Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Director Wes Anderson Chat About Foxes

Posted on November 12, 2009



Whenever I hear someone mention the movie “Sophie’s Choice” my throat gets tight and I feel the water works about to burst. If you haven’t seen that movie then  I am afraid you have not experienced the joys of watching the true essence of acting on film.

On November 11 I had the opportunity to see Meryl Strep in the flesh along with Jason Schwartzman and one of my favorite directors Wes Anderson.  They were gathered together at the Apple Store in Soho to give a talk  moderated by the incredible Peter Travers (famous movie critic from Rolling Stone Magazine) about their new cinematic venture “Fantastic Mr. Fox”.

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is an adapted animation  directed by Wes Anderson.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox movie poster

The original “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a book written by the late great Roald Dahl.

Fantastic Mr.Fox

It features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson. It is the first animated film directed by Wes Anderson, and 20th Century Fox‘s first stop-motion animated film.

I enjoy filmmakers who are unabashed and think outside of the box . The Squid and the Whale



The Darjeeling Limited


are two amazing films so I have no doubt that Anderson will deliver the goods for “Fantastic Mr. Fox.

There were some interesting bits of info revealed during the talk.  Wes Anderson shared that his major cinematic influences are Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It.


and his Futura font obsession was influenced by  Stanley Kubrick.


During the question and answer period Anderson told the audience that “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was shot using a SLR camera.


For a true film geek like myself this is a tasty tidbit of information to have. Wes shared that the resolution on a  SLR camera is extremely potent. Every frame for every action was captured by a camera that a lot of  people use while snapping pictures on their family vacations.

Jason Schwartzman was the comedic man of the hour. He was cracking witty jokes left and right. I was totally digging his greasy haired nerdy/sexy/ugly swagger.


Although Schwartzman’s hijinks were throughly amusing the highlight of the evening was Meryl. Let me keep it real: It was the reason why I stood up for half an hour. She’s the Bees Knees, the Cat’s Meow, and the FOXES Growl (she actually growled for the audience it was PRICELESS) rolled into one.  She is the quintessential actress.


The highlights were three-fold: 1st when Meryl did her best Fox growl. 2nd when she told the story of how she  had a starring contest with a real fox for 12 minutes while shooting another movie in London BEFORE she had received the offer for “Fantastic Mr. Fox”.  She said “I’ve never had such an amazing interaction with an animal before. My dog won’t even look at me for 5 minutes”.

20071122_d01_20071023_1610_116 fox staring at camera (web crop)(r+mb id@576)

3) When she told the photographers (who were incessantly snapping her picture and flashing lights in her face) to  CHILL OUT!  She stopped mid sentences while answering an audience member question and swung her head back a bit and gave a slight “round the way” girl neck roll and said in the most regal of voices “will you STOP taking pictures for just one minute please……. I am very distractable (which is not a word but it is MERYL so it can slide) I am trying to hear the question.!” Hands down she should receive an Oscar nod for that performance alone.


If you are a fan of these actors or cutting edge animation check out the talk

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and most definitely check out this film.

It opens in theaters nationwide on November 13.

According to Rolling Stone “Fantastic Mr. Fox” proves that PIXAR does not have a reign over animation. I whole heartedly second that emotion. Judging from the discussion and clips this animated feature will have PIXAR and DISNEY choking on some well deserved dust.