Moonrise Kingdom Cast
: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward Director
: Wes Anderson Genre
: Comedy, Drama, RomanceRated
: PGRunning Time
: 94 minutesSynopsis
: Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl.Release Date
: August 30th, 2012Website
About the Production
It could have been a risky proposition for a film director to cast in key roles two newcomers with little or no experience.
But, as Moonrise Kingdom producer Jeremy Dawson notes, "Wes Anderson trusts his instincts, so it came down to whom he felt he could visualise in these two roles - and, once again, he's hit it out of the park in terms of the casting."
Youngsters Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward won Wes Anderson over at different junctures of what was an extensive casting process.
After an initial audition and three more callbacks over the course of six months, Jared Gilman remembers, "I was getting in the car with my mom on the way home from school, and I asked her if she had any news. She didn't answer; she called up my father instead, and he pulled a Ryan Seacrest [/American Idol results buildup] on me, before he told me I got the part. I screamed, I laughed, and I cried. It was probably the happiest day of my life."
Kara Hayward's mother was more straightforward in delivering the good news. The actress recalls, "I had just come home from school, and my mother said, 'Guess what?' and I said, 'What?' and she said, 'You got the role.' It took me a minute to digest. It was thrilling. My little five-minute video from the open call got me the movie.
"I love my character. Suzy Bishop is misunderstood at home; she is among three little brothers, a father with issues, and a mother who is having an affair. She's very sensitive yet also a tough girl."
Jared Gilman saw his character of Sam Shakusky as "a good kid with amazing scouting skills; he's earned all these badges. But he's mistreated by his foster brothers - Sam is an orphan - and by the other Khaki Scouts. He meets Suzy at a church pageant and, over a year, they create a plan to run away together."
Despite being new to films, the two young stars applied themselves with aplomb and dedication. Both of them memorised the entire script as preparation before arriving on location.
"People tell me I have a good memory," states Kara Hayward. "So that didn't really take me long. I read it over until I finally knew it."
For Jared Gilman, the process was by necessity a little lengthier. He explains, "I had to memorise some of the script for the callbacks. Then, before filming, I went to several rehearsals with Kara Hayward for which I memorised basically all of my part. By the time we started officially shooting, I really had the script down; it was recorded read onto a file, and I listened to that over and over again on my phone."
The young stars would also rehearse together in the production office before going to the set. But preparation entailed much more than merely learning their lines; Wes Anderson wanted them to explore their characters, to feel comfortable in their skins, and to understand who they were and why Suzy and Sam do what they do. So, he assigned the kids some homework.
Jared Gilman recounts, "I took canoeing lessons, a couple of karate lessons, and learned some cooking - there's scenes where I have to cook over a fire."
With a nod to the movie's 1965 setting, Jared Gilman notes that "Wes also had me watch a [1963-set] Clint Eastwood movie, Escape from Alcatraz; it was very good. And I had my parents to rely on, since they grew up in the 1960s."
Kara Hayward reveals, "Wes Anderson had Jared Gilman and I write letters to each other. Because in the story, Sam and Suzy write letters for a year to each other after they meet. He would have us start with the beginnings of their sentences -"
"Because in the script, the letters cut off [into the next ones] mid-sentence," adds Jared Gilman. "Wes Anderson thought maybe we could finish them."
Given the world they live in and have come of age in, the two young performers began the assigned homework of their own correspondences through e-mails. But Wes Anderson swiftly put a stop to that. "I don't think he felt that the e-mails were authentic enough," KaraHayward says. "He wanted the letters."
Once they abandoned electronic transmission for old-fashioned epistles, they embraced the task wholeheartedly. Kara Hayward says, "I learned a lot about Jared Gilman. He's very entertaining!"
Jared Gilman remarks, "Kara Hayward's letters even had a little label on the top that said, 'Suzy Bishop,' with a fake address."
