Inside Wes Anderson's world

The idiosyncratic director discusses his favorite actors to work with.

Wes Anderson has a thing for outsiders. Luckily, so do audiences. His latest film, "Moonrise Kingdom," offers another exploration into sad, oddball characters struggling against the confines of their lives. "That always has an appeal to me, and I don't know why. I've always been drawn to those kind of stories," Anderson admits. "This movie seems to be about a pack of lone wolves."


Making up that pack are a pair of runaway tweens (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) exploring young love on a rural New England island in 1965 while the folks they've run away from -- her parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), his scoutmaster (Edward Norton) and the local sheriff (Bruce Willis) -- track them down. The way Anderson sees it, everyone involved is an outsider. "The girl in the story is very isolated, even in her own family, and the boy has his own issues as he's orphaned," he explains. "Edward Norton is alone, he's dedicated to this little scout troop because I don't think he has anybody himself. "


While Anderson has a penchant for re-teaming with actors -- aside from regular collaborator Murray, Anderson vet Jason Schwartzman pops up in "Moonrise Kingdom" as well -- he doesn't plan so far ahead that he writes for specific actors. "I try to focus on making a character and not be tailored to one person," he says. "But most of this cast is people I had thought of before I finished the script. Having Bill Murray and Frances McDormand as a couple was something that came in early in the process."


So what is it about Murray -- who has appeared in all of Anderson's films save for his first, "Bottle Rocket" -- that keeps the director coming back to him? "One of the things I like about him is his feeling of anarchy," the very controlled director says. "That's something that I like about Bill Murray, his wildness. He's also just one of my favorite actors, period. I met him as his fan in the first place. The other thing is making a movie is a good place to have allies. You're usually up against something that doesn't want to get done. Bill Murray's a person you can rely on to help you force it to happen."

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