Re-releasing in theaters, The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of my favorite films of 2014. Now it’s been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume, Best Makeup & Hairstyling and Best Original Score. So it’s safe to say, people like it. When speaking with the cast for the original release last March, the cast spoke almost exclusively on how much they loved working on this movie. Here are some of the best moments. Enjoy!
“Wes is a friend now.” – Adrien Brody reminisces about working on The Darjeeling Limited saying, “it was really special. I shared so much with Wes and Owen and Jason and Roman Coppola. It was a very inspirational time.”
Sees a different side of actors – Both Adrien Brody and Ralph Fiennes are not typically known for comedy. Adrien Brody: “Wes is one of the first directors that believed in me as a comedic actor, which I’m very appreciative of. They are intelligent, subtle and unique characters. They are not superficial comedies.
Such a huge fan of Wes – Soairse Ronan: “I would never not say “yes” to Wes. When I heard that he was going to send me the script to read, I genuinely thought it was a joke or there was something more to it. I really am such a huge fan of his. It was the first time for me that I was such a huge fan and wanted to work with them so much.”
Different type of acting – Soairse Ronan: “I was nervous about it because the style of acting that he has in his films is so different. There’s a theatrical element, a sort of dry humor, that requires a perfect balance in every performance, and I was nervous about being able to do that.”
Details are important, yet not at all – Soairse’s character, Agatha, has a birthmark on the side of her face in the shape of Mexico, yet that does not define her character whatsoever. “It’s just mentioned in passing.”
Characters – Soairse Ronan: “I love that all his characters have a real quirk to them. With Wes, you’re guaranteed to have an interesting character to play in every single role. Even the guys in the prison.” Willem Dafoe: “There’s something beautiful about these bad characters.”
Accents – In one sitting, Soairse and Wes tried out all types of accents including German and English, but decided on using Soairse’s own Irish accent. She was shocked because she’s never done her own accent. Soairse Ronan: “I don’t know what that sounds like when I read dialogue in my own accent. The Irish have a feistiness to them but they are also very warm and welcoming.”
“Being an actor beats working for a living.” – However, Adrien Brody goes on to say, “It’s hard work to play. What’s painful is to do something I dislike, because I’m required to do it, day in, day out and not have a reprieve from it. I make the choice if this is a journey I want to go down.”
Moustaches – According to Ralph Fiennes: “Everyone had to have a moustache.” Tony Revolori’s had to be “drawn on every day and every day taken off.” He describes being told by Wes, “By the way, you’re going to have a moustache.” To which he replied, “I can’t grow one!” He was told by Wes that he was never to have anyone drawn it but on his own. He then comments that he “did it recently and the muscle memory is still there.”
Great sense of community – The actors all stayed in the same hotel and were served breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to Willem Dafoe, Wes Anderson had a special chef brought in. They laughed together and shared stories of the day.
No dialogue improvisation – Wes Anderson: “It’s all ready and organized, but when the actors come in, it’s chaos. They take over. We usually do lots and lots of takes, very quickly. We work very very fast. It’s not a meticulous, orderly experience shooting. It’s very frenetic, which I like, but it’s particular.” Willem Dafoe: “People assume because it’s all worked out that it’s not fun, but that’s the fun.”
Personal collaboration – Willem Dafoe: “With Wes, he’s making these things for you. If there’s something you don’t respond to, there’s an adjustment. However, you usually want to respond to it because it’s so complete.”
“It’s not a studio budget” – Ralph Fiennes elaborates that there was an “inventiveness” on how the script was realized by using classic techniques. There’s a long shot when Gustav and Zero arrive at the railway station. He goes on to say that Wes has a “childish delight” in how he films.
Production design – Ralph Fiennes, in particular, was “fascinated by the production design.” He explains that “one of the great pleasures was that there was a lot of old tricks to create the impression of an opulent time.”
A new world – Because of the use of the wide lenses, there’s a level of distortion on set. As Ralph Fiennes says, “to read straight,” the pictures would have to be crooked on the wall. “Wes is obsessed with horizontal lines.” Jeff Goldblum: After leaving the film, “you go away thinking you’ve been on an acid trip.”
Trust Wes – Ralph Fiennes describes one of the first scenes he shot set the stage for his performance. Wes showed him how he wanted Ralph to walk around the table. “Felt totally not natural, but went with it.” He adds, “one just has to take a leap. Once you cross the bridge, you know how it goes. You get on the bus. You want to make it work.”
Originally posted on Cinemit