Once production began, Jared Gilman found the most difficult part to be "the early mornings," while Kara Hayward was "shocked" to discover that films are typically shot out of sequence.
Then again, she notes, "I had no clue what to expect because I'd never been in a movie or a commercial or anything, just school plays and plays at summer camp. From reading the script on, it was all more than I thought it was going to be. My favourite part about the production was watching the other actors work. That was inspiring.
"What helped me get into character was listening to Wes Anderson. He would say, 'This is what's happening. This isn't Kara Hayward doing these things. This is Suzy.'"
Picking up on those cues from his leading lady and his director, Jared Gilman would get into character "on the set. Whenever I put on Sam's coonskin cap and his glasses - a change from my normal glasses - it was, 'Now I'm Sam.'"
On a weekend day off, Wes Anderson would invite the pair to see edited dailies and would discuss screen chemistry with them. However, Gilman notes, "Wes had us rehearse scenes, but not the kissing one; he wanted that to feel natural, since it's the first time kissing for Sam and Suzy."
Another discovery came when Frances McDormand, who portrays Suzy's mother Mrs. Bishop, pointed out to Kara Hayward the typewriter in her character's office. Kara Hayward had never seen one before "in real life," and said so. "Frances McDormand thought that was so funny," Kara Hayward laughs. "She showed me how it worked, typing out our names. The props helped me feel like I was in the 1960s."
Frances McDormand made a strong impression on the younger actress. Kara Hayward reflects, "Frances McDormand is amazing. My favourite scene is probably the one where Suzy is in the bathtub and talking with her mother. It's very tender and loving, and emotional; it shows how Suzy is feeling.
"Seeing Frances McDormand become a different person, and me having to do the same, was awesome. I loved being able to be so different from who I normally am."
Jared Gilman was also taken under the wing of accomplished costars; Bruce Willis encouraged him to review and run lines before shooting, even if the words were already committed to memory.
Additionally, reveals Jared Gilman, "Bill Murray overheard me tell one of the costumers that I didn't know how to tie a tie, so he called me over. He basically put his hands around mine and did it, and then had me try it. That's how I learned to tie a tie."
Bill Murray offers, "Well, you do what you have to; once I showed a kid how to shave, and this time I showed a kid how to tie a tie."
Kara Hayward confides, "Bill Murray also told Jared Gilman and me to hum in the morning to get our voices ready for filming. It really works!"
Another cast member had to get his voice ready even when no other actors did; Bob Balaban is both heard and seen as the Narrator in Moonrise Kingdom. "When I first read the script, I couldn't put it down," says the veteran actor and filmmaker, who then spent weeks growing out his beard to meet Wes Anderson's conception of the character of the Narrator. "It was really entertaining, with great characters and dialogue that was shot pretty much exactly as written; the words we had to say were so good."
He adds, "That you see the Narrator reflects the style of the movie. Suzy, the young girl, reads a lot and loves adventure books for kids. I'd say I'm kind of like the voice of the book, her own adventure, that she's writing in her head. But my character also has an on-screen connection to the boy."
"What's universal and relatable about Moonrise Kingdom is that this is a story about first love and a magical summer," comments Jeremy Dawson. "It's about a young boy and girl who run away to be together. There is a sweetness and charm to this movie, and it's also funny.
"The title references the cove that the two kids run away to. It has the technical name of Mile 3.25 Tidal Inlet on the map - but for them it's a secret, magical place, so they re-name it: Moonrise Kingdom."
Both the technical name and the more meaningful one represent the creative attention to detail that moviegoers have come to expect from a Wes Anderson picture. Anderson collaborated with his fellow filmmaker Roman Coppola in writing the script for Moonrise Kingdom, marking the second time that the two have scripted Wes Anderson's ideas into the road map of a movie, following The Darjeeling Limited (2007).
Bob Balaban notes that he was struck by how "Wes Anderson makes movies according to his own particular sensibilities. His is not just a talented mind; it is an organised and kind one. He makes movies like nobody else, and he's not trying to do it to be different; he's doing it because that's who he is."
