Bill Murray says no to schmaltz

Bill Murray is glad the whole St. Vincent cast were working towards the same goal.

Bill Murray made sure to tell St. Vincent's director when the script "dipped into schmaltz".

The actor portrays the title character in the movie about a grumpy old man who is forced to change his ways when he starts babysitting the boy next door.

With a stellar cast including Naomi Watts, Chris O'Dowd and Melissa McCarthy, it's no wonder it was hit with critics. But Bill was very keen for man-at-the-helm Theodore Melfi to keep the tone just right.

"We all had a common purpose to keep it emotional without letting it get emotional," he explained to British newspaper Metro when asked about his co-stars.

"When a film starts to get too sentimental, that's when it ends up getting sloppy and schmaltzy and ugly.

"In my first conversation with the writer-director Ted Melfi, I said: 'At these points, your script dips into schmaltz. That c**p's gotta go.'"

With unconventional characters such as the booze-addicted gambler Vincent and pregnant prostitute Daka, played by Naomi, the film manages to keep the audience on their toes.

But Bill, 64, insists his part didn't require much preparation.

"I bought some go-go boots and panties. Oh wait, that was Naomi," he joked. "I don't know... [building a character] sounds like work. I just go in and try to be as relaxed as I can and let the other actors' words hit me. If the refrigerator's running, it just comes to you."

While Bill is taken with the project now, it wasn't easy to get him on board initially. That's because he doesn't have an agent and just has people leave message on his answering machine.

It might seem strange, but he insists it ensures he doesn't have films "jammed in his face".

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