Just as her Pittsburgh news producer Rita Hanson eventually falls for the time-looping charms of cynical weatherman Phil Connors while he is stuck reliving the same Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, MacDowell, too, was charmed by her incomparable co-star, Bill Murray.
“I’ll tell you the funny thing about Bill, you don’t know what to expect with him. He is a unique person,” MacDowell told Yahoo Entertainment during a 2019 Role Recall interview (watch above, with Groundhog Daystarting at 3:30). “He is extremely creative. Fresh. Every time he does a scene, it’s fresh, it’s new, he’s adding nuances to it. Off camera, he’s just as weird, maybe weirder. Because he’s just being him.”
Whimsical Murray stories abound from here to the furthest corners of the internet, and MacDowell has a few to share from their time working together.
“People would come from all over to see him,” she recalls. “And on Friday nights he would say, ‘I’m sorry, folks. I don’t do autographs on Fridays.’ And didn’t matter where they came from. But the funny thing is how he would say it, people accepted it. They weren’t mad at him. Nobody was angry or saying ugly things to him.”
There was another time Murray and MacDowell were filming a scene in car together when Murray stepped on the gas and jettisoned them from the set.
“He just took off,” she says. “And I was like, ‘What are you doing? Where are we going, Bill? And he goes, ‘Oh, I just thought we’d go for a ride.’ So we just left [for] about 10, 15 minutes.”