What is evident to any and all working with Wes Anderson is how precise his directing style is; he knows exactly what he wants, and how he will proceed to get it, before arriving on set each day. This, however, only makes him relish the process even more; he exhibits a sense of pure joy through his direction. Actors and crew alike are invited to share in, and contribute to, his vision.
"He has a firm hand, yet things are very relaxed on the set," reports Bill Balaban. "Actors love him. He'll let you alone if things are going well; if he has something to talk to you about, he'll be very articulate."
"As a writer, a producer, and the director, Wes Anderson is involved in every element of the film, from clothing design to casting," adds Jeremy Dawson. "All of it contributes to the world that he wants to create."
Wes Anderson's enthusiasm spreads to cast and artisans, many of whom will collaborate with him on more than one project. As one such returnee, Jeremy Dawson notes, "He wants the movie to be an adventure for all the people involved in making it, whether it's getting on a train in India or traveling on a boat in the Mediterranean. Making this movie definitely lived up to that tradition.
"He is always trying to evolve as a director, trying new things and learning from his experiences on previous movies."
"Wes cares about the process," says set decorator Kris Moran. "But he also cares about everybody around him, about the on-set environment; it brings out the best in you. When you're making a movie, that's a creative place you want to be in."
Even when calling for multiple takes to get a scene exactly the way he's envisioned it, Wes Anderson remains calm and won't press to "make the day." This would serve him particularly well on Moonrise Kingdom since key members of the cast, and most of the extras, were children.
"Wes deals with children so well - in much the same way that Steven Spielberg does. He's encouraging to them," observes Bob Balaban.
Wes Anderson was able to relate to the youngsters in part because his films combine a grown-up seriousness with pure make-believe; Moonrise Kingdom directly accesses children's worlds of secrets and the convergence of magical moments one associates with youthful summers.
"Wes Anderson had this concept for some time," reveals Roman Coppola. "He had the world and the characters and this feeling, and we spent some time together discussing it. We discovered a banter, and a manner of inquiry, between the two of us that seemed to gel and unlock all these ideas. After we had engaged in that dialogue, the writing process happened very quickly. It's always mysterious how that all happens.
"My role in writing was to draw out some of the ideas and to help define them. When you have a sounding board, it helps unlock things. That was sort of my main function; sounding board, shaper, editor."
Together, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola created a rich tapestry of colourful characters with overlapping connections that draw us into the realm of the movie's island community, New Penzance. The community is a richly realised place populated by rounded and complex denizens.
Accordingly, actors were captivated by the story immediately. "It takes you into a completely new world from the first page," says Tilda Swinton. "A world that is as beautifully designed and completely conceived as this one is always going to be a thrill in cinema."
Bill Murray, who also appeared in The Darjeeling Limited, adds, "It's a really fine script. There is an electricity that moves through it; Roman Coppola and Wes Anderson are really wonderful together."
To film their movie about the discovery of first love and an adventure for two children, the filmmakers honed in on Rhode Island as an all-purpose location - after what Jeremy Dawson refers to as "Google-scouting."
"It was an unusual scouting process," adds production designer Adam Stockhausen. "Everyone - myself, Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, [co-producer] Molly Cooper - was in New York and researching islands."
Jeremy Dawson elaborates, "The story was written to take place on an island, and was envisioned as a New England coastal island. But we looked all over the world - albeit often from our living rooms - the Eastern seaboard, the West Coast, even the coast of Cornwall."
With a modest population and few automobiles allowed, New Penzance lends itself to being a place that sparks the children's imaginations and senses of adventure.
Rhode Island's miles and miles of beautiful coastline and its contained geography sealed the deal, finalised through the Rhode Island Film & TV Office. The state's topography encompasses rolling fields and craggy ravines, points of elevation, forests and beaches, and rocky coves. Among the state's many shooting locations for Moonrise Kingdom were Narragansett Bay; the 1,800-acre Camp Yawgoog, lensed in just ahead of the summer season; and the historic Trinity Church in Newport, where George Washington was a parishioner.
