Tony Revolori grabbed everyone's attention earlier this year as he landed his first major film role in The Grand Budapest Hotel: a film that saw him work with director Wes Anderson for the first time.
We caught up with the actor to chat about the film, working with Anderson, and what lies ahead.
- The Grand Budapest Hotel is about to be released on Blu-Ray/DVD here in the UK, so can you tell me a bit about the film?
This is a great movie dealing with brotherhood, friendship, loyalty, and love.
All in the backdrop of World War 1 and it’s a really touching story with a lot of comedy and action. It’s quirky and you’ll have lots of fun watching it. You can’t help but love the film.
- The movie sees you take on the role of Zero, so what was it about this character and the script that initially drew you to the project?
It was mostly because I love Wes Anderson and I’d do anything for the guy. He’s a master. I was literally waiting for a role just like this and finally had the chance.
It was really good that I was able to get this part in the movie. It’s actually funny, because I went to this audition with my brother and we had an audition for an Untitled Wes Anderson project.
Both my brother and I got the call back and in the end I beat him. So it was very cool. I beat my brother to the grand role!
- Was he upset?
No, no, he was really supportive and we’ve been doing this for a long time. He was really cool about this and supported me, encouraging me to do good.
- Wes Anderson is in the director's chair for the film, so how did you find working with him?
The experience was amazing, Wes is brilliant. He is a fantastic director that knows what he wants and works until he gets what he wants, which is great.
There’s nobody there telling him he can’t do anything, so we all work for him. Wes has a very calm demeanour and comforting aurora.
Especially for me, as a new person on the job it was great to work with someone like that. And he helped me feel comfortable so I felt I could do anything.
As an actor, he relaxes you, so that way when you do 30 plus takes, which we did, you don’t feel too stretched out.
- Anderson can be quite specific in what he wants from his actors but how collaborative a process was it between you and him as you were developing the character of Zero? Was their role for you to bring your own ideas to the table?
Wes is very calm and he’s open to suggestions. So if you let Wes know you’re not feeling a certain movement or anything, he’ll explain why the movement has to be done or find a solution, which is great. But for the most part, Wes thought of everything.
- How big a fan were you of Anderson's movies before you got the chance to work with him?
I had seen the Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr Fox, and The Royal Tenebaums and I loved them all. Now I’ve seen all of Wes’ films.
In particular, I loved the Darjeeling Limited - I have two bothers myself and the movie touched home there. I thought it was a very lovely movie.
- There is a very real feel to this film - the sets that were designed by Anderson & Adam Stockhausen play a big hand in that. What was it like walking on to those sets and getting to work on them? How does that help as an actor?
Absolutely. When you have everything on a set the experience is very tangible, there’s nothing left to imagination.
Therefore, you can stop acting and start believing - being the character. I think it’s very helpful when that happens.
Of course, sometimes it’s very difficult to have these sets built and green screen is used a lot of the time, but I enjoyed the real sets made for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- Was there a particular set that you enjoyed working on the most?
I found the interior of the lobby so grand; it really looked like a hotel.
- This film brings together an incredible cast - as all Wes Anderson films do - what was it like being part of that?
It’s tremendous how wonderful that is [the cast]. The actors are so great; it’s like taking a master class without paying for it.
Everyone has their own methods - and I could take pieces from every single one of them and make it my own.
- You work closely with Ralph Fiennes so what kind of an experience was that? You were both working with Anderson for the first time.
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what elements I have taken from this movie acting wise.
I’m sure when I’m shooting another movie that I’ll be thinking ‘That’s what I took from him’ [Ralph Fiennes]. But as for right now, it hasn’t clicked in my mind.
- You have worked in film before but this is really a break out role for you. So how have you found the transition away from TV? How do the two mediums compare?
I’ve always loved shooting movies, but I also like TV. To be honest, it wasn’t much of me searching or choosing - I was kind of open to everything [roles] up to the point of auditioning to this film.
This film [The Grand Budapest Hotel] will hopefully give me freedom to make choices in my career.
I really enjoy shooting movies and I want to continue doing that. It’s something I’m looking forward to, to see where I can take my career and what I can do next.
- What do you feel that you have taken away from working on The Grand Budapest Hotel that you can now take forward into other film roles?
This film has opened many doors and will give me a lot more opportunities, which is great and fantastic.
I’m really enjoying working right now and hope I can continue working and doing parts that people will love.
- Finally, what's next for you?
There’s a couple of things in the loop right now. I just finished shooting a movie in India, which was a great experience called Umrika, a Hindi film with Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi, Million Dollar Arm).
It was a great project, I really enjoyed it, and hopefully the film comes out this year. And hopefully I’ll be able to shoot something this summer and continue going!
The Grand Budapest Hotel is out now on Digital HD and on Blu-ray and DVD on 7 July from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment