|4. CLIVE BADGER |
Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
A rare combination of nocturnal mammal, lawyer and explosives expert, Clive Badger Esq. (Bill Murray) is the quiet voice of reason Mr. Fox never quite hears in Wes Anderson’s stop-motion tale. He tells Fox not to buy a new property within reach of Boggis, Bunce and Bean’s farms, but does he listen? The cuss he does. “You're borrowing at nine and a half,” Badger patiently explains, “plus moving into the most dangerous neighborhood in the world for your type of species”. For his intimate knowledge of local real estate and general usefulness in a crisis – what law school even has a TNT module? – Badger makes the cut.
|3. MAX FISCHER |
Film: Rushmore (1998)
Leaving Bottle Rocket aside – and it’s fairly easily done – Max Fischer is where it all got going for Wes Anderson. The distinctive tone, soufflé-light erudition, quirk quotient and general silliness: they all started with a 16 year-old who dared to dream big and had only his wits and a wealthy industrialist to fall back on. It’s also the first of five Jason Schwartzman collaborations (seven, if you include Hotel Chevalier and Castello Cavalcanti), and J-Schwartz is at his very best as the odd but somehow loveable loner with the huge sense of entitlement and the unquenchable thirst for the finer things in life.
|2. HERMAN BLUME |
Film: Rushmore (1998)
Stricken with Olympian levels of ennui, industrialist Herman Blume gives the distinct impression that it’s only his protégé Max Fischer’s (Jason Schwartzman) grandiose antics and Rushmore teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams) keeping him from slipping into a coma and possibly dying. Bill Murray imbues the soon-to-be-divorced Vietnam veteran millionaire with more than enough of his deadpan charm for us to overlook the fact that Bloom is just another jaded patrician with more money than sense. Working to scale – Anderson estimates was paid $9000 for the part – Murray reversed that equation and set in train an eight (so far)-strong Wes Anderson collaboration.
|1. ROYAL TENENBAUM |
Film: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Our favourite Anderson character comes not from one of his regular collaborators but a man who almost didn’t take the job. “He was the only guy I wanted for it and it was particularly written for him,” said Anderson of Hackman recently, but the star was reluctant, saying yes only at the last minute. Still, despite those teething troubles, Tenenbaum is an indelible character; a proud patriarch who is estranged from his family; a selfish con-man and chancer who helps his children recover their mojo almost despite himself. Grandiose, nattily dressed and more than a little ridiculous, he is the quintessential Anderson figure.