Going from performing plays in a children’s theater to starring in Wes Anderson‘s latest movie doesn’t happen to many 13-year-olds, unless, of course, your name is Kara Hayward or Jared Gilman. The two lead actors in Anderson’s latest indie flick, “Moonrise Kingdom” were chosen from an open call audition, and cast as the story’s young lovebirds for their very first movie ever.
Besides the big career opportunity, the two teens also had the chance to play ball with some of Hollywood’s finest — including Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Jason Schwartzman, Frances McDormand, and of course, Anderson’s muse, Bill Murray.
“Bill’s full of wisdom,” Hayward tells Zap2It. The actress, who plays the daughter of Murray and McDormand’s characters, described the close-knit set like being “invited to a wedding,” or a gathering with your “family.”
“Bill told us that we should hum in the morning to warm up our voices,” adds Gilman. “He also taught me how to tie a tie.”
“Moonrise Kingdom” tells the story of two kids who fall in love and run away from their elders. The hunt to track down the romantics brings about all the quirky, satirical and ironic moments that are earmarks of Anderson’s style, and the offbeat comedy carries as much drama as it does humor.
“One of the biggest things about this movie is that it’s not just a movie about children who need to be loved, but about all kinds of people that need to be loved,” Hayward observes.
Both teens admit they haven’t yet experienced romance in real life, though Gilman subtly implies he’s had a crush or two. None that he’s approached with a handwritten note, however, like his character.
“It’s such a lost art, I would have never thought about it,” he comments, “The good thing to take away from this movie is that love conquers everything. The love that Sam and Susie have for each other is also a love that triggered rebellion.”
The movie opened in limited release on May 25, and will run nationwide on Friday (June 1), but for these two actors, the glitz started a while ago. They just returned from Cannes Film Festival, where the movie was screened for thousands, and both are capitalizing on their stroke of good fortune by hitting more auditions, and lining up new projects.