HomeTechnologyWes Anderson Says Pandemic Lockdown Helped Inspire Asteroid City - UnlistedNews

Wes Anderson Says Pandemic Lockdown Helped Inspire Asteroid City – UnlistedNews

Wes Anderson’s new film mixes westerns, drama, 1950s Americana and an alien in a blender for another of his star-studded atypical mash-ups that he says is about “taking into account forces beyond your control.” .

As always, Asteroid City, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, features a cast list that reads like a Hollywood phone book. Newcomers to the Anderson family, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell and Margot Robbie join longtime collaborators Scarlett Johansson and Edward Norton and regulars Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton in the film.

The one-off director never seems overly influenced by real-world events, but he told AFP that the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact. “This movie is certainly based on the weirdest viral moment in recent history,” he said. “Writing it during this pandemic, in the midst of the tightest lockdown, we weren’t sure we’d ever get back out there, so I think that’s about it.”

Hanks is ‘intimidating’

Asteroid City is a strange and complicated story set in a remote desert town where a group of genius kids gather for a scientific competition that is interrupted by an alien visitor, leaving them locked up in quarantine. But in typical Andersonian convoluted fashion, the desert story is presented as a play being performed in New York.

Anderson says he wanted to pay tribute to the actors, who remain a mystery to him, even after working with the biggest names in the industry. “A lot of the actors are my friends now, but they’re different on set though,” Anderson said. “Actors recognize something in each other that normal people don’t go through: this being the one everyone is going to see. It has this weird and interesting effect. It became part of what the movie is about.”

Working with Hanks was a pleasure, he told AFP, although he was nervous at first. “He’s a wonderful actor, but also a huge movie star…he’s intimidating.”

“But his attitude on set is: you suggest something and he’s like, ‘Sorry, I should have thought of that.’ That encourages you to be better because you are empowered by this person with such an aura.”

Scarlett’s smoky voice

One person who is conspicuously absent is Bill Murray, who has appeared in every Anderson film since Rushmore in 1998. “Bill was cast in a role, but then he came down with covid three days before we were supposed to shoot.” Anderson said. “We replaced him very quickly with the wonderful Steve Carell, who was great.”

Fortunately, Murray’s health improved to hang out on set for the last shoot, he added, and Carell makes a hilarious cameo as a hotel owner.

What Anderson likes most about his actors is their voice, something he discovered when he cast George Clooney in the lead role in the animated film Fantastic Mr Fox. “It was only when I recorded George that I realized how much his voice is about. And that goes for most actors, a lot depends on the voice.”

Johansson, who did the voiceover for Anderson’s Isle of Dogs (2018), “has this wonderful, slightly smoky voice,” he said. Arguably, no director has ever had a style as immediately recognizable as Anderson’s: the symmetrical game-house-like sets, the bright colors and deadpan irony. He can’t help it.

“There’s a way that I do scenes that are just me,” he said. “It’s more of a condition than a choice.”

Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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