Deadline sat down last night as part of the New York premiere of St. Vincent with writer-director Ted Melfi and the film’s stars Bill Murray, Naomi Watts and Jaeden Lieberher.

Bill MurrayTopics of the most amusing conversation that resulted included the painful real-life experiences Melfi had that led to the script, and how Murray helped him add some “topspin” to the writing to make the film much smarter and funnier.

Murray also talked about why he thought Melfi had “what it takes to et even the worst movie made,” and what’s great about working with a first-time director, and the precocious Lieberher talked about prepping to work with an irascible comedy legend such as Murray.

The Weinstein Company comedy, which opens October 24, also stars Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Terrence Howard. Expect a big awards push on this one — Murray is enjoying it enough to agree to attend the film’s premiere at the upcoming Hamptons International Film Festival.