Cannes Film Festival launched in spectacular fashion with Wes Anderson’s latest film 'Moonrise Kingdom', an ode to childhood fantasies of escapism, love and belonging. Boasting a cast list including Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton, the film focuses on two young twelve year old lovers who run away from the respective tormentors with no real plan or supplies, except a suitcase of fantasy books and some impressive survival skills.
The thing I’m most thankful for in my life is when I came home from school my mum would be watching an old film or listening to music very loudly, and I could see it was affecting her very deeply
Dazed Digital met up with the fabulously stylish Jason Schwartzman, whose career was launched by Anderson’s 'Rushmore' back in 1998, to chat about working with his favourite director and bashing the drums.
Dazed Digital: Do you remember meeting Wes for the first time?
Jason Schwartzman: Yes, I walked in and he had these Converse sandals on, I’d never seen something like that. We instantly started talking about stuff and about the band Weezer and the album 'Pinkerton' that had come out. I felt so relaxed, we just remained close. He is a mentor to me, technically and he’s my best friend and someone who is a teacher in many ways and an advice giver.
DD: How much of your approach as an actor is informed from your very early experience working with him?
Jason Schwartzman: A tonne of it. Once I started doing my TV show, you work with a different director each week, but ultimately the way I work with Wes is just engrained in me, which is a very certain way.
DD: Did you see any similarities between your character in 'Rushmore' and Sam in 'Moonrise'?
Jason Schwartzman: Yeah, they both have deceased parents. For me they make straight-laced people uncomfortable, so I guess in a way they’re not like total misfits, but they don’t know how to understand them. Wes has a really great talent for casting and assembling people and getting people together who are curious in their own ways. He finds people who are interesting, he loves individuals with their own thing. When I saw the audition for Jared, I just thought he was awesome.
DD: Was being part of the Coppola family instrumental to your career?
Jason Schwartzman: The thing I’m most thankful for in my life is when I came home from school my mum would be watching an old film or listening to music very loudly, and I could see it was affecting her very deeply. She never forced me to do any of this, but I witnessed that a movie or piece of music could be more than just a thing on a television or something coming out of speakers, it could be very powerful.
DD: Do you experience links between playing drums and acting?
Jason Schwartzman: There are all the obvious differences, I think when you’re in a band and things are going really well and it feels really good, I think it can be a very similar feeling to acting. I think there is just a natural basic structure to things and I do think everyone has a harmony, I believe in that harmony. But I don’t think there’s anything like being in a live band, it’s so physical, you’re just working yourself up into something.
DD: What do you like best about working with Wes?
Jason Schwartzman: Wes is the best. I like to be directed, I like someone who knows what they want and at the same time and at the same time are interested in what could happen, and I think that’s where Wes is, he’s up for any idea. I don’t like total freedom, I like Wes because I like to have very clear guidelines for going to have fun.
DD: Have you noticed a change in Wes’ approach since you worked on Rushmore?
Jason Schwartzman: On 'Darjeeling Limited' it was a major departure. The other movies there were trailers and hair and makeup department and all the things you’re supposed to have on a film set. But what can happen when there aren’t trailers or there aren’t hair and makeup areas, actors tend to wander off into all these places and you end up waiting around a long time and you don’t get as much work done and no one hangs out with each other, it’s ridiculous.
DD: Did you work with Charlie Sheen on your new film?
Jason Schwartzman: Yes, he’s the best, so great; he’s a poet!
'Moonrise Kingdom' is released across the UK today. Read our interview with Wes Anderson HERE