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Bill Murray Longs For A More Heated Presidential Race ... And A Girl Ghostbuster

'I don't think they are giving us the great race I thought they might,' the 'City of Ember' star says of Obama and McCain.

It's been said before, and it will be said again: Whether he's doing comedy or drama, is some kind of twisted genius. You never really know how true that is, though, until you can see it up close.

MTV: This is not a figment of my imagination, right? I am actually talking to Bill Murray, correct?

Bill Murray: Yeah, yeah.

MTV: Can you assure me of that?

[Murray kicks our reporter.]

MTV: That was a Bill Murray kick. That kind of hurt!

Murray: It's a good hurt.

MTV: So you've played a mob boss, you've played a Ghostbuster — I think this is your first politician though, correct? Did it give you a taste for politics after playing this guy?

Murray: I've just been getting a taste for politics lately, 'cause it's all around us. We're swimming in the soup right now. [But] playing a politician — they're kind of easy. They're kind of clichés, you know? They say one thing and mean another. They talk out of both sides of their mouth — everything you could say horrible about them. And yet they're always challenged by this ideal that, "Oh, what if I really were good?"

MTV: Do you have a horse in this race?

Murray: I'm interested in the race. It's like going to see a basketball game where it's not your home team, either one, you just really want to see a great game. I really would love to see a great race, and I don't think they are giving us the great race I thought they might. If you'd have said and , who in the Bush years was probably the one light I could see in that world, I thought they'd give us a pretty good fight. Maybe they'll come up with something now.

MTV: There's a mystique about getting you to sign onto a film, that you don't have the representation. There aren't the usual channels to get you. There's been talk that there's a phone number that if I'm really nice to you, you will give me, and maybe you'll call me back, maybe not. True?

Murray: Something like that, yeah. When I had representation, they would just call. They have secretaries who would call you. If you're in your home and the phone rings, the phone rings three, four, seven times — I can't get that now. I'm either cooking something or I'm doing this or I'm doing that. I'm not gonna answer the phone right now. Well, I don't have an answering machine, so the phone would just ring. It would ring 100 times.

MTV: That's a lot of patience on the other end!

Murray: Well, it's a secretary who was told, "Get me so-and-so." And so the phone rings, and they don't want to hang up and say, "I didn't get him." They're on the clock! It's hourly. Phone's ringing. They're doing a crossword. It really infuriated me that someone would do that. Would you ever think that maybe someone wasn't answering the phone? So that's when I started with this.

MTV: I want to run through a couple things in the course of my research I found out about you. Apparently, your trademark is a deadpan expression —

Murray: [Murray tries to deadpan and cracks up laughing.] I couldn't even do it. It's too early.

MTV: "Oklahoma" is your favorite musical?

Murray: Yeah, I think "Oklahoma" is my favorite musical. I can't think of anything that's better. Great songs.

MTV: You travel without an entourage?

Murray: No, I don't have any entourage. I'm a martial artist. I don't need anything.

MTV: Is that a threat?

Murray: No, no. We never attack. Only [when backed into] a corner.

MTV: You were once considered to play Batman?

Murray: So I hear. I would have been a fine Batman. You know, there have been a number of Batmen. I like them. ... I thought did a great job as Batman. It's obviously — it's a great role.

MTV: As any Bill Murray fan worth their salt, I'm a big "Ghostbusters" fan. So the guys from "The Office," I guess, are writing a new one. Have you talked to them directly about this?

Murray: I don't even know who these guys are, but I know there's two guys from "The Office" that are writing a "Ghostbusters" script.

MTV: You don't know what their take is or anything like that?

Murray: No, I have no idea. But it's great, and I hope they go back to the original version. The first "Ghostbusters" was such a funny movie, and the first 45 minutes of it or so — there's only maybe one or two special effects. It's just these guys being funny, and the characters were really funny, and the situations were funny. I mean, Danny had a really fantastic idea, and, you know, he and Harold [Raimis], they wrote some funny scenes. They left room for improvisation, and we made a funny movie.

MTV: Do you like the idea of potentially passing on to a new crop of Ghostbusters?

Murray: Well, I think it'd be funny to have a girl Ghostbuster. We don't have a girl Ghostbuster. I mean, they say like, "What if you passed it to Chris Rock?" And I go "Well, I dunno. Is Chris Rock gonna save us?" You know, I guess. He's funny.

MTV: You want Dana Barrett to have a proton pack — is that what you're saying?

Murray: No, I just think there's some funny girls I'd love to see be Ghostbusters.

MTV: Finally, just between us, can you tell me what you whispered to Scarlett in "Lost in Translation."

Murray: I said, "I want my MTV."

Check out everything we've got on "City of Ember."

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