Chosen as the opening film at Cannes 2012, as well as one of the twenty-two films selected for the main competition, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom has made quite a splash, both in its debut at the festival on May 16, as well as in its limited opening in the U.S. on May 25 (scheduled for a wider release in June.)
Set in 1965, the story recounts the tale of two quirky 12-year-olds who find a rare simpatico and, on an island off the coast of New England, they run off together … much to the dismay of their assorted parents, guardians, authorities, and the local Boy Scout troop. Jason Schwartzman plays Cousin Ben, the one Boy Scout captain with a sentimental heart and many connections who just might be able to help the duo in their quest to get off the island.
Two days after the film’s debut, multiple interviews took place at the Carlton Cannes’ exclusive beach locale, situated directly across the street from the main hotel. After a small, invitation-only press conference was held with such luminaries as Mr. Anderson, co-writer Roman Coppola, and actors Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban and the two young leads (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward), a quasi version of celebrity musical chairs occurred, with groups of exclusive and semi-exclusive interviews happening simultaneously. Waiting to be summoned for my one-on-one interview with Mr. Schwartzman, I occupied one in a row of chairs placed against a wall … looking for all the world like the sole neglected girl at the dance.
After the publicist waved me over and introduced me to Mr. Schwartzman, I said, “I was feeling like a wallflower, hoping you were going to ask me to dance.”
Schwartzman countered, “And I absolutely was going to ask you to dance.”
At that moment, I knew the interview was going to go very well:
Just like your character of Cousin Ben in Moonrise Kingdom, I believe you, too, had once been a Boy Scout. Is there a particular merit badge that you earned that gave you great joy, or, conversely, something that gave you great shame?
JS: Great shame. I was badge-less because, well, I was the equivalent of a white belt in karate. The reason is that I was a little Boy Scout, very excited as a young boy, wanting to learn to tie knots, or know which berry not to eat … but at a certain point pretty early on in my time in the Scouts, you have to go camping in the woods overnight. And everyone was telling ghost stories before bed … I had an active imagination, something frightened me in one of the stories. I tried to go to sleep that night but there I was in the woods, hearing every twig that broke; it was totally frightening. I figured if this is just the beginning, and it’s affecting me that much, I don’t think I’m cut out for the Scouts. And I resigned.
[for the full interview on McClatchy's Tri-City Herald site, please click here]