Jaeden Lieberher And Ted Melfi On ‘St. Vincent,’ Bill Murray [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as a hardened war veteran Vincent, who forges an unlikely friendship with his new neighbor, 11-year-old Oliver, played by Jaeden Lieherber. The movie, written and directed by Ted Melfi, is already gaining Oscar buzz. But getting it made was no easy feat for Malfi. While filming on location in Brooklyn, Murray would often disappear — one time Murray was found at a local U.S Air Force Recruiting Center. “Bill was in there with the veterans, and the new recruits, and the recruiters,” Melfi told uInterview in an exclusive video interview. “He was in there signing autographs, shaking hands and thanking them for serving. I thought that’s just incredible, and he does that all the time.”
TED MALFI: Well Jaeden’s got this quiet presence. He’s like a 50 year old trapped in an 11 year old's body. He’s just a wise soul. He’s strong and he’s centered, and he’s focused. He’s the perfect guy to go toe-to-toe with Bill Murray.
JAEDEN LIEBERHER: I felt so lucky to go to New York and get the movie. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it. But meeting Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy and all these amazing people, it was an honor. It was really an honor. I was pretty intimidated by these great people. But above that I was excited.
TM: What I found most impressive about Bill is that he lives in the present moment more then anyone I’ve ever met. A lot of times you couldn’t find Bill. You’d say, Oh we can’t find Bill. One time we were in Bay Ridge, in Brooklyn, and we couldn’t find Bill. It was like 20 minutes had gone by and someone finally says, I found him-he’s in that storefront. I went in the storefront and it’s a U.S Air Force recruiting center and Bill was in there with the veterans, and the new recruits, and the recruiters and he was in there signing autographs, shaking hands and thanking them for serving. I thought that’s just incredible, and he does that all the time.
JL: I never heard that story before, that’s really amazing. We were in Toronto for the Toronto Film Festival. We were doing press junkets, so there’s a lot of a person coming to interview us. Bill all day he was saying, you like French toast? Let’s get French toast later. So then, when it was lunchtime, everybody, Melissa, Naomi, Chris and Bill - we all went to Bill’s friends house. That was about 30 minutes away and lunch was like twenty minutes. It was in this beautiful house with this amazing French toast. Everybody seemed kind of angry after that. All of the press people were like, 'Where were you guys?'
TM: It’s a notorious story really, at this point. Bill Murray doesn’t have a minute manager or an agent or any kind of link to Hollywood except an attorney. He has a 1-800 number. It’s not folklore. You just call the 1-800 number; you call it and call it. I must have called the 1-800 number, I don’t know, dozens of times over the course of months. Eventually he called his attorney back and said this guy keeps hassling me, can you tell him to mail me a letter. So I wrote a dear Bill letter, a one-page letter and mailed it to Bill. The next thing I know he called me back, and we started talking.
TM: Well, we don’t know about award season. We just know we had fun making it, and we hope people enjoy it. We’ve been in audiences and there seems to be people responding to it. That’s really the trophy for us, is that people enjoy the movie. Whether or not It gets honored is not up to us. We try not to think about it.