Particular care was taken by the cast and crew when working at the latter location, which was redressed twice as New Penzance's church; initially, for the pageant at which Suzy and Sam first meet one year before the main events of the story transpire, and then for the climactic sequence of the movie which brings their adventure full circle.
The filmmakers wanted the physical production to be focused, not bloated. Accordingly, there were no big trucks, and no actor or filmmaker trailers. Actors were encouraged to arrive camera-ready, requiring them to don their costumes in their hotel rooms before coming to set.
Prudence Island, in Narragansett Bay, provided probably the most unique location for the production. Jeremy Dawson comments, "There's no infrastructure there; there's one tiny little store at which to buy things. We had to get local environmental clearance to set foot on some of the pebble beaches, and charter a ferry boat to get crew members on-site. It pays off on-screen; Prudence really does look untouched."
With Rhode Island's geographical versatility and the unit's leanness, it wasn't uncommon for the production to move to and film at three or four different locations around the state on a given day - a park here, a beach there, a waterfall down the road.
Wes Anderson had prepared for this part of the process as well, with an advance shoot weeks prior to the commencement of principal photography; he recruited a skeleton crew and shot footage - much of it amidst natural foliage - that would be included in the finished film. This minimal unit enjoyed a great amount of freedom.
Jeremy Dawson remembers, "We drove around in a van and just went around the state and shot, including with the child actors. The cameras were light and small, so we weren't bogged down with heavy gear. The technology and the creativity went hand-in-hand.
The "pre-shoot" encompassed "a lot of unscripted stuff, and improv," explains Jarrad Gilman. "We spent a whole week in the forest."
Once the main leg of the shoot got underway, "there was a feeling that we were all at camp, or maybe a well-run playground with rules," says Bob Balaban. All of this was as hoped-for; Wes Anderson wanted cast and crew to have as communal an experience as possible in filming the story.
Bill Murray remembers, "My first day at work was on a camp set, and I realised that they didn't have trailers and so forth. We had tents, pup tents.
"It was about 40 degrees outside and raining, but once you get 51 people crammed inside a tent, it gets plenty warm. We were cozy after a while."
Another factor bringing cast and crew closer together was the collective make-believe effort; whether they were alive in 1965 or not, each member of the unit had to work together to help the actors slip into their characters and the world they inhabit.
Jeremy Dawson notes, "This story is Wes Anderson' take on 1965. From my perspective, his previous movies always existed in a time that you couldn't quite place, mixing past and present.
"Wes Anderson has always storyboarded in pre-production; something that we had done on Fantastic Mr. Fox, which we also applied here, was to edit the storyboards together with voices and music, pre-testing some of the sequences."
"Our starting point was visual research," says costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone. "That came primarily from photography."
Art director Gerald Sullivan concurs, saying that "the biggest thing for us in the art department was researching the architecture of the time, and of the area; meaning, both interiors and exteriors. So, we looked at houses on islands, lighthouses, shingled houses - all in constant collaboration with Wes Anderson, who had collected reams of research photos for us to make use of in our designs." So many photos accrued that a private production website had to be set up in order for departmental staffs and crew members to have access to them all.
Set decorator Kris Moran, who had first worked alongside Wes Anderson as "on-set prop" on The Royal Tenenbaums, notes, "Wes cares about every detail so much. We scoured antique shops and borrowed things from crew members and people we met. If Wes Anderson had been out walking and seen something on someone's porch that he liked, we chased it down. When I was dressing a set, it was often with something that wasn't necessarily iconic of the time, but tertiary and interesting so that it could get more at the characters' history.
"This movie has a bit of a different aesthetic than Wes Anderson' other movies; it's a little more rough around the edges, and a little more lived-in."
