Toronto rolls out red carpet for 'Bill Murray Day'

Fri Sep 5, 2014 7:21pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - If there was ever a good reason to skip school, it might just be "Bill Murray Day."

The Toronto International Film Festival declared Friday "Bill Murray Day," and called on fans of the quirky comedic actor to dress up as his beloved characters in a costume contest and see screenings of films "Stripes," "Groundhog Day" and "Ghostbusters."

For two public sector workers and a barista dressed up as the three main characters from "Ghostbusters", the decision was a no-brainer.

The trio were first in line for a free screening of the classic comedy, decked out in authentic-looking jumpsuits and proton packs that flash lights and make noise but do not shoot anti-apparition projectiles.

"We're not at that stage with the technology. Maybe one day," said 25-year-old Solange Houle, the barista.

Although Murray is famously elusive and unpredictable, organizers announced late Thursday that he will be here for his own day. Murray will take questions after "Ghostbusters" and the world premiere of his film "St. Vincent", a prospect that delighted fans like movie critic Mark Bell.

"Every single time you hear a story about Bill Murray it's about all these crazy things he does that if any other human did them, people would be like 'we need to arrest this person.' But when Bill Murray does it it's just awesome. How does he pull it off?" he said.

Scores of similarly enthusiastic fans, many of whom were too young to catch "Ghostbusters" when it hit big screens 30 years ago, packed a downtown Toronto theater for a free screening of what host and film programmer Jesse Wente dubbed "the greatest supernatural comedy ever made."

"Toronto's celebration dedicated to the man is well-deserved and we are immensely excited that he'll be there in the flesh to celebrate with us and his huge legion of fans," Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, executive producer of "St. Vincent", said in a statement.   Continued...

Actor Bill Murray arrives following a screening of "Ghostbusters" at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, September 5, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch