Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’: The Cast, Director and Writer Speak
Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom (currently in theaters), is the sweet coming of age story of two kids in love and also my favorite Wes Anderson movie. But even if you aren’t a fan of Anderson, this is a movie not to miss, that will remind you of this familiar feeling of falling in love for the first time.
Anderson assembled a pretty stunning cast for his film, including Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel and Bob Balaban. He is also introducing two wonderful newcomers, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who play the two main characters Sam and Suzy.
But there is more to learn about this lovely film. Director/Writer/Producer Wes Anderson, along with writer Roman Coppola and cast members Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman and Bob Balaban, took some time to talk to Film Equals and other journalists present during a press event and here are some of the things we learned.
Wes Anderson’s Intention For the Film
Anderson explained that he doesn’t usually think about the reaction he wants from the audience when he makes a movie. In the case of Moonrise Kingdom, he did have an emotion that he wanted to re-create, something he remembered feeling at that age. He wants to make a story and an experience, but everyone will have a different reaction to it and he’s interested in finding out what those reactions are.
Part of the inspiration for the movie is based on an island Anderson has been visiting for the past 15 years in New England.
Creating The Two Main Characters
Anderson started with the feeling he had from that age and then moved into who these characters were more specifically and who are their families are, then he moved on to creating the world around them. He has an idea of the feeling he wants to conjure up, but he added that at some point it becomes an unconscious process for him.
Why Set The Movie in 1960s?
That happens to be a spontaneous decision that happened when Anderson was writing the role of the narrator. He explained, “I sort of just wrote the sentence. The year is 1965.” He thought it ought to be set in an America that doesn’t exist anymore, and in an America that is going to change radically in the next few year.
On The Esthetic Of His Films
Anderson shared, “I think with each movie I have a world I want to create that is just that movie, that I hope is sort of a place where the audience has not been before and that is completely different from my other movies.
I also have certain themes that are just the way I always do it, which are not really about building that world, and that I think is more of my handwriting as a director. The way I like to move the camera and the sort of shots and staging that I get excited about. And that aspect of it is not something I really contemplate when I’m doing a movie. I’ve come to realize it’s my personality and I could try to force myself to change my handwriting, but short of that, this is just the way I do it and this is my version of this world.”
On Doing Something Different
When asked if he planned to do something different in his future films, he answered “I always think I am doing something totally different.” Although he does think that because he has only done movies he wrote with a collaborator, it could be the reasons his films seem very similar.
As far as directing something he hadn’t written, Anderson continued, “It’s not like I’m turning down offers left and right to do big blockbusters or really any other thing. I don’t really even see any offers, so I’m pretty focused on just doing whatever is my next thing I kind of have in mind.”
What’s Next For Wes Anderson?
Anderson has just finished a script for a new film set in Europe, but he wouldn’t say much more about, so you’ll have to be patient to find out more.
Roman Coppola To The Rescue!
When asked about his involvement in Moonrise Kingdom, Coppola explained that he happened to be visiting Anderson, who had been stuck after writing 10 pages of the story for quite some time. He started asking him some questions about the story which helped Anderson get his story out.
The Narrator Shoot
Because Balaban was familiar with Anderson’s films he figured that being the narrator would also mean he most likely wouldn’t be cut out of the film’ final cut.
He also shared that it was fun to get to be at a different location to shoot each line (you’ll see why that is once you watch the movie). The crew consisted of Anderson + a crew of about 7 people.
As for improv, there were none. Anderson had already shot most of it with him being the narrator to see what it looked like, so he had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted the day of the shoot.
When asked what the most surprising thing about their experience on the film was, Balaban joked that he was surprised by how many tics were on the island.
For Hayward, it was the fact that the movie was shot out of order (remember this is her first film experience), but she now understands why they do it that way.
As for Gilman, he was surprised by how nice everyone was on the set.
Bill Murray’s Tips
Gilman mentioned that Bill Murray gave him a few tips during the shoot. One of them is that he should hum in the morning to help warm up his voice. And fun fact, he also taught him how to tie a tie.
That’s all, but if you haven’t seen Moonrise Rising, make sure to catch a screening and experience the film for yourself.
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