“Wes just keeps getting better and better,” said Murray. “It’s also so much fun doing these jobs now because we go some places and have these living experiences when making the movies. He’s my friend and he’s really talented.”
Murray, who takes on a mere cameo role in this instance, still points out that every role you play, no matter the size, is as challenging as the next. “There is no such thing as small parts, only small actors. You can make an impression in a small part, it’s a tricky business to do that. You have to come into a movie that’s already rolling and suss out the tone of it and be able to contribute and bring a new energy and element. It’s hard to know what the temperature of the movie is.”
Murray also explains why he has taken more supporting roles in recent years, “My life has got too many other responsibilities I gotta take care of, so it’s hard to commit to months. I don’t have months to give.”
The actor’s appraisal for Anderson was echoed by that of co-star Willem Dafoe, another who has returned to working with the director, having appeared Fantastic Mr. Fox. “Wes is very clever about how he makes his movies, practically speaking. In independent smaller movies you have less resources. Wes has the resources and he really knows to get what he needs. In that respect it has the spirit of a small, person movie, but the resources are like a much bigger funded, studio movie. That’s one of the reasons why he attracts good actors.”
We also had the opportunity to speak to Anderson himself, who explains why he decided to set The Grand Budapest Hotel in the fictional setting of Zubrowka. “One thing I like to do and that I find interesting when I make a movie is to make a world for the movie to take place in. Some setting for the characters that we can create that you can’t just walk outside and find.”
When asked if these surrealistic universes Anderson creates are a form of escapism for the viewer, he replied, “I wouldn’t use the word escapism, because what I like to do is to make a world that feels as real as it can be within its own context and that is there for these characters to play a story you can believe in. It’s not my goal to make it matter less somehow because it’s removed from our day to day reality.”
Lastly, we spoke to Jeff Goldblum – who plays Kovacs – who is extremely confident the film will go down a riotous success. “I love this movie, I think it’s a knock-out, and people seem to be equally delighted by it, it’s thrilling to me. This is an epic movie, yet a hand-crafted and beautiful art project. It could be a very crowd pleasing, widely enjoyed movie.”
Be sure to check back with us nearer the film’s UK release – March 7 – as we’ll be running all of our interviews in their entirety (and seeing as we manage to get Bill Murray on the subjects of Buster Keaton, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters and his now infamous internet persona – it’s one you won’t want to miss out on).