Fisher Stevens has been in the business for nearly four decades, wearing the hats of actor, director, writer, producer, you name it. While his early career saw him cast as the comedic sidekick in such hit ’80s movies as The Flamingo Kid, Short Circuit, and My Science Project, he soon found himself squarely in the the role of character actor, appearing on countless prime time shows through the decades. Stevens has split the second act of his career between character acting roles, documentary filmmaker and activist.
If you haven’t experienced The French Dispatch or you have been inexplicably sleeping on the HBO dramedy Succession, you might be unaware, but Fisher Stevens is having quite a moment in front of the camera. He’s just returned from Spain where he has completed work on his fourth Wes Anderson film, the upcoming Asteroid City, and he is a new fan favorite in Succession, starring as the love-to-hate scumbag Hugo Baker.
Taking a step from behind the camera, he is, again, dazzling audiences with his comedic chops. With Anderson’s ability to woo A-listers from around the globe to populate his films, it says quite a lot to find yourself amongst the best of the best. Speaking of entering the Anderson universe for his fourth film, Asteroid City, with the director he says, “I can tell you it’s probably the best, the wildest cast since The Bridge on the River Kwai. Most of the actors in this film have been in theater except for the kids. We were all bubbled together in a hotel, which was an old monastery. I think it’s going to be quite an extravaganza.” He’s not kidding! The cast boasts Tilda Swinton, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Margot Robbie, Rupert Friend, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Hope Davis, Jeffrey Wright, Liev Schreiber, Tony Revolori, Matt Dillon, Maya Hawke, Sophia Lillis and Steve Park.
He also gave some insight on Wes Anderson’s process towards getting what is always a sprawling eclectic cast all on the same page. “Whatever movie I’ve worked with him on, we stay in the same hotels or areas. And when you get into your room, there will be a reading list or videos to watch that were inspirations for Wes. So ‘The New Yorker’articles and articles written about ‘The New Yorker’ writers would be in the hotel room as suggested readings, and movies that inspired him for this particular film. That’s how we did it with The Grand Budapest Hotel, watching Ernst Lubitsch films before we shot it.”
As for his entry into the Roys’ hotbed in Succession, he explains, “I hadn’t watched the show before they cast me and then they cast me and I was like, “Oh sh-t, I better watch this.” And then, “Oh my God, this is so good! These actors!” In a weird way, it’s the same as Wes’s films. When I got there, they were like an acting troupe, like a theater company. I think I had a few lines in my first scene. And then they just put me next to Brian [Cox] on the airplane. And I just felt immediately, ‘I’m a part of this. I’m going to be a scumbag like the rest of these people. I feel good about this.'”
You can catch Fisher Stevens in theaters now in The French Dispatch, and you can currently tune in to Succession for your fix. This news originated at Vulture.