Edward Norton on Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom': “The bigger challenge for the actor in Wes’s films is to strike the balance between whimsy and melancholy”

Edward-Norton-in-Moonrise-KingdomEdward Norton

is such a great fit for Wes Anderson‘s trademark style that while watching a screening of Moonrise Kingdom I was surprised that it had taken Norton and Anderson so long to work together. 

 In an interview with The Huffington Post, Norton talks about departing from his typical roles and what it was like working with Wes Anderson.

Norton’s role as Scout Master Ward in Moonrise Kingdom is a whimsical departure for the actor, who has had a tendency to play characters with duality, such as in Fight Club, The Illusionist or American History X, and even The Incredible Hulk.  But Norton doesn’t view duality as a story element, explaining, “Duality is not a story.  Duality is just a complexity. I tend to relate to a character in terms of the arc: what’s interesting is where he starts versus where he ends up. The fun of it is getting from point A to point B.”

He feels honored to be among Anderson’s casts, which he likens to Orson Welles‘ acting company.  In particular, he praises Anderson’s “power of articulation to get the actor to tune in to his frequency. He’s good with the ‘verb.’ The main thrill is to be in his little equivalent of the Mercury Theater players.”

Norton is eager to praise Anderson and recognizes that Anderson is a very visual director, yet he also points out the importance of achieving about tone, saying, “the main puzzle of acting is intention. The essence is finding interesting ways to express someone’s intent. The emotional life is what the actor brings out. The bigger challenge for the actor in Wes’s films is to strike the balance between whimsy and melancholy.”

I’ve seen it and Norton indeed strikes the right tone.  In fact, it’s one of the most successful departures in his whole career.

Moonrise Kingdom opens in select U.S. theaters on May 25.

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sag-foundation-conversation-with.jpg
SAG Foundation Conversation with the Cast of NBC’s ‘Marry Me’
Earlier this month NBC put in an order for five additional episodes of its freshman romantic comedy series, Marry Me. While that isn’t exactly the shot of confidence that a full-season renewal provides, it’s enough to keep fans of the comedy — which is about an engaged couple who are determined to get married despite […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/michael-caine.jpg
Michael Caine Talks About Acting With Your Eyes and Does an Amazing Cold Read of a Script
This week acting legend Michael Caine appears in his sixth film directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar. In an interview clip from The New York Times that was shot around the release of the last movie Caine worked on with Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises, reporter Melena Ryzik spoke to Caine about his six-decade career. In […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/director-dan-gilroy-narrates-a-s.jpg
Director Dan Gilroy Narrates a Scene from ‘Nightcrawler’ Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo
Nightcrawler is easily one of the best movies of the year and its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, is outstanding. Definitely check this out when you have a chance. In the above clip, writer/director Dan Gilroy narrates a sequence from the film that features Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. He talks about giving Gyllenhaal a small piece of […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/matthew-mcconaughey-talks-losing.png
Matthew McConaughey Talks Losing the Lead Role in ‘Bernie’ to Jack Black
Though Matthew McConaughey has increased his earned plenty of respect since he started taking on more substantive movie roles in the last few years (with Dallas Buyers Club even earning him an Oscar for Best Actor), one director that always has been a fan of McConaughey is Richard Linklater. Linklater gave McConaughey his first big […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/watch-benedict-cumberbatch-film.jpg
Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]