SR: A lot of folks worry that if they aren’t available or don’t say yes, they’ll stop getting asked.
BM: If you keep saying yes, they’ll stop asking you, too. That’s a much more likely event. I think we’re all sort of imprisoned by — or at least bound to — the choices we make, and I think everyone in the acting business wants to make the right choices. You want to say no at the right time and you want to say yes more sparingly. I came out of the old Second City in Chicago. Chicago actors are more hard-nosed. They’re tough on themselves and their fellow actors. They’re self-demanding. Saying no was very important. Integrity is probably too grand a word, but if you’re not the voice of Mr. Kool-Aid, then you’re still free. You’re not roped in.
This reminds me a little bit of a book called essentialism which talks about saying no to things. It doesn’t quite match up, as Murray sways into type casting, but the impetus is similar.