So what's it like for an actor working on a Wes Anderson movie? "It's like summer vacation," says Edward Norton. "And Wes is like the camp counsellor. He plans the activities for the day and says 'This is what we're going to do.'" This is not simply Norton feeling overwhelmed by playing a scoutmaster in Moonrise Kingdom; both on screen and behind the camera, Anderson's films have a deliciously homespun feel. On any standard movie set, the actors all get trailers to relax in while the crew set up the camera. "Wes didn't want that to be the way he made movies, so he got rid of the trailers," explains Jason Schwartzman, who has known the director since starring in his second feature, Rushmore. Removing the actors' creature comforts isn't some act of cruelty; rather it's a way of inspiring camaraderie. "It's all about actors and the crew being a family," says Schwartzman.
With the actors urged to stay on set between set-ups, they're also responsible for maintaining their own costumes, hair and make-up. "It's like being in a theatre group," says Norton. So much so, many of the group even lived together. "We would all come home," says Norton. "Everybody took a shower and then Bill [Murray] would put on his Chicago Cubs bathrobe and Wes would wear his little English Ascot and come down and have dinner. It was great."
While the actors would hang out, and chat about the day's work, Anderson would retire to his makeshift editing bay to cut together the footage - a dedication that seems to envelop all the cast. "Working on a normal movie is like a cup of coffee - with a spike and a drop," says Schwartzman. "I feel like working with Wes is more like strong tea. You get to the set and you're basically shooting about 10 minutes after you get there. You just never stop."
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