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Asteroid City, Wes Anderson, and the Art of Reusing Actors – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Asteroid City, Wes Anderson, and the Art of Reusing Actors



Wes Anderson is a renowned director in Hollywood, known for his unique style and aesthetic. He has been in the industry for over three decades, starting as a curious cult filmmaker and now an acclaimed auteur. His most recent film, Asteroid City, is currently in theaters, and it follows the same hallmarks of his style that his fans adore: symmetry, tableau compositions, and beautiful color palettes.

One of the things that make Wes Anderson’s films stand out is his reuse of actors. The likes of Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, and Willem Dafoe are just a few of the names that have been in multiple Wes Anderson films. Over the years, Scarlett Johansson, Edward Norton, and Jeffrey Wright have also been added to the cast of recurring actors. To work on a Wes Anderson film is to work with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Wes Anderson’s films are known for having an ensemble cast, with almost the entire cast of Asteroid City comprising A-list celebrities. This is because Anderson creates his films with a group experience in mind. He wants the entire production to be a community, with actors living and eating together, even on their days off. This creates an environment that actors love to work in and makes them feel like they’re part of a theater company.

Anderson’s method not only informs his movies but also creates an aesthetic touchstone. By reusing the same actors, they become part of his family and almost expected to be in his next film. They become caricatures of themselves, sneaking into the film to make their own cameo. The actors Wes Anderson has worked with over the years have become part of his family, and Bill Murray is one of his oldest friends.

Despite the harassment allegations facing the actor, Murray has become part of Anderson’s family after working with him for so many years. This iconic filmmaker has been making not only a good film but also a good family. Wes Anderson’s filmmaking style has become so well-identified with his name that YouTubers make parody films, and AI can recreate Harry Potter in his style.

In conclusion, Wes Anderson’s unique style and reuse of actors have made him one of the most recognizable directors in Hollywood. His films are known for having an ensemble cast, which creates an environment that actors love to work in. This method not only informs his movies but also creates an aesthetic touchstone. Wes Anderson has been making not only a good film but also a good family.

Wes Anderson is one of the most recognizable directors in Hollywood. And not just from his pastel-colored suits and delightfully flowing hairstyle. Over the past three decades, Wes Anderson’s movies have taken him from a curious cult filmmaker and turned him into a renowned auteur, with his most recent film, Asteroid Cityin theaters now.



He’s created an aesthetic that’s so well identified with his name that YouTubers make parody films, and AI can recreate Harry Potter in his style. Some of the most noticeable hallmarks of his style are his use of symmetry, his tableau compositions, and his beautiful color pallets. But one thing Wes Anderson fans also love to notice is how he continually reuses his actors.

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Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, and Willem Dafoe are just a few of the names that Wes Anderson reuses in his films. It has come that to work on a Wes Anderson film is to work with some of the biggest names in the industry. Over the years, Scarlett Johansson, Edward Norton, and Jeffrey Wright have been added to this cast of recurring actors. None of these are names that one takes lightly. And all of them are faces we recognize in an instant. So how has Wes Anderson made an art of reusing the same incredible actors?



The Experience of Asteroid City

asteroid-city-trailer
Focus Features

Normally in Hollywood, a star leads a film. One big name is cast to lead a movie, and the rest are less noticeable actors meant to support the star. Occasionally, a movie will have two or three big names at the center, but more often than not, the film will follow each on their own separate plotline. Rarer still do we get the ensemble cast, with a group of superstars that, while still working as a team, all distinguish themselves from the other in a particular way. Wes Anderson seems to have taken this idea and run away with it.

In his most recent film Asteroid Cityalmost the entire cast comprises A-list celebrities. All the other actors are either children or hired extras. It all has to do with how Wes Anderson creates his films. Though his early films didn’t start with this many big names, he quickly built up to the ensemble casts we see, and now stars liken working on a Wes Anderson film to belonging to a theater company.

Hope Davis talked to A.FRAMEexplaining what her experience was like on set:

“Wes wants the entire production to be a group experience, so we all live together and eat together and you see one another on your days off. […] He really cares about everyone’s experiences across the entire project,” Davis says. “The whole experience becomes one complete thing. At the end of it, you feel like you’re part of a company.”

A lot of the time, actors work on set, filming their scenes alone. They’ll finish a shot and then return to their trailer or take the rest of the day off. Not so in a Wes Anderson movie. Adrien Brody, whose time in Asteroid City marks his fifth movie with the auteur, says that the community feeling is why he keeps coming back.

“All of the intricacies and nuances in his films, the specificity is just so artistic and creative. […] He’s surrounded himself not only with wonderful actors, but an amazing production designer, costume designer, and director of photography as well. The work environment is really what I yearn for.”

Keeping all these actors together on set might be a symptom of the filmmaker’s notorious perfectionism, but the style creates a wonderful feeling that actors can have, working together. So Anderson’s method not only informs his movies but also creates an environment that actors love to work in.

Related: Wes Anderson’s Best Movies, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes

The Actors Become the Aesthetic

owen-wilson-the-life-aquatic-with-steve-dissou (1)
Touchstone Pictures

By this time in Wes Anderson’s career, we have seen a certain set of actors so often that we almost expect them to be in his next movie. It’s sort of become a thing when a new film comes out that the audience asks, “Well, who’s Owen Wilson going to play now?” We see his face so often in these titles that he’s almost become part of the set. Not that it’s a bad thing.

Related: 10 Actors We Want to See in a Wes Anderson Film

Seeing Willem Dafoe go from playing a strange sailor with father issues in The Life Aquatic to an imprisoned accountant in The French Dispatch is one of the great things about a Wes Anderson movie. These recognizable faces become caricatures of themselves as if sneaking into the film to make their own cameo.

But more than that, the actors Wes Anderson has worked with over the years have become part of his family. And perhaps it’s not the best example, but Bill Murray is one of Anderson’s oldest friends.

Anderson said he didn’t “want to speak about somebody else’s experience” when asked about the harassment allegations facing the actor. But he noted that, more importantly, Murray had become part of his family after working with him for so many years. So much so that Murray had splashed the water at Anderson’s daughter’s baptism, and think what you will of the actor, but let the nature of that relationship sink in. This iconic filmmaker has been working with so many actors over and over again that, beyond making a good film, he’s been making a good family.

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