Article by Tony Sokol
It was recently reported that Bill Murray was hypnotized to get over his cat allergy long enough to shoot a scene in the film “St. Vincent,” but the actor has a long history with hypnosis. Bill Murray was 34 years old when he hypnotized an ailing Brit in “The Razor’s Edge” from 1984.
“The Razor’s Edge” was the second movie adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s 1944 novel about a spiritual quest. The 1946 film starred Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. The former Saturday Night Live Not Ready for Prime Time player co-wrote the screenplay with the director John Byrum. The movie co-starred Theresa Russell, Catherine Hicks, Denholm Elliott, Brian Doyle-Murray and James Keach.
The title “The Razor’s Edge,” comes from the ancient Hindu text called the “Upanishads” and Murray studied the part of Larry Darrell, a World War I pilot who looks for the meaning of life after being traumatized in the air. Along the way he learns about the health benefits of hypnosis. Murray had just come off the hits “Stripes” and “Caddyshack.” “The Razor’s Edge” was Murray’s first flop.
In “St. Vincent,” Murray plays a hermit who lives with his cat Felix. Murray recently sat for hypnosis sessions to treat his allergy.
“I read someplace that allergies are psychosomatic (caused by the mind) and you can actually hypnotize yourself and overcome the allergy,” Murray told Ellen DeGeneres in a recent interview.
“So I used to do that. I used to go to girls’ houses and they had cats and all of a sudden I’d be looking at them crying and they’d be like, ‘What did I say?’ and I’d go, ‘No, it’s not you!’ So I learned to hypnotize myself and get over it.”
Murray also learned that he could control his own self-hypnosis.
“But then I decided I didn’t really like cats that much, so I stopped. I’m more of a dog guy. But for the movie I went back to that and it worked.”
Murray has been reported to be a hypnosis enthusiast for quite a while. During the shooting of “Groundhog Day,” Dish Nation quoted a source saying Murray was “completely obsessed with getting hypnotized, and has sessions multiple times a week to cure every little ailment he has. Whether it be a sleepless night, anxiety, eating problem, allergies or even stress over a troubled relationship — you name it, he’s treated it with hypnotherapy.”
According to reports, the 64-year-old actor kept a hypnotherapist on call at all times.
“Bill has two hypnotherapists that he works with, and he’s adamant they are the only two he trusts,” the report quoted an insider as saying.
“He calls them around-the-clock, and if he can’t make it to their offices, he’ll fly them to wherever he is. While Bill’s infatuation with hypnosis may sound funny, his loved ones have become concerned. They say he needs to get some hypnosis to treat his hypnosis obsession because it’s gotten so out of hand.”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting hypnotherapy sessions on a regular basis,” NYC Consulting Hypnotist Elena Beloff commented. “Hypnosis sessions are all about relaxing mentally and hearing positive things about something you need, your upcoming performance, audition, relationships, a new job, self-esteem and so on. If we hear negative things from our environment regularly and even sometimes negative things from ourselves to ourselves (in the form of inner dialogue, like doubts, fears and worry), then meditation and positive thinking should be a part of our daily life. If you can’t afford regular hypnosis sessions, you can practice self-hypnosis or use digital recordings for self-empowerment.”
Bill Murray appears to still be walking the razor’s edge of self improvement.