Scarlett Johansson Describes Therapeutic Reunion With Bill Murray

Scarlett Johansson ran into her Lost in Translation co-star Bill Murray in a bar and had unexpectedly bittersweet feelings.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Published

scarlett johansson

Some actors like Jon Hamm are known for developing strong relationships with their on-set co-stars. Jurassic Park actors Joe Mazzello and Ariana Richards recently reunited after a number of years and reignited their on-screen bond. According to a recent article from People, Scarlett Johansson’s unplanned reunion with Lost in Translation co-star Bill Murray brought up unexpected bittersweet feelings.

While being interviewed by fellow Marvel actress Gwyneth Paltrow for a Goop podcast, Scarlett Johansson described accidentally running into former co-star Bill Murray in an almost deserted bar with her ex-boyfriend after not seeing him for over a decade. The actress described their reuniting as “cathartic” and “therapeutic,” describing that it was “like a dream.”

Johansson referenced that they were able to talk about their time filming Lost in Translation, and she was able to learn more about what contributed to some of what she called the actor’s “manic” antics, including some of the personal and family struggles Murray was undergoing at the time of filming. 

Lost in Translation was directed by Sofia Coppola and stars Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Anna Faris, and Giovanni Ribisi. The film centers on the story of an unlikely friendship between Bob (Murray), an aging actor, and Charlotte (Johansson), a young woman in a struggling marriage, during their stay at a hotel in Tokyo. Both bond over feeling stuck in an unfamiliar city, and are both on the cusp of an uncertain but looming life change.

Both Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray received a ton of critical praise for their roles, as well as Sofia Coppola for her directorial contributions. The film ended up earning four Academy Award nominations, eventually winning for Best Original Screenplay.

Her part alongside Bill Murray in Lost in Translation was a career-shifting role for Scarlett Johansson, who, at the time, was making a transition to adult film roles. Johansson had previously worked on younger adult roles in films like Home Alone 3 and The Horse Whisperer in the late 90s. The film’s success launched her into becoming one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and the actress has since made appearances in big-budget films like The Avengers, Black Widow, Marriage Story, and Her

Unlike Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray was already one of the most recognizable figures in comedic acting during the 80s and 90s. Murray was known for starring in films like Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Space Jam, and Caddy Shack before starring in Lost in Translation. His dramatic turn in the film proved that he could extend his range into dramatic acting and cemented him as one of the leading male actors of the time.

Both Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray have faced controversy in more recent years. While Johansson’s role in Ghost in the Shell was lambasted for its choice to cast a non-Asian actress in a canonically Asian role, Murray has recently been accused of sexual misconduct as well as general misconduct on various sets.

Despite this, both Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray have had extremely successful careers in Hollywood and, much like their characters, Lost in Translation would prove to be a pivotal moment for each of their careers. It’s always heartwarming to see a genuine bond between actors play out on film, and even more so when that bond can stand the test of time.