Wes Anderson Lost His Temper on ‘Royal Tenenbaums’ Over the Length of Luke Wilson’s Suit

"I do feel bad about raising my voice," Anderson told Wilson during a 20th anniversary "Tenenbaum" reunion.
"The Royal Tenenbaums"
Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Wes Anderson celebrated the 20th anniversary of “The Royal Tenenbaums” this week at the Tribeca Festival by having a virtual reunion with cast members Alec Baldwin, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anjelica Huston. Perhaps the biggest revelation to emerge from the group’s discussion is that Anderson lost his temper during the making of the movie only once, and naturally it had to do with the length of the cuffs on Luke Wilson’s suit.

“It’s making me think about when I was getting fitted for my suit, at whatever tailor that Wes was using in New York, and they have me up on one of those boxes,” Luke Wilson said (via Entertainment Weekly). “It’s this beautiful camel-hair suit, and Wes kept raising the level of the cuffs, until they were getting too high for my taste. So when Wes would turn his head, I’d motion to the tailor like, ‘Hey, can we get those down a little bit?’ So this went back and forth, and I think it might’ve been the only time that Wes has ever yelled at me. He pulled me to the side and went, ‘This is going to be the level of the cuffs!'”

“I remember that, and I do feel bad about raising my voice,” Anderson replied. “I don’t think there was any need for it. I think there’s something to be said for, ‘Is the actor comfortable with what you’re putting them in?’ And then 90 percent of the time we framed you above the waist anyway.”

Elsewhere during the conversation, Anderson revealed Gene Hackman was forced to take a pay cut on “The Royal Tenenbaums” because the indie production’s budget could not afford to pay him his usual salary. Hackman earned acclaim for the movie and retired from acting only a few years later.

“It was not what he had been used to getting paid,” Anderson said. “So I think maybe when he finally settled on the fact that he was really going to have to do the movie, he had to make it worth his while somehow. He gave us a lot. For that small amount of money, I feel like he gave us everything he had.”

Wilson said of Hackman, “He had a great thing that he did where he was on set all day. “He just sat in his chair between shots. So even if another scene was going on, or if he wasn’t in it, he was always right there — which was also intimidating.”

Next up for Anderson is the release of his long-delayed “The French Dispatch,” which will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month before opening in theaters October 22 from Searchlight Pictures.

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