Thanks to the first trailer, people knew a little bit about Rock the Kasbah earlier this year. Then Bill Murray showed up at Comic Con to promote the Barry Levinson venture and, after walking around Hall H doing karaoke before the panel, he roamed the aisles to shake hands and pose for photographs with fans and the film&’s profile got a nice bump.
Murray is like one of those Western gunfighters who never backs down. To the world at large he&’s an innovative and flawless artist who has seen better times and is all set to humour the audience with Rock The Kasbah. In fact, Glazer confesses he loves to “write his voice” and that he wrote the movie so Murray could be funny again. The flick is based at least vaguely on a true story. Murray&’s character is no firecracker but he is simply irresistible and the idea of seeing him desperate in the desert is pretty great. Excerpts from an interview:
What really drove you to consider singer-songwriter Van Morrison&’s manager as an inspiration for the movie?
He&’s a moody Irishman and is from the North. He looks like he&’s a hockey goalie and is a growler. He plays 45 minutes and no seconds. There&’s actually a time clock on the stage. He&’s the greatest songwriter.
How do you feel about the differences between America and Rock the Kasbah&’s filming locations?
There&’s less public drinking in Morocco. People are very gentle. It&’s a Muslim country, but I like their interpretation of the book. They’re a gentle, lovely people. A lot of history. Cool places to stay. Great beach towns. There&’s offroad stuff, if you want to do that.
How did it feel like working once again with Bruce Willis?
We have an ancient history I wasn’t aware of… when I was on Saturday Night Live, Bruce was a page. It&’s a job you take where you’re kind of a slave. It&’s like an intern-slave. His job was to refill the M&M and peanut bowls in the actors’ dressing rooms. Years later, after a few tequilas, he said, (doing a reasonably growly Willis impression) “Only you and Gilda were nice to me.” He&’s all right. We had a fun time.
How was the experience while working with Zooey Deschanel?
We had a wrap party on a galleon, a ship. They had a karaoke night. (Zooey) chose to sing We Are The World. Do you know how hard it is to sing that song? It&’s up there (points upwards) to sing it. She&’s got to sing the pitches and the keys and notes of 14 of the greatest singers in America. If she died tomorrow, I’d say her karaoke work would live forever.
What was your favourite moment while filming Rock the Kasbah?
I think one thing that was really amazing, there was a night in Marrakesh when we were in a restaurant you wouldn’t even notice… (proceeds to describe in lovely and microscopic detail a century-old building with a restaurant on a rooftop with a two-man band playing a four-string instrument and a drum). You’re on top of the city, overlooking the market, and the stars are above you, and there&’s this rhythm that&’s thousands of years old. And you think, y’know, I’m in an actors’ union, I’m just a guy from Illinois. And I’m here, being able to touch and listen to something that&’s affected people for centuries. You get reminded that you have a responsibility to take what you’ve been given, transform yourself somehow, and pass it on.
Rock the Kasbah is set to release in India on 30 October 2015 by PVR Pictures