Wes Anderson has sat on the director’s chair for eight films throughout his career. His distinguishable style and quirky humor have made him one of the best directors of all time. Whenever one is asked about Wes Anderson and his films, the first thing that comes to mind is his symmetrical shots, pastel color palettes, and use of music from the sixties and seventies. Another signature style that he seems to inject is his melancholic themes and character-driven stories, which is why Wes Anderson seems to be so invested in creating memorable characters.
So as we continue to wait in anticipation for his new stop-motion film, ExploreTalent is counting the most iconic characters the American filmmakers has ever created.
7 Memorable Wes Anderson Characters
7. Mr. Fox (Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009)
There wouldn’t be any other actor who can voice the suave and smooth Mr. Fox better than George Clooney. The fact that he gave this shrewd fox the same charisma he does in his other movies practically made Clooney perfect for the role. Fox is a smart character and he knows it, but he happens to be sensitive at times especially when it comes to his beloved wife Felicity (Meryl Streep). This complex and three-dimensional character was breathed to life with the use of stop-animation and talented voice acting, so it was only fitting to include it on the list Wes Anderson favorites.
6. Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky (Moonrise Kingdom, 2012)
Maybe this is cheating, but there is really no separating Suzy and Sam. The young lovers are both dysfunctional in their own little ways. Suzy is an introvert who fails to get along with anybody, while Sam identifies with her by inhabiting the same feelings toward other people. It is with their similarities that they begin to form a bond, ultimately bridging the lines from pen pals to lovers on the run.
Wes Anderson did a great job with the casting, as both Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward hold their own despite starring alongside the biggest names in Hollywood like Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Tilda Swinton.
5. Max Fischer (Rushmore, 1998)
Fifteen-year-old Max Fischer is like many Wes Anderson characters—he is arrogant and lacks social abilities, but his feelings for his new teacher give him a whirlwind of unfamiliar emotions.
Wes Anderson tends to cast the same actors for his films, and Jason Schwartzman is definitely one of them. He perfectly captures on what life is like when you encounter love for the very first time. The movie in general is definitely one of Anderson’s best works, and its quirky take on the coming-of-age genre is definitely something you can’t miss.
4. Steve Zissou (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2004)
Another Wes Anderson’s personal favorite is definitely Bill Murray. Murray has appeared in all of his films to this day, and no one would be surprise to see him appear in Anderson’s upcoming movie soon. His take on the oddly eccentric oceanographer Steve Zissou is so memorable as he was one of those arrogant yet charming guys that you rarely get to see in movies nowadays. Both Murray and Anderson can count on Steve Zissou as one of the most iconic characters in their film lists.
3. Margot Tenenbaum (The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001)
You might have noticed the lack of women on this list (aside from Suzy, of course), that is because Wes Anderson is yet to develop his skills in creating female characters. But he did introduce one in the form of Margot Tenenbaum, the adoptive daughter of the Tenenbaum family. As a child, Margot has always been somewhat of an outcast, which ultimately led her to run away and get into a loveless marriage at the age of 19. Margot’s story may sound melancholic but it seems to be filled with technicolor as the movie progresses, and Gywneth Paltrow‘s acting only made the movie even more entertaining to watch.
2. Gustave H. (The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014)
There is no denying that The Grand Budapest Hotel was the epitome of Wes Anderson movies. It is charming and visually stunning and features one his most iconic characters of all time: Gustave H., who happens to be played by the charming Ralph Fiennes, in a performance that even tramples his role as Voldemort. Gustave does not only take us back in time with his Old English charms, but his chemistry with the young bell boy Zero (Tony Revolori) makes them one of the quirkiest pairings in film history.
1. Royal Tenenbaum (The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001)
Now if you think Darth Vader was a bad father, then wait until you meet Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman). As the patriarch of the Tenenbaum family, he failed to understand his kids and separated from his wife after continuously neglecting her throughout their marriage. But his character growth is phenomenal. As soon as Royal realizes the mistakes he has been making, he lies about his health in a last minute attempt to bring back his family.
Overall, Royal may be a terrible father, but let’s be honest, there really isn’t a Wes Anderson character that we can ever completely dislike.