Geena Davis continues to speak out about being harassed by Bill Murray while auditioning for the 1990 film “Quick Change.” In a recently released excerpt from her new memoir “Dying of Politeness,” the Oscar winner revealed that Murray asked to meet with her in a hotel room and forced her to allow him to use a massage device known as “The Thumper” on her.
“That was bad,” Davis said in an interview promoting the book. “The way he behaved at the first meeting… I should have walked out of that or profoundly defended myself, in which case I wouldn’t have got the part. I could have avoided that treatment if I’d known how to react or what to do during the audition. But, you know, I was so non-confrontational that I just didn’t.”
Her comments about Murray caused an old clip of the two stars promoting “Quick Change” on an episode of “The Arsenio Hall Show” to resurface. The interview features Murray repeatedly pulling down Davis’ dress strap and touching her arm, and Davis speaks about their initial meeting in a hotel room. She tells the story in a lighthearted manner with a smile on her face, as if nothing was inappropriate about the encounter.
“He touched you a lot in the audition?” Hall asked Davis.
“Yeah, I swear,” Davis said in response. “The first thing he did was take my shirt out of my pants and start tickling my stomach.”
Davis was asked about the clip in a new interview with i magazine, where she expressed regret for discussing the painful story in such a playful way.
“Isn’t it stunning? It’s awful,” Davis said of the Arsenio Hall interview. “I forgot that. Telling it that way, just as a humorous anecdote, I must have thought, ‘Well, it’s ultimately funny, or makes a good story,’ when in fact it was so devastating.”
In a recent interview with ABC News, Davis explained that she believes that Murray’s inappropriate conduct came from a place of wanting to intimidate her and establish a clear power dynamic.
“I found out later that it was because I had just won an Oscar,” she said. “And he thought, ‘I’m not gonna cast her unless I know she’s not gonna think she’s all that.'”