Some directors have incredibly distinct styles – you can tell when a movie is by them almost immediately. One director for whom this is unquestionably true is Wes Anderson. His latest film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” opens in limited release this Friday and true to form for Anderson, the cast is incredibly large and full of very familiar faces. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with some of them including the film’s lead, Ralph Fiennes.
Despite Anderson’s movies having a unique sensibility, Fiennes told me that as an actor, his preparation for an Anderson film is “Not anything different from normal, initially.” He then added that “On the set, that’s probably where one would be closer to the thing that makes a Wes Anderson movie a Wes Anderson movie.” As you can watch in the interview, it deals with camera placement, framing, and directing the actors through moves “which would seem very unnatural” that then comes together in “a very coherent way.”
Precise. That is the way Fiennes describes Anderson’s camera placement and framing, and he thinks that his character, Gustave H., would quite enjoy being in an Anderson movie because Gustave is so precise as well. “It was difficult, but I kind of like the challenge.” Fiennes said that he, like Anderson, has tendencies towards “orderedness” and that they “were twinned.”
I have written about my discussion with Fiennes about the upcoming Bond movie (you can see that portion of our talk in this interview as well), but I closed my talk with Fiennes asking if he had any intention of getting back behind the camera and directing a third film. In short, he does, but he doesn’t know what yet. “I’ve got ideas for stuff that I’d like to develop, but it’s too early to say.”
Directed by Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” opens this weekend and outside of Fiennes, counts among its cast Tony Revolori, Jeff Goldblum, and Willem Dafoe. Drew McWeeny gave the film an A+ in his review.