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Wes Anderson offered Ralph Fiennes any role he liked for this movie

Wes Anderson wanted to work with Ralph Fiennes so much, he sent him a script and told him he had the pick of any of the roles he wanted.

Ralph Fiennes

Wes Anderson is known for the extremely large ensemble casts that populate each one of his eccentric and aesthetically-pleasing movies. So, when he sent Ralph Fiennes a script and said that he had the pick of any of the roles – there was a lot to choose from. Fiennes of course ended up choosing the role of Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and the movie went on to be nominated for Best Picture.

The Grand Budapest Hotel has around 100 characters, and about 20 of those are played by fairly big-name actors including Tony Revolori (who plays Gustave’s loyal sidekick Zero), Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Lucas Hedges, and Owen Wilson.

Fiennes described to GQ; “Wes is sending me this script and he had an eccentric approach, which was; ‘please read the script and tell me which character you’d like to play.’ Well, I think this one, maybe [laughs]. That was a very happy experience, with the way Wes works with his ensemble of actors. I think everyone is there because they love the spirit of his films.”

Since The Grand Budapest Hotel was released in 2014, Anderson has released stop-motion animated movie Isle of Dogs, and another movie with a huge ensemble – The French Dispatch. Fiennes has appeared in James Bond movies as M, as well as the Coens’ Hail Caesar, The King’s Man, and The Menu. He’s also directed his third movie – The White Crow, about Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Wes Anderson’s next project is Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, and his old friend Ralph Fiennes. This is just one of several planned Roald Dahl projects that are on the way, including one involving Taika Waititi.

While we wait for Henry Sugar, check out our guide to the best comedy movies.