Yet there often proved to be little in the way of vintage props, set dressing, or wardrobe that could be found on the scale needed for the production.
One exception was the trailer home for Captain Sharp, Bruce Willis' character; the desired 1952 Spartanette was found through a dealer in Texas. But for Robert Yeoman's camera to be able to move around inside, Kris Moran says, "We actually had to cut it apart and then rebuild it. The interior was intact, but we reconfigured it so there could be a 360-degree field of vision inside. We then re-dressed it in full."
Kris Moran recalls her team looking for tents needed to colonise the fictional Khaki Scouts of North America's Troop 55 at their camp under the command of Scout Master Ward, played by Edward Norton. After they scoured the country to locate a stash of old stock tents, they found that even Army/Navy stores were coming up short. Only a couple of vintage tents had been found - and these mostly weren't the right color or shape or size; Anderson had specified the Khaki Scouts tents' piping (bright yellow) and interior lining (plaid, including a plaid wall for Ward's own tent).
Efforts to refashion the existing tents didn't take. Kris Moran recounts, "We realised that every tent would have to be custom-made. That way we wouldn't have to hide or cheat anything, and we could control the color and shape."
A New Hampshire company, Tentsmiths, specialises in fabricating historical reenactment tents. Although geared towards replicating tents from pre-1950, Tentsmiths staff rose to the challenge of moving their aesthetic forward to 1965.
Kris Moran says, "We sent someone up there to rally them, and to convey an understanding of the visuals we were trying to achieve. Everyone at Tentsmiths really got into it, and the tents they made for us looked fantastic!"
As production designer, Adam Stockhausen would oversee the entire look of Moonrise Kingdom and would have to coordinate with every department. His research was therefore multifaceted.
He comments, "I researched everything from general lifestyle to very specific objects. For example, I wondered, 'In what exact year did switches develop on night lights?' so that we wouldn't make a mistake."
Jeremy Dawson says, "Adam Stockhausen did an amazing job, especially with his research into the origins of scouting and camping."
Adam Stockhausen's crew proved inventive and resourceful, making camp signs out of sticks and logs tied together. As with the tents, the story's requisite canoes were built to design specifics; many mornings at the local Holiday Inn Express, crew members would test out the newly built and painted canoes in the hotel pool. Since these were made out of plywood, buoyancy was not always achieved; ultimately, for many of the scenes involving canoeing, off-camera ballast of weighted keels had to be rigged underneath, helping to maintain the actors' immersion in the moment rather than risk their immersion in the drink.
Rhode Island's existing pool of craftsmen joined the group effort. Citing their contributions, Kris Moran enthuses, "A local artist, James Langston, carved little raccoons on the front of the canoes, and he also made some totem poles for us. Chris Wiley made corn finials [e.g., sculpted ornaments] for Scout Master Ward's tent. Another artist made all the stick furniture inside that tent - all matching out of chicory, an entire suite! We even had a chainsaw artist make some of the totems on top of the signage for the Khaki Scouts' camp."
For the Bishop family home, the hope was to find a house that could immediately assume the role. The house chosen to portray the Bishop home exterior was Conanicut Light, in Jamestown, RI - a former lighthouse. For the interior, four candidates had such strong qualities that the production sought to re-create elements of each. The decision was made to build the house interiors on a soundstage in a vacant retail space at a local strip mall in Middletown, RI. On the soundstage, all the best elements - whether architecture or furnishings - of the favored locations were re-created.
Jeremy Dawson notes, "At each of these homes, we picked up inspirations and reference points. There were things that we just loved and wanted to see up on-screen. Adam Stockhausen would run those through his brain. When he went back to Wes, a hybrid was created - one that comes fully alive in the opening sequence of the film."
"All of them were unique houses," marvels Adam Stockhausen. "Together, our favourite pieces of them inform and convey the eclectic and individual family that lives within."
