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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Art gave Murray 'another chance'

Published 11/02/2014 | 16:52

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Bill Murray says art brought him back from the brink

Bill Murray has told of the power of art as he recalled how a striking painting brought him back from the brink when he feared his life was not worth living.

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The actor disclosed his brush with suicidal thoughts at the National Gallery in London as he joined his co-stars launching new movie The Monuments Men about a special troupe of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis from Europe in the Second World War.

The 63-year-old Oscar-nominated star explained how he had stumbled by accident across a painting by French realist painter Jules Breton which gave him him hope in one of his darkest hours.

Murray told how he had been at a low ebb after doubting his abilities in the early days of his acting career in Chicago.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out - out onto the street and just started walking.

"And I realised I'd walked in the wrong direction, not just the wrong direction to where I live, but the wrong direction in terms of the desire to stay alive.

"I then thought, well if I'm going to die where I am I may as well go over towards the lake and float for a while after I'm dead. So I walked over towards the lake and as I got there I hit Michigan Avenue and so I started walking north and I ended up in front of the art institute in Chicago.

"I just walked inside and I didn't feel I had any place being there. They used to ask you for a donation when you walk in, and I just walked right through because I was ready to die.

"And I walked in and there was a painting there, and I don't even know who painted it, but I think it's called The Song Of The Lark."

He went on: "It's a woman working in field and there's sunrise behind her, and I've always loved this painting. And I saw it that day and I thought, 'Well there's a girl who doesn't have a whole lot of prospects, but the sun's coming up anyway and she's got another chance at it'.

"So I think that gave me some sort of feeling that I too am a person and I get another chance everyday the sun comes up."

The Monuments Men, is written and directed by George Clooney, who co-stars with Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

:: The Monuments Men opens in cinemas on February 14.

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