The New York Film Festival wrapped up over the weekend, and one of the events that actually makes me wish I’d been in New York to attend was a 10th anniversary screening of Royal Tenenbaums, with Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, and Wes Anderson in attendance, with Anderson collaborator Noah Baumbach moderating. ThePlaylist has the whole rundown, but probably the most interesting bit was about how everyone thought Gene Hackman was a mean, scary, prick. And thank God they put up with him, because that mean, scary prick is like a pretend father to me. Gene Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum is all-time, Badass-Hall-of-Fame-level greatness.
BUT FIRST! Did you know the part of Mordecai the hawk was originally written for Jason Schwartzman?
Though it was nearly 10 years before Anderson reunited with his “Rushmore” star in “The Darjeeling Limited,” his intention was to include him much earlier. The part of Mordecai, eventually portrayed by a hawk in the film, was originally conceived for Jason Schwartzman. Anderson explained, “We had a character that was called Mordecai, which in the movie was the name of a bird, but Jason Schwartzman was supposed to be a boy who lived across the street from the Tenenbaums in some embassy or something in an attic.”
Jason Schwartzman is okay, but let’s be honest, he’s no hawk. Dude can barely catch mice.
…Right, but we came here to hear about Gene Hackman. The gist of this next block quote: Gene Hackman called Wes Anderson a c*nt, and once told him to “pull up his pants and act like a man.”