'Moonrise Kingdom' Kid Stars on Their 'Fantastic, Special' Experience With Wes Anderson (Video)

Newcomers Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman talk to THR about their experiences merging their natural instincts with writer-director Wes Anderson's mannered style.

There’s no such thing as realism in a Wes Anderson movie, at least not without a little bit of magic to go with it. According to the child stars of his new film Moonrise Kingdom, newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, their experiences off camera were similarly enchanting.

“I learned more about myself,” Gilman told The Hollywood Reporter. “In the sense that I can do a lot more than I think I can but I just don’t think about it.”

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Hayward said that the experience confirmed her budding appetite for acting. “I really realized it was something I wanted to do for a long time to come when I was making this movie,” she said. “Because now I knew what it really was like, and I truly did love it.”

In Moonrise Kingdom, Hayward and Gilman play a pair of pre-teen romantics who run off together after feeling ostracized from their respective social groups – her family, and his Khaki Scout troop. Hayward said that Anderson collaborated closely with the actors to combine their natural instincts with the mannered style of performance that has become a hallmark of his films.

“When we got on set, what we did was we would do it how we would naturally,” she revealed. “And then however he wanted it, he would tweak it and change it in whatever ways were needed.”

Gilman added that Anderson provided them with selections from the film’s soundtrack to help them get into character.

“He did give us a couple of songs from the soundtrack to listen to kind of get the mood,” he said.

Gilman also said that he felt like the film turned out even better than he expected it would. “I didn’t want to hype myself, but it came out really good,” he said. Hayward indicated that the end result fulfilled all of her expectations and then some. “I knew it was going to be wonderful, but the end result blew me away, it really did,” she said.

“I want my next project to be as fantastic and special as this one was.”

Watch the video above for more information about Hayward and Gilman’s experiences making the movie. Moonrise Kingdom is open now in limited release.