Up Close and Personal with
Wes Anderson and
on the making of the
new release movie
by Carlin Langley
Imagine you're 17 years old, and at an LA dinner party. Your cousin just happens to be talking to
the casting director of a new movie project and she's having trouble finding the right young actor
to play the part in this movie. Your cousin suggests that you might be able to do it, she talks to
you, and next thing you know, you're walking out of your trailer to take the stage with Bill
Murray as co-star of a movie to be known as "Rushmore". Talk about being in the right place at
the right time! But that's exactly what happened to young Jason Schwartzman who plays Max
Fischer in Wes Anderson's new movie hitting theaters nationwide on February 5th.
In a whirlwind nationwide promotional tour living aboard a bus and only stopping for showers at
hotels (the hot water wasn't working on the bus!) and for personal appearances, they found
themselves in St. Louis on the fourth stop of their tour recently, arriving just before Pope John
Paul the 2nd! I talked with young Jason and Wes about the making of the movie which seems
destined to become one of the best hits of the year according to the rave reviews and award
nominations it's getting!
This is the first big hit movie for 29 year old Wes Anderson following on the heels of his first
released movie called "Bottle Rockets" a year ago. I asked him how he got into the business of
making movies. He replied, "It was just something I had always been interested in as a kid. I had
made alot of super 8 movies and things like that and I also did theater and wrote stories and
everything, so it was just always my interest." I commented how it looks as if he might have
made himself a winner with this one considering the awards it has received:
Winner, LA Film Critics Assn.: Best Supporting Actor, Bill Murray.
Winner, LA Film Critics Assn.: New Generation Filmmaker, Wes Anderson.
Winner, NY Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actor, Bill Murray.
Golden Globe Nomination: Best Supporting Actor, Bill Murray.
It's also made the Top Ten Lists of virtually every major movie reviewer in the country! There's
even talk about Bill Murray being nominated for an Oscar.
I asked Wes if there were any glitches or problems making the movie, and he said, "Actually it
went pretty smooth. I think the worst of the glitches was when we were filming the scene where
Bill Murray had to be attacked by a room full of bees. We had a hotel room that was full of bees,
and everyone was in these protective outfits except for Murray because he was in the scene. And
since Murray didn't have it on, I didn't want to have one on so he wouldn't be walking into a
room full of people in protective outfits. That was sort of the scariest scene was the making of the
bee attack scene. The only one who ended up getting stung was the script supervisor. When a bee
lands on you, you don't try to kill it and go flailing your arms around cause he's not going to hurt
you. As long as you're calm then they don't bother you."
I commented that Bill Murray had aged somewhat since I had last seen him. Wes said, "Well, we
made his hair greyer, and things like that. We wanted him to look more mature, cause he was
playing a father type role. He has children in real life, but he's never had them in a movie before.
He's also playing a somewhat dignified role, he's a businessman and all of that and it's kind of a
different role for him."
Jason Schwartzman said being in this movie and taking this promotional tour was really a "kind of
crazy experience! It would be nicer if we had hot water!! And you're constantly moving and
you're never in one time zone long enough to know what time it is!" Acting alongside of Bill
Murray was "incredible because I admire him so much. So to be able to watch someone you
admire to work and do their job it's kind of an incredible treat and luxury. To watch someone you
trust and love do their thing, and learn from them... you know I learned so much!" I asked Jason
what was his favorite Bill Murray movie up till now and he said, "Well, I'm a big SNL (Saturday
Night Live) fan, and I liked "What About Bob" alot and I liked "Stripes", so probably "Stripes"
and "What about Bob" although "Scrooged" I really liked." I mentioned that I liked "Groundhog
Day". Jason quickly added, ""Groundhog Day" is awesome too!! It's impossible to narrow them
down, they're just all so awesome! They told me he was going to be doing it with me and I almost
wanted to quit, right there, cause I didn't think I could take it. I walked into the audition and they
said that Bill Murray was going to be doing it, and I said, 'Oh God!!'"
I asked what was the most memorable thing about the whole experience for him. He said, "The
whole thing was pretty insane. The first day was pretty scary, showing up on the set at 5:30 in the
morning and walking into my trailer, and there was the whole "Max Fischer" outfit just hanging
there, like a character, just hanging there, and putting it all on, and putting on the shoes, and I
walk out and someone gave me my glasses, and I remember that feeling of those glasses going on
my face, and it was pretty amazing, that all of a sudden, I was Max Fischer! And then Wes
walked up to me and said, 'Ok, this is our first shot.' and off we went! It was just incredible!"
It took about 3 months for them to shoot the movie. Jason said he would like to continue this
acting thing, although he plays in a band called Phantom Planet, and he's trying to "divvy the two
up, cause I've really fallen in love with this acting thing and I'd really like to do it again, and
explore it." Rumor has it that there might be a sequel in the works already with the same cast!
Jason said that there are some similarities between him and the Max Fischer character. "We have
certain things in common. I write plays and he writes plays, I fell in love with an older woman
too... I was fourteen and she was twenty. She was a U.C.L.A. swimmer, and it was incredible.
But I only told her I loved her and it was over. But Max and I are quite different too."
I asked him if there was any embarrassing moments in the making of the movie and he said,
"Well, I did one scene with my fly open and it was kind of drafty, but other than that, nothing
really juicy happened!"
Rushmore opens nationwide on February 5th. Don't miss it!!!
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