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Wes Anderson

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Also Known As: Wesley Wales Anderson Died:
Born: May 1, 1969 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Harris County, Texas, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Noted for droll comedies that ruminated on loss, parental abandonment and sibling rivalry, director Wes Anderson emerged onto the filmmaking scene with the ultra-low budget "Bottle Rocket" (1996), which earned him considerable attention inside the industry and drew immediate comparisons to auteurs like Woody Allen and Jean Renoir. With "Rushmore" (1998), Anderson established himself as a critical darling, employing a deft mix of wry humor and subtle poignancy set to eclectic soundtracks. He continued to cement his growing reputation with "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), a deadpan serio-comic tale about a dysfunctional family of wasted genius peppered with several surprisingly dark moments. A bittersweet ode of Jacques Cousteau, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004) was yet another pairing with frequent collaborator Bill Murray, although by now many critics and fans alike openly questioned whether Anderson had hit a creative slump. While viewed as an artistic improvement, the familiarly themed "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007) only heightened such speculation. A venture into stop-motion animation with an adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009) appeared to reinvigorate the...

Noted for droll comedies that ruminated on loss, parental abandonment and sibling rivalry, director Wes Anderson emerged onto the filmmaking scene with the ultra-low budget "Bottle Rocket" (1996), which earned him considerable attention inside the industry and drew immediate comparisons to auteurs like Woody Allen and Jean Renoir. With "Rushmore" (1998), Anderson established himself as a critical darling, employing a deft mix of wry humor and subtle poignancy set to eclectic soundtracks. He continued to cement his growing reputation with "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), a deadpan serio-comic tale about a dysfunctional family of wasted genius peppered with several surprisingly dark moments. A bittersweet ode of Jacques Cousteau, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004) was yet another pairing with frequent collaborator Bill Murray, although by now many critics and fans alike openly questioned whether Anderson had hit a creative slump. While viewed as an artistic improvement, the familiarly themed "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007) only heightened such speculation. A venture into stop-motion animation with an adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009) appeared to reinvigorate the filmmaker, who returned to rave reviews for his tale of adolescent romance and adventure, "Moonrise Kingdom" (2012). Viewed as overly precious by some and unequivocally brilliant by others, there was no denying that Anderson was one of the more unique cinematic voices of his generation.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
6.
  Royal Tenenbaums, The (2001) Director
7.
  Rushmore (1998) Director
8.
  Bottle Rocket (1996) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began making Super 8mm films with his brothers
:
Met future collaborator Owen Wilson while attending the University of Texas
1990:
Began writing script for "Bottle Rocket" with college roommate Owen Wilson
1992:
Directed the 13-minute short "Bottle Rocket"; also co-wrote with Wilson; film shown at Sundance Film Festival
1994:
Moved to Los Angeles
1996:
Directed feature film debut "Bottle Rocket," co-starring brothers Owen and Luke Wilson
1998:
Directed and co-wrote (with Owen Wilson) second feature "Rushmore"; co-starred Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman in his debut film
1999:
Relocated to NYC
2001:
Co-wrote (with Owen Wilson) and directed third feature "The Royal Tenenbaums"; re-teamed with Luke Wilson, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay
2004:
Helmed the comedy "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," starring Murray and Owen Wilson; co-wrote with writer/director Noah Baumbach
2005:
Co-produced the independent film "The Squid and the Whale," directed by friend and collaborator Noah Baumbach; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Feature
2007:
Re-teamed with Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman for "The Darjeeling Limited"; co-wrote with Roman Coppola and Schwartzman
2009:
Directed the stop motion animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl book "Fantastic Mr. Fox"; starred George Clooney in the title role and co-starred Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray; film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature
2012:
Wrote, directed, and produced romantic adventure "Moonrise Kingdom"; starred Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Frances McDormand
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Education

St. John's School: Houston , Texas -
University of Texas at Austin: Austin , Texas - 1991

Notes

"It didn't quite get the studio push, but I guess that's what everybody says when their movie doesn't make any money."---Wes Anderson on his debut feature "Bottle Rocket" as quoted in Daily Variety, January 15, 1997.

"All thse words that are tossed around -- filmmaker, auteur -- you gag on them, but Wes is for real. I mean, he's not going to do 'one for them'. Other directors are always thinking, 'Gee, if I do three for them, I'll get to do one for me.' Every one Wes does is going to be for him, out of his sensibility."---James L. Brooks on Wes Anderson to Time Out New York, December 10-17, 1998.

