From her long tenure in the Marvel Universe to her new role in Asteroid City, Scarlett Johansson is no stranger to star ensemble casts. But throughout her long list of A-list collaborations, there’s one actor she’s still hoping to work with: Tom Cruise.
“I’d love to work with Tom Cruise,” Johansson told The News84Media at the New York premiere of Asteroid City on tuesday. For the time being, though, she’s counting Jason Schwartzman, Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrell, Maya Hawke, Jeffrey Wright, Jeff Goldblum and Adrien Brody as her co-stars in the new Wes Anderson film, which follows the world-changing events that disrupt the itinerary of a 1955 Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention in the desert.
“His set is so unique because Wes is never worried about time,” Johansson explained of working with Anderson. “He’s never worried about having to get to the next shot or how many shots in a day or what we have or haven’t completed. He really is so present in the moment of the scene work that you’re doing that I think it just allows for such creative freedom because you really can sit in a scene and you have all the time to discover new ways in.”
Schwartzman, who has previously worked on several of Anderson’s films, noted of the pair’s relationship, “I was fortunate enough to meet someone that I really connected with when I was young, and we’ve somehow managed to be able to have a really honest friendship and working relationship that is based really on sharing.”
“That’s what I love about working with him is you learn about him through the work and there’s no one who does it like him,” the actor continued. “He’s always pushing it somewhere new. I’m envious of him and I’m happy to be a part of this.” Schwartzman also emphasized the camaraderie of the star-studded cast, noting how everyone would show up to set up to support each other even when not working, as Cranston recalled how, “Every single night the entire group of actors and the director of photography and the The costume designer and the makeup and hair and wardrobe people were all together, having dinner, sharing wine, telling stories, finding out about each other’s family.”
“The experience is unlike any filming experience I’ve ever had in 43 years,” he confirmed. Stars Brody and Goldblum chimed in to sing Anderson’s praises on the carpet, with Brody explaining, “Wes is a wonderfully collaborative person and he has a unique specificity that is a fun challenge to achieve — his use of language and timing and these long master shots. that have no cutaways.”
Added Goldblum, who revealed that he was tasked with walking on stilts in the film, “He reminds me of somebody who considers the shooting experience an art project and an important opportunity in itself. Every moment is a kind of sparkling, sterling opportunity for presence. He is a delicious, delightful storyteller, he loves actors, and attracts the cream of the crop cast wise and every other wise, on the crew.”
Cranston also weighed in on Anderson’s comments that the film needs to be watched twice, joking, “It’s kind of like a meal that’s prepared with so many different subtleties of spices and flavors that you have to slow down.”
“You slow down and you’re dissecting it to really zero in on what you’re tasting — same thing with a Wes Anderson movie,” he continued. “When you see it the first time you go, ‘Oh my gosh, the color, the movement, the language, wow, wow, wow.’ You see it a second time and I guarantee you’ll see so many things you never caught the first time around.”
Asteroid City blasts into select theaters on Friday.
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