The four houses that went into the DNA of the Bishop home interior were Comfort Island, in Alexandria Bay on the St. Lawrence River, at the border between New York and Canada; Stafford House, on Cumberland Island in Georgia; the Cottage at Ten Chimneys, in Wisconsin; and Clingstone in Narragansett Bay, which is visible from the shore of Newport, RI.
"The wall murals, with the trees, are replicas of the walls at Comfort Island," reveals Kris Moran. "The interior shingles are a defining feature of Clingstone. The kitchen set is part of Alexandria Bay. On-screen, it all coheres as the Bishop family home."
"There is definitely that certain New England feel to it," states Gerald Sullivan. "Some of that architecture you just wouldn't see anywhere else. The sets and the environment were meant to bolster the characters - and the actors."
As with the Spartanette trailer in its original state, the camera movements that Wes Anderson and Yeoman envisioned for the opening sequence necessitated something of a dissection of the home's interior.
Adam Stockhausen notes, "It all developed once Wes Anderson decided to go with his idea of moving through the house in a very specific manner - from room to room without cuts - for the opening sequence. It was broken down shot by shot for us with storyboards.
"We sat down and started to figure it out from a design point of view, and also from a budget point of view. It was like a puzzle; is this piece of research right for that shot? We took a deep breath, and we went for it. It was a lot of fun."
Working on a soundstage allowed the filmmakers to slightly bend the rules of architecture and physics so that they weren't constrained by congruent placement of windows, doors, and rooms.
Gerald Sullivan remarks, "Wes Anderson was a constant collaborator, a total partner all the way who was always receptive to input. He would augment things a day, or an even an hour, before shooting."
Unique features that were built in to the Bishop house, such as the bead board, contribute to an eclectic interior with a hint of age. Books pervade the home, reflecting the parents' vocations as lawyers; some are vintage books, while others were crafted by the crew. A good portion of the furniture and artwork was rented from Comfort Island, including works by painter Alson Skinner Clark. With the home being a former lighthouse, a nautical theme also flows through the Bishops' interior.
Although the time of the story is 1965, the house itself is not meant to be from any particular time period but rather an amalgamation of period details through the mid-1960s.
Kris Moran notes, "We made room for stuff in their lives from the 1940s and 1950s; there are random objects that they might have found, reflecting a strong love of the arts."
"It's a beautiful set, with all its handmade work," Bill Murray says admiringly. "It's one of the nicest ones I've worked in. The crew spent a lot of time making it feel authentic - how a house gets decorated by the first person who lives there, and then later you're sort of stuck with it - so we could feel authentic when we were acting.
"There was cool stuff around, a lot they didn't keep track of - if you wanted something you could walk right out of there with it."
Kris Moran laughs, "Bill Murray thinks we weren't keeping track of the record albums, but I know exactly which ones he took."
For what the actors would be wearing, "Wes Anderson had done a lot of initial research," comments costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone, who with Wes Anderson pored through a multitude of photography, mostly in book form, looking for inspirations "that would enrich and expand the characters," as she notes. From a clearly articulated vision and framework, she could enhance and execute his concepts.
She says, "The next steps were to produce collages and very rough sketches. He would give me immediate feedback and we would further define what was needed.
"In the fittings, there would always be a moment of adjustment; not just, 'Do we need to change a color or a shape?' but, 'Does what we created resonate?'"
Jeremy Dawson remarks, "The costumes are detailed and intricate, and have little elements drawn from different reference points.
"The animal costumes in the Noah's Ark church pageant sequences were influenced by 'Carnival of the Animals' as interpreted by Leonard Bernstein and Benjamin Britten; as a kid, Wes was in a production of that, so we looked at photos from his family and from the production's conductor."
In line with the creative track the production was taking, the majority of the costumes were handmade. "A lot of them had starting points in real vintage pieces or research," Walicka Maimone says. "But then we would make it our own, while always adhering to Wes' vision."
The actors' input was solicited, although flattering fitting results were not a given; Bill Murray sighs, "[My character of] Mr. Bishop's pants are made out of separate squares of loud material sewn together - and they're so short."
