Following an advanced screening of Wes Anderson’s upcoming film The Grand Budapest Hotel in Chicago and prior to catching a private train to California, we were privileged to welcome writer-director Wes Anderson to Ten Chimneys. The night before his arrival we received a call that a friend would like to accompany him. That friend was none other than director Roman Coppola (the pair co-wrote the film Moonrise Kingdom, which earned them an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay). What marvelous additions to the Lunts’ illustrious list of guests.
Walking into the Lunts’ home is much like stepping into the imaginary worlds that Wes Anderson creates in his films. The whimsical aesthetics and affinity for color he shares with the Lunts is obvious. While Mr. Anderson and the Lunts are equally known for their attention to detail, their utilization of recurring themes (the Lunts namely in their design of Ten Chimneys, Mr. Anderson in his various films), and their unabashed confidence to remain steadfast to their creativity, we were left honored to be able to glean a little bit more…
It’s natural to imagine the kinship that Mr. Anderson and Mr. Coppola would have shared with the Lunts and to envision the two as guests at Ten Chimneys: sharing a drink with Alfred in the Drawing Room, writing their next screenplay in the Studio, or sitting with Lynn over coffee on the Terrace. Seeing the pair on the estate made this all the more clear. Yet, what remained with our staff most was the overwhelming feeling that, much like the Lunts, despite the tremendous fame that follows the pair, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Coppola both convey a gentle ease and natural demeanor that we all found perfectly charming. It would not surprise us in the least to see these famed filmmakers sitting at the end of the bar at Stag’s. Sound familiar?
What brought the pair to our small hamlet?
Followers of Wes Anderson, and certainly of Ten Chimneys, will remember that in 2012 while describing his latest project, Moonrise Kingdom, on NPR’s Fresh Air, Mr. Anderson mentioned that the house in the film was inspired by the Cottage (The mention of Ten Chimneys in the interview is 20 minutes in.)
An excerpt: “The exterior of the house is a real house in Jamestown, Rhode Island. We modified a certain amount. There is a house that was once owned by the Lunts in, I think it’s in Wisconsin, called Ten Chimneys, and I had found it on the Internet. We sort of redid the outside of this house to be like the Lunts’ house.” - Wes Anderson
If you have not yet seen Moonrise Kingdom (and, you really should), you can spot a glimpse of the Cottage-inspired home in the films preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N8wkVA4_8s
The world premiere of Wes Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, opened the Berlin International Film Festival last month, and opens in U.S. cinemas on Friday, March 7th. Here is the official trailer of The Grand Budapest Hotel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola in the Studio at Ten Chimneys.
Roman Coppola, Randy Bryant (President & CEO of Ten Chimneys Foundation), and Wes Anderson.
Wes Anderson in the Dining Room at Ten Chimneys.
Wes Anderson, Randy Bryant, and Roman Coppola brave the winter elements at Ten Chimneys.
Roman Coppola and Wes Anderson at Ten Chimneys.