9 Cool Behind The Scenes Stories From Wes Anderson Movies
In honor of the release of Wes Anderson's latest whimsical feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, we trolled the archives and dug up a bunch of interesting behind-the-scenes dirt on his other films. Toss on your favorite corduroy suit, queue up a masterfully eclectic soundtrack, and enjoy.
The embedded BB story in The Royal Tenenbaums was based on a true story.
Owen Wilson shot the famous brothers' other bro Andrew in the hand with a BB gun as a child and the pellet's been lodged in there ever since. The close-up shot in the film is actually of Andrew, not Ben Stiller.
The train scenes in The Darjeeling Limited were shot on real, customized moving rail cars.
After consulting with his cinematographer, Anderson commissioned Northwestern Railways to customize ten functioning cars to fit all necessary equipment for filming scenes of the train's voyage from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer. Green screen, shmeen screen.
Mordecai the hawk was stolen in the middle of filming.
The first Mordecai was kidnapped and held ransom, but they couldn't afford to pause production so they swapped in a second hawk to finish his scenes. If you look closely you can see one is whiter than the other. Whereabouts of the original Mordecai — and the d-bags who stole him — remain unknown.
Anderson's now-signature tracking shot style came about because of bad weather.
The aquarium groundbreaking scene in Rushmore was initially meant to be more straightforward, but after a huge rainstorm the day before shooting turned the baseball diamond location into mud, Anderson chose to keep the focus on the foreground action rather than the nasty background. He liked the result so much, he's recreated it in nearly every film since.
Bill Murray paid out of his own pocket for the Rushmore helicopter scene.
Disney wouldn't shell out the $25,000 for the chopper rental to get a shot Anderson wanted for part of a montage, so Murray cut him a personal check for the amount. The scene never ended up in the final cut of the montage (which you can see here), and Anderson never actually cashed the check, which he's held onto to this day.
This portrait hanging in The Darjeeling Limited has a special meaning.
It's of the late Indian director Satyajit Ray, often regarded as one of the greatest all-time filmmakers in world cinema, whom the film is dedicated to.
The cigarettes Margot Tenenbaum smokes were only ever sold in Ireland... and discontinued in the seventies.
But Anderson insisted on them because they contributed to the seventies theme and made her secret habit that much more bizarre. Attention to detail, people!
Shooting the eponymous character in Fantastic Mr. Fox required 102 different puppets.
While a total of 535 puppets were used during filming to portray the entire cast of characters, they needed a haul of Mr. Foxes himself (in seven different sizes) to capture the wily guy in 17 different styles throughout the film.
The house in The Royal Tenenbaums was used as the actual set for the film rather than a soundstage.
It can be found on Convent Avenue in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood at the northern tip of Manhattan. Anderson tracked down the current owners — who purchased it while in foreclosure — by leaving a note on the door, and since they hadn't moved in yet, he was able to convince them to let him transform it for shooting.
The jaguar shark from The Life Aquatic was one of the largest stop-motion puppets ever created for a movie.
It was eight feet long and required five special hand crank controls to make it appear to be swimming.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor for Supercompressor. Rushmore's still his favorite.