as he reluctantly takes on an assignment to cover a Groundhog Day celebration in a small Pennsylvania town. Phil is not the nicest person to those around him, including his producer Rita Hanson (Andie MacDowell).
But Phil soon finds himself in a time loop that replays the same day over and over again. And after trying dozens of different schemes to escape the loop, he realizes that he can use the time to grow and become a more caring person.
With its theatrical release, Groundhog Day grossed nearly $70.9 million worldwide. By the end of 1993, it ranked as the 14th highest-grossing film of the year.
Bill Murray says Andie MacDowell’s hair drove him nuts
Murray and MacDowell filmed Groundhog Day for nearly three months in Woodstock, Illinois. And during production, Murray says MacDowell’s time-consuming hair and makeup process drove him mad.
“Andie MacDowell drove me absolutely crazy on that movie,” he told Collider. “She drove me absolutely nuts. We were always waiting for Andie MacDowell’s hair. The fact is, Andie MacDowell has the greatest hair you have ever seen, in your life. When she finally would arrive, you had to just give up because that hair was really great, but she did drive me crazy.”
But Murray recognizes and appreciates MacDowell’s stellar performance in the film. And in hindsight, he thinks he thinks he may need to apologize for his impatience.
“I’ve thought about it many times, that I owe her a real apology because she did drive me crazy,” Murray added. “But I’d like to put on the record that her performance in the film is really, really, really good. I don’t mean really good, I mean what’s better than really good. It’s very good. It’s really great. That was a hard movie to make. It was just as hard for her, and she had that hair to deal with.”
Andie MacDowell remembers Bill Murray fondly
Murray doesn’t have the best memories attached with Groundhog Day. The actor was dealing with marital issues during production. And his arguments over the film’s tone led to the end of his close friendship with writer/director/producer Harold Ramis.
But MacDowell, on the other hand, looks back at the time with a positive lens. And she credits Murray’s sense of humor and dedication for making the film work.
“Bill is so funny,” MacDowell told The Wrap. “He’s a comic genius. Listening and reacting to Bill — because Bill is not the same in every take — so listening and react. His nature is to improv and make it his own every take. It was mostly fresh. I had to really be in the scene and just listen to him.”