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Wes Anderson Says Suzy From ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Is His Most Personal Character

Anderson took some time out of quarantining to answer questions about "Moonrise Kingdom" while thousands of viewers watched a live stream of the film.

"Moonrise Kingdom"

“Moonrise Kingdom”

Focus Features

Focus Features treated Wes Anderson fans to a free “Moonrise Kingdom” live stream this week that was accompanied by a Q&A with Anderson himself throughout the film’s runtime. The “Moonrise Kingdom” screening was the latest in Focus’ new “Movie Mondays” screening series, which includes upcoming showings of Pawel Pawlikowski’s “My Summer of Love” and “Mallrats” with a live Kevin Smith Q&A. Anderson was asked by a fan during the screening which original character he considers to be his most important and personal, and the writer-director didn’t need to look very far. Anderson selected Suzy Bishop, the troubled and endlessly cool female protagonist of “Moonrise Kingdom” played by Kara Hayward.

“Well, I suppose the girl in that movie might use quite a bit of my own personal experiences,” Anderson said. “She finds a little booklet called ‘Coping with the Troubled Child,’ and she knows which child it has to be…”

Anderson also spoke about how filming locations for “Moonrise Kingdom” all fell into place after first discovering the house his team wanted to use for Suzie Bishop’s home. Rhode Island’s Conanicut Island Light was used for the Bishop family home. The director said, “We found a house where Suzy Bishop in the story and her family are meant to live. Once we had this house, we started looking all around it, and we found more and more and more of what we needed. We always wander our way into the place and then once we settle in, we look around every nook and cranny to see how we can make it work for as much of the thing as possible. To keep it all close together.”

The “Moonrise Kingdom” live stream also featured commentary courtesy of Jared Gilman, who made his acting debut as the protagonist Sam Shakusky. “While I had an idea for how certain scenes would play out, and of course I knew the story really well, I definitely remember a certain feeling of astonishment the first time I saw an actual cut of the film,” the actor remembered. “While filming, there was a part of me that was wondering if all the various forest locations we were shooting at would match up in the edit as certain scenes were shot in more than one spot, and yet it all flows together so well.”

“Moonrise Kingdom” opened the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and went on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Many critics have cited “Moonrise” as one of Anderson’s most personal films, so it’s not a surprise to hear Anderson say he holds one of the main characters closest to his heart. The director’s next film, “The French Dispatch,” is set to be released in theaters this October.

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