Wes Anderson has a long history of often working with the same collection of actors, and Anjelica Huston has been a part of that family for years. While she doesn’t exactly have numbers that match Bill Murray, Huston first teamed with the writer/director on The Royal Tenenbaums, and then both The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited. Now the upcoming Isle Of Dogs marks the fourth time that they’ve collaborated… but there’s a special catch with this part: she may be one of the first performers ever credited in an animated movie for a silent part. Fellow Wes Anderson veteran Jeff Goldblum recently told us,
Well, I heard the story about that. Anjelica Huston, who is in both of those… who is in Life Aquatic, who is just wonderful. I heard she had a conversation during the process where she said, ‘Hey, I want to be in this movie. I want to be a dog; maybe I can be a poodle.’ I’m just telling a story that somebody told me. That they said, ‘Good idea,’ but then, throughout, they couldn’t find it, so anyway, they credited her with a ‘[Mute] Poodle.’
Last month, Jeff Goldblum was in Berlin, Germany for the premiere of Isle of Dogs at the Berlin Film Festival, and it was while sitting down for a roundtable interview with reporters that he revealed the story behind Anjelica Huston’s mysterious role in the new stop-motion feature. During the conversation, I actually asked Goldblum specifically about the credit, having caught it during a screening the previous day, and fortunately he had the scoop on it, explaining that it came about when Wes Anderson just couldn’t find a legitimate speaking part to give the actress.
Given Anjelica Huston’s fantastic past work with Anderson, it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t generate a more significant role to give her this time around, but to his credit the film actually does feature one of the most remarkable ensembles that Anderson has ever put together. “Wes Vets” like Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDomand, and F. Murray Abraham are all represented, but Isle of Dogs also includes an amazing staff of first-timers, including Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Courtney B. Vance, and Greta Gerwig. All things considered, it’s ultimately nice that Wes Anderson did find some way to make Huston a part of the Isle of Dogs group — and in a unique way.
Movie-goers will be able to not hear Anjelica Huston’s voice performance in theaters this weekend, as Isle of Dogs will be entering distribution this Friday. It’s a great film that we highly recommend, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for a whole lot more from my interviews with the cast!