Even so, clarifies Walicka Maimone, "Mr. Bishop's costumes are the most toned-down of anyone's; his character is more conservative than the others.
"The longest search came for Suzy's Sunday school saddle shoes, because after our research we realised we were looking for ones with leather soles, as they had in the 1960s; contemporary ones don't have leather soles. We ultimately got a blue pair and a red pair, one in a store in New York City and one online."
But the biggest sartorial challenge was the design for, and subsequent manufacture of, the uniforms for the Khaki Scouts. After consulting with Wes Anderson and Adam Stockhausen, Walicka Maimone and her department created every single element of the uniforms, from the socks to the activity buttons. It was a massive amount of work, completed in a short amount of time; raccoon mascot insignia patches, made out of felt, were hand-sewn onto the uniforms.
The group of Khaki Scout extras was made up largely of scout troops from Narragansett Bay, who were happy to report for extras duty and experience moviemaking firsthand; as Murray reports, "Some of them earned a merit badge in cinematography." But the boys did have to leave their 21st-century uniforms at home.
"We had a lot of Khaki Scouts in large-scale scenes," says Walicka Maimone. "I think the final number of uniforms we created was 350."
She adds, "The Scout uniforms and Suzy's outfit were my absolute favorites, but I also particularly enjoyed doing the ones for Scout Master Ward, Mr. Bishop, and Social Services."
In Moonrise Kingdom, the latter is neither a department nor a group, but rather the name of a character; Tilda Swinton was cast as Social Services.
Real-life social services workers did not wear uniforms, so Walicka Maimone turned to the Salvation Army for inspiration as well as to women-in-service uniforms. She then accentuated shapes and extended capes until she came up with the final outfit - one eagerly donned by Tilda Swinton, hat-wig and all.
"Social Services' uniform was the most structured, the most physically tailored piece we had," says Walicka Maimone.
Tilda Swinton elaborates, "Social Services represents authority, force majeure; when mayhem erupts, she is called in to impose order. Social Services wears a blue-and-white uniform, a pantsuit. Atop her head is a Salvation Army officer-style hat. Tied around her neck is a red ribbon, in a bow.
"There are several cinematic references, and actresses and actors, which inspired us; I loved playing that out with Wes."
In contrast, the costume for Frances McDormand's character of Mrs. Bishop reflects an amalgamation of women artists, painters, and writers from the 1960s. The back story proffered by Wes Anderson was that, though Mrs. Bishop is a lawyer, she grew up in a house full of creative types and so her costuming is infused with more colorful elements.
As Tilda Swinton notes wistfully, "My mother wore clothes like those that Frances McDormand wears. I remember all these colors from my early childhood in a very visceral way; the costumes are so accurate.
"In this story, our community of adults doesn't really know what they're doing and in the process find themselves to be no less childlike, and no more grown-up, than the two children. It was great fun, a real joy, to be part of this movie. There is such a playfulness in it because there is absolute structure."
Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand were but two of the first-time acting collaborators with Anderson on Moonrise Kingdom. The majority of the cast, including Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, had not worked with the director before. Jeremy Dawson opines, "It's a different look and feel for both Bruce Willis and Edward Norton in this movie, and I think people are going to respond to them."
Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman had first starred for Wes Anderson in his acclaimed Rushmore back in 1998, and have since reteamed with him multiple times apiece. Jeremy Dawson notes, "Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are always great to have around. Bill Murray keeps us all going; he's our pep captain."
Whether learning about typewriters or ties, the two youngest newcomers realised that their first moviemaking experience was something special. "Moonrise Kingdom is such a sweet story," says Kara Hayward. "It's beautiful. I love everything about the movie - how the story is told, the relationship between the characters - and I hope audiences love everything about it too."
Jared Gilman enthuses, "It's got action. It's got comedy. It's got drama. It's got romance. It really packs a punch!"