"I like characters that are trying to realize their projects. They have a strong idea of something they want to execute and they just won't let anybody shut 'em down. It might seem ridiculous or it might seem too big -- I mean, building an aquarium, that's crazy; putting on a Vietnam play with explosions from the stage is crazy -- but [Rushmore's] Max Fischer does that. Of course, it's a movie, so I can have whatever I want to have happen. But I do like that kind of thing of people with unrealistic ambitions and their ambitions are not just to be rich. They have ideas and projects that they want to do. So that has a strong appeal to it."---Anderson quoted in Salon, January 21, 1999.

"He's a shy guy, the kind of guy who never dances, but when it came to the movie, he was tenacious. It reminded me a lot of working with John Cassavetes. They're both directors that get actors to trust them. That's why Wes got such good performances from Jason [Schwartzman], who'd never acted before, and [Bill] Murray, who usually wants to be the only funny guy on the set, but was really restrained for this part."---"Rushmore" co-star Seymour Cassel on Anderson to the Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1999.

"He doesn't play games with his actors. He'd come up and say, 'The thing you do with your face when you smile, don't do it.'"---Olivia Williams, co-star in "Rushmore" on Anderson as quoted in The New York Times, January 31, 1999.

"He's not doing anything to let you know that he knows how to move the camera, you don't have to worry that he's gonna do anything affected or tricky, or show that he's seen all of Scorcese's movies. It's exciting to watch, but not pretentious."---Owen Wilson on working with Anderson to Premiere, February 1999.

"The darkest hour was the evening of our first test screening, in Santa Monica, at which we had 85 walkouts. The head of the studio said, 'Congratulations. Seriously.' [My agent] Jim Berkus said that our goal for the next screening should be for someone to say 'congratulations' without having to say 'seriously' afterward. And then later that night, my girlfriend broke up with me."---Anderson in Premiere, March 1999.

"Wes Anderson, at age thirty, has a very special kind of talent: He knows how to convey the simple joys and interactions between people so well and with such richness. This kind of sensibility is rare in movies ... I remember seeing [Jean] Renoir's films as a child and feeling connected to the characters through his love for them. It's the same with Anderson. I've found myself going back and watching 'Bottle Rocket' several times. I'm also very fond of his second film 'Rushmore,' it has the same tenderness, the same kind of grace. Both of them are very funny, but also very moving."---Martin Scorsese quoted in "The Next Scorsese" in Esquire, March 2000.

"That's something I've done in all the movies. In 'Rushmore', Max wears his school uniform, and then goes through his depressed barber phase. Bill Murray wears the same thing but his shirt colors change. In this one, there are many more characters and it's much more noticeable because their outfits are more extreme. I like them to have a uniform. I feel like if there's a uniform for the actors, then every time they put it on, they can make their shift from what they were like before they arrived on the set. And it sort of unifies them throughout the movie."---Wes Anderson, on his decision to dress many of the characters in "The Royal Tenenbaums" in the same clothes throughout the film, even as it spans time, to Film Comment, November -December 2001.

"Owen had always been pushing me to do something about my parents' divorce, and so that was a part of what I was going to do with this. The movie ends up being something totally different from what I would have envisioned, because the father in the movie is nothing like my father. The family dynamic is quite different than mine. That opening scene in the movie is Royal [telling] the kids that they're going to get a divorce, and the questions they're asking are the questions we asked."---Anderson on the real-life inspiration for "The Royal Tenenbaums" as quoted in New York's Daily News, December 9, 2001.

"With Wes, he attracts such a great cast every time... And because the actors are willing to work with him for a price, you can get away with making these movies inside the studio system. Not only are you getting the joy of watching a singular filmmaker express himself, you also feel like there's something there for your marketing department to be able to sell."---Nina Jacobson, president of Disney's Buena Vista motion picture group to New York Times, November 28, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Jennifer Wachtell. Executive. Works at Miramax.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Mel Anderson. Advertising executive. Divorced from Anderson's mother.
mother:
'Texas' Anderson. Former archeologist. Divorced from Anderson's father.
brother:
Mel Anderson. Older.
brother:
Eric Chase Anderson. Artist, actor. Born in September 1972; provided art work used in "The Royal Tenenbaums".
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