Edward Norton & Bruce Willis Interview For Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’
‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is the new movie directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore). Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl. Released on May 25th, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ marks Wes Anderson’s (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore) first live-action film since 2007′s ‘The Darjeeling Limited.’
How was it for you joining this world of Wes Anderson, with this particular story?
Bruce Willis: I found it really refreshing to be directed, to be asked to perform the part in a really specific way, the way that Wes saw the character. In a world where there’s a lot of films where you don’t rehearse, no one really talks to you about it. It was so nice to be asked to work in a certain way. ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is about love, it’s about new love, and young love, and love that has gotten mixed up and messed up….and is on fire, and nobody knows how to get the fire out. It’s all still the same story about how everybody needs to be loved, in some way. Even the cops (laughs).
Over the years, Wes Anderson has established a great stable of acting talent that join him in many of his film. How was it for you joining that in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’?
Edward Norton: It’s a dream to be in a company of actors. I think all us started out reading about Orson Wells and his Mercury Theatre, the group theatre. Any of those great ensembles that worked together, there’s a romance to that when you’re an actor, I used to dream a lot about how fun it would be to be in a troop like that. I think Wes has obviously over the years put together one of the great troops in modern cinema. And all actors want to be in it (laughs), I think every actor sees Wes Anderson’s new film come out and goes, “Oh God, that would have been so fun!” Then it turns out it is, which is surprising because you never know how making a movie is ever going to be. It turns out working with Wes is kind of like summer camp, and I think Wes plays the role that my character plays in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ – the scout troop leader, marching us through our skills, heading off on an adventure. It was completely delightful, just a completely delightful experience.
I can imagine it being pretty unique as well?
Edward Norton: It’s fun to have a lot of the trappings that start to surround movies taken away. Wes had us all doing our own hair and makeup, costumes, coming to set in vans together. There was no trailers. It was kind of everything you love about it when you’re a kid and you have your own video camera in your backyard. Just a great spirit and great fun to be included in Wes’ still growing company.
Set in 1965, in the pre-Vietnam War America, there’s some great interactions between the adults and children?
Bruce Willis: Yeah. What Wes makes in this film look really simple is directing and trying to tell a story through almost 60 young kids, that just seemed like they had been acting their whole lives. He just makes it look effortless. We were standing in the middle of fields, trying to not get bitten by ticks, and it’s a difficult task to keep everybody herded in and really focused on the story. Somehow….and quite possibly because many of us knew what 1965 looked like, and lived through that, and knew what came after that. So there is a kind of doomed feeling in the adults in the film. Maybe that was just me, but Frances McDormand is the real backbone of this film, she really holds it together and she really held the kids together. She’s great in this film, REALLY strong. That mother figure was just right.
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