At just 13-years-old, Jared Gilman has already gone through a number of auditions, but also managed to land his first leading role, the role of the unpopular yet tenacious Sam Shakusky in Moonrise Kingdom.
Sam falls for Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) the moment he lays eyes on her. The romance heats up as the two send each other letters and eventually decide to run away together. Sam packs his wilderness survival essentials and ditches his Khaki Scout troop while Suzy puts her kitten in a carrier, takes her most prized books and hits the road. When Scout Master Randy Ward (Edward Norton) and the Bishops (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) realize the kids are missing, they enlist in the help of Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) to track them down.
While Moonrise Kingdom rocks very familiar names like Murray, Willis, Norton, McDormand and more, Gilman and his young co-star, Hayward, undoubtedly steal the show. You’d think it might have been the slightest bit intimidating stepping in front of the lens for Wes Anderson and in the company of such monumental talent, but a lengthy audition process gave Gilman all the confidence he needed to pull it off.
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With all the young, up and coming actresses out there, you really don’t get much luckier than Kara Hayward. With only a few summer camp and school plays under her belt, Hayward not only got an opportunity to star in a feature film, but the chance to lead Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
She plays Suzy Bishop, the young girl who catches the eye of Khaki Scout, Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman). After quite a bit of letter writing, the two 12-year-old lovebirds opt to run away together, Sam ditching Scout Master Randy Ward (Edward Norton) and the boys of Troop 55 and Suzy taking her kitten, but leaving her three little brothers and parents behind (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand). While Sam and Suzy are enjoying their budding romance out in the woods, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) leads the Khaki Scouts and the Bishops in a search effort to track them.
Not a bad first feature to have on your resume, huh? In honor of Moonrise Kingdom’s big release, Hayward took the time to talk about the filmmaking process from beginning to end, from first hearing of the audition from her dance teacher to what the experience taught her about her abilities as an actress. Check it all out for yourself in the interview below.
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It’s one thing to make a movie feel unique, but Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is almost otherworldly. While the film’s centerpiece pre-teen romance packs the power to earn a place in anyone’s heart, some readjusting is required to appreciate the film as a whole. But, if you’re willing to let loose and fall in line with Anderson’s techniques, Moonrise Kingdom proves to be an absolutely unforgettable pleasure.
The film takes place on a small island in the summer of 1965. Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) is home with family, spending her time longingly looking out the window with her binoculars while Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) is out camping with his Khaki Scout troop – or so their guardians think. One morning Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and the boys of Troop 55 wake up to find that Sam has run away while Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) discover that Suzy has packed her things and left.
With a threatening storm on the horizon, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) desperately tries to track down the missing 12-year-olds with the help of Scout Master Ward and his wilderness survival savvy troops. Meanwhile Suzy and Sam enjoy some alone time out in the woods, testing the romantic waters.
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