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Roman Coppola Talks Collaborating With Wes Anderson On 'Moonrise Kingdom' & How The Process Differed From Working On 'The Darjeeling Limited'

The Playlist By Jeff Otto | The Playlist June 6, 2012 at 12:56PM

Roman Coppola and Wes Anderson are developing into quite the team. Coppola first served as a second unit director on Anderson’s 2004 film, “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.” In Anderson’s next film, “The Darjeeling Limited,” Coppola produced, co-wrote and returned to second unit duties. Along the way, Anderson discussed the idea of a film about a boy on an island who gets in a canoe and runs away. That seedling began to take shape after 'Darjeeling,'starting off from a series of conversations between Coppola and Anderson.

Moonrise Kingdom, Ed Norton
Finding the children and the unlikely performance from Ed Norton
Working with kids may be difficult for some, but Wes Anderson has never shied away from younger actors. “There was a big search for the kids,” says Coppola. “Wes had been through that before when he did ‘Rushmore'. Ultimately he found Jason who was right in our back yard, literally. But there was a big search to find the kids for ‘Moonrise’. Wes would show me little clips to get my opinion. I have such a trust of Wes’ eye. Jared, as the boy, I think Wes liked his glasses, which isn’t something that remains. It’s just a feeling, you know?”

In the case of casting Ed Norton against type, Coppola says it was more of a feeling he and Anderson had about seeing the actor as Scout Master Ward. “That was something we talked about and I was excited about that. We watched different movies. We watched ‘American History X’, which is such a different role. Some of the characters, like Jason or Bill, it’s kind of a given quite early on. Where as some of the other characters like Bruce Willis, it was like, ‘Oh wow, do you think Bruce Willis would do this?’”

The films that inspired “Moonrise Kingdom”
“Wes is an avid film watcher and so often when we’re together he’ll put a movie on in the evening. For ‘Darjeeling’, there were a few. We watched [Jean Renoir's] ‘The River’ and there were a few films that were touchstones. For ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ I remember watching some movies but nothing that was really part of what defined it. But certain Truffaut pictures and whatnot were in the back of our minds with regards to the kind of more sophisticated younger people.”

On teaming with Wes Anderson again
Although there are no current plans to work together again as Coppola finishes up work on his next feature film "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" and Anderson starts to work on an unnamed new project, it’s hard to imagine their shared sensibilities won’t lead to another team-up. “You know, we’re friends and colleagues and we enjoy each other’s company,” says Coppola. “I was just with him this morning. He’s cooking up a new project and I’m finishing this film I just made. There’s no real plans or talk about what’s next, but we have a great rapport and it’s fun to be together so I’m sure they’ll be some new things that will bubble up.”

“Moonrise Kingdom” is now playing in limited release.

This article is related to: Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

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