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

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/John-Cho-Star-Trek-Beyond.jpg
How John Cho Took A Stand for Diversity Early in His Career
"When one does speak one's mind, one might be surprised at how receptive people are." - Actor John Cho
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/simon-helberg-florence-foster-jenkins.jpg
Simon Helberg on His ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ Role: “I’m an actor and I want to stretch different muscles”
Helberg spoke about portraying his character in the film and whether or not he feels typecast by his Big Bang Theory role.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Will-Chase-Something-Rotten.jpg
The Role That Got Away: Will Chase on Returning to ‘Something Rotten!’
"I know that I am a poor man's fill-in-the-blank. And I know that there are poor man's Will Chases out there. That's just the nature of the business" - Will Chase
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Julia-Stiles-Jason-Bourne.jpg
Julia Stiles on the Jason Bourne Series and Growing as an Actress: “There’s always room for improvement”
"I like a director that encourages me to be playful. I don't really like being restricted or controlled by a director." - Julia Stiles
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Michael-Kenneth-Williams-The-Night-Of.jpg
Michael Kenneth Williams on How His Roles Impact Him: “That energy’s gotta go somewhere”
Since his days of playing Omar on 'The Wire', Williams has learned how to separate himself from his characters.