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Bill Murray in Ljubljana: A Break From Autograph Hunters And Vodka in Streams

“Drink. Even though it’s water,” was his resolute response, when I asked him for a third time about Wes Andersen, and what he whispered to Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. Bill Murray made it very clear that his visit to our side of the Alps was not connected to his work – although he did come to Slovenia because of business.

“At movie premieres, there’s always a big bunch of professional autograph assholes. There are none here, at least for now,” was his reply when I asked him about the difference between crowds when he promotes a movie and when he promotes Slovenia Vodka. In recent years, since he became the co-owner of the brand, the latter has become his great joy. Every now and then you can see photographs of the 66-year-old behind the counter of a New York bar, dramatically pouring generous amounts of vodka into the glasses of his guests.

‘They ask me what I have with that Slovenia Vodka, why I advertise it so much – yeah, I had a great time whenever I drank it! I feel successful and simply good,’ says Murray, who once said that every vodka has a different impact on him – some make him feel polyglottic, others aggressive, whereas Slovenia Vodka has an incredibly beneficial effect on him. ‘When something is weighing you down when dark thoughts come to you, it disperses them.’

From a film promotion of whiskey to a real vodka promotion
Even though Slovenia Vodka is owned by three renowned Americans – besides Murray, there is also chef Peter X. Kelly and ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov – there is no doubt that the Hollywood star does the most for its promotion. In Lost in Translation, Murray portrayed an aging movie star who came to Tokyo to shoot a commercial for whiskey called Suntory. “For relaxing time, make it Suntory time!” is a line that his character kept repeating in a not really convincing manner.

He was clearly more convincing last night – despite the fact that he arrived looking drowsy at the event in the Union Hotel, as the day before he appeared at a music festival in Dresden, where he recited songs together with Jan Vogler. ‘He was called back to the stage three times! They haven’t seen anything like that at the festival before,’ explained Kelly, who had been trying to bring Murray to Slovenia for years.

Kelly was actually the one who came up with the idea of Slovenia Vodka, when he visited Slovenia for the first time and instantly fell in love with it. ‘I immediately noticed what great water you have, as if made for quality vodka. And precisely because of the fact that, as you say, vodka is not typical for Slovenes, it is ideal to develop this product here. The idea is to celebrate Slovenia,’ says Kelly, who also came up with the recipe. Their vodka is made by Fructal. According to Kelly, the secret of its elegance lies in a hint of buckwheat.

Source: RTVSLO.SI | Kaja Sajovic; translated by K. J.

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