Bill Murray has made a career of playing depressed, offbeat characters (What About Bob, Lost in Translation and Rushmore). And, up until last May, those characters sharply contrasted with his real-life persona as a happy-go-lucky guy.
It was last May that Murray says the bottom dropped out when his wife of nearly 11 years filed for divorce. In the papers filed by Jennifer Butler Murray, she alleged that Murray abused her and was addicted to alcohol and marijuana.
"That was devastating," Murray said. "That was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my entire life."
The actor, 58, is currently helping publicize City of Ember, a film opening Friday in which he co-stars with Tim Robbins and Saoirse Ronan, the young star of Atonement.
The film was shot in Belfast, Ireland, before Murray's divorce. A judge ruled that Murray's four children would live with their mother, plummeting the actor into months of depression.
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"I was just dead, just broken," he said of the situation. "When you're really in love with someone and this happens--I never had anything like this happen. It's like your faith in people is destroyed because the person you trusted the most you can no longer trust at all...The person you know isn't there anymore."
But Murray says he has started to build himself back up again.
''I've had a great deal of success in life -- not just money or fame or anything like that -- I just feel like I've done well in many areas of life,'' said Murray. ''I've learned how to live and I think I've learned things about living. It's almost like: `OK, you learned that much, now let's try this. Let's see how you can do if this happens to you.'''