Exclusive: One of the reasons we’re more excited for “Moonrise Kingdom” than we have been for any Wes Anderson film in a decade is the cast. While a few of Anderson’s usual repertory company — most notably Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzmann, are returning — the leads, a twelve-year-old boy and girl, are newcomers (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward), and the supporting cast are made up of some intriguing new names, including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand.
We just spoke to one of the film’s Anderson first-timers, Oscar-winning indie darling Tilda Swinton, in Toronto, about her much-acclaimed Lynne Ramsay picture “We Need To Talk About Kevin” (look for more from that discussion in the next few days), and while she was understandably reticent to discuss a film that only wrapped recently, she was kind enough to fill us in a little bit on the experience, and on the role she’ll be taking with in the film.
On working with Anderson for the first time on the project, Swinton said that, “It was a real joy. [The film]’s the most recent party that I accepted to go and enjoy, and that was really great fun.” The 1960s-set tale involves the aftermath of two children who run away from a small New England town together, and Swinton confirmed that the plot will also follow the grown-ups involved in the search, of which she plays one. “It’s about a community of adults who don’t really know what they’re doing, and I play one of them. She’s the point of authority, she’s social services, and she’s brought in as a sort of last resort, force majeure. And she has a head to head with Bruce Willis, which you can imagine is quite fun.”
Indeed, when Swinton says that “she’s social services,” she’s not kidding; the character, described as “a fifty-year-old woman in a blue and white uniform pants-suit with a Salvation Army officer-style hat and a red ribbon tied in a bow around her neck,” is named simply Social Services in the script. It seems like a fun part for Swinton, particularly given the prospect of facing off with Willis, and she certainly seems to have enjoyed the experience: “It was Fran McDormand, and Edward Norton, and Bill Murray, and Harvey Keitel, and it was laugh-a-minute. For us, anyway. Who knows what’ll happen in the cinema.”
We’re still a ways away from seeing “Moonrise Kingdom”; the film not likely to surface until the fall festival season a year from now, although a Cannes bow is theoretically possible. But “We Need To Talk About Kevin” will land much sooner, on December 2nd domestically, and you can expect more from Swinton and director Lynne Ramsay on that project very soon. — Interview by Kevin Jagernauth