Who has Wes Anderson worked with the most? Director’s regular collaborators revealed

The director is known for working with the same cast

Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody are just some of the actors to regularly collaborate with Wes Anderson in his films  (Alamy).
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When you sit down to enjoy a Wes Anderson film, either at the cinema or in the comfort of your own home, chances are that you will see a few familiar faces on the screen.

This isn't just because Anderson's films feature a star-studded cast, it's because the filmmaker has a tendency to draw on the same pool of actors. Some have joined the 'family' later than others, but they have all been welcomed by fans.

Read more: Asteroid City review: Wes Anderson's whimsical tale is more style than plot

Anderson is known for his perfect framing, his colourful sets and costume, and also the A-lis cast that bring his unique vision to life.

From his directorial debut, Bottle Rocket, to his newest feature Asteroid City, fans of the auteur will enjoy picking out his regular collaborators.

But the question is, which actor has worked with him the most? Let's break it down.

Who has Wes Anderson worked with the most?

Anderson has been making feature films since 1996, starting with Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums before moving onto films like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and The Darjeeling Limited.

He has ventured into animation with Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs, and he has also received critical acclaim for films like The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch, and Moonrise Kingdom. Asteroid City is his eleventh film, and likely his most star-studded production.

10. Luke Wilson - 3 films

Robert Musgrave, Owen Wilson & Luke Wilson Film: Bottle Rocket (1996) Characters: Bob Mapplethorpe, Dignan, Anthony Adams  Director: Wes Anderson 21 February 1996   **WARNING** This Photograph is for editorial use only and is the copyright of COLUMBIA and/or the Photographer assigned by the Film or Production Company and can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above Film. A Mandatory Credit To COLUMBIA is required. The Photographer should also be credited when known. No commercial use can be granted without written authority from the Film Company.

Luke Wilson and his brother Owen have worked with Anderson multiple times, as the director and the siblings became close friends in college where he and Owen Wilson were roommates.

Read more: Meet the star-studded cast of Wes Anderson's new film Asteroid City

The Wilson brothers and Anderson first collaborated together on the short film Bottle Rocket, which Owen Wilson co-wrote with the director, and they went on to make it into a feature that marked the siblings' acting debut and Anderson's feature-film debut.

Luke Wilson has gone on to star in two more Anderson films: Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.

Also on 3 appearances: Stephen Dignan, Dipak Pallana, Brian Tenenbaum, Andrew Wilson, Seymour Cassel, Waris Ahluwalia, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand, Jake Ryan, Tony Revolori, and Liev Schreiber.

9. Jeff Goldblum - 4 films

JEFF GOLDBLUM, WES ANDERSON, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, 2014
Jeff Goldblum and Wes Anderson on the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alamy)

Jeff Goldblum has worked with Anderson a total of four times, first appearing in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou as Alistair Hennessey before going on to appear in The Grand Budapest Hotel and lending his voice to the character of Duke in Isle of Dogs.

The Hollywood icon also makes a cameo appearance in Asteroid City, which brings his total to four.

Also on 4 appearances: Fisher Stephens, Larry Pine, and Kumar Pallana.

8. Willem Dafoe - 5 films

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU, Willem Dafoe, Bill Murray, 2004, (c) Touchstone/courtesy Everett Collection
Willem Dafoe and Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Alamy)

Like Goldblum, Willem Dafoe's collaboration with Anderson began with The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in 2004 in which he played Klaus Daimler.

Read more: Wes Anderson is not a fan of the viral TikTok trend inspired by his films (Rolling Stone, 2-min read).

The pair have continued to work together on multiple occasions, including Anderson's more recent projects The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch and Asteroid City. Dafoe also voices a character in Isle of Dogs, bringing his total to 5.

7. Anjelica Huston - 5 films

La famille Tenenbaum The Royal Tenenbaums 2002 Real  Wes Anderson Anjelica Huston. Collection Christophel © Touchstone Pictures / American Empirical P
Anjelica Huston in The Royal Tenenbaums (Touchstone Pictures)

Anjelica Huston first began working with Anderson in his 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums, and she followed this stellar performance with an appearance in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited.

This was her last onscreen appearance in an Anderson production as she simply narrated The French Dispatch. It is also here that things get a little more complicated with the star's collaboration with Anderson, because Huston is credited as having a role in Isle of Dogs but the part was of a mute dog.

If it is considered to count towards her collaboration tally, then Huston has been in a total of five Anderson films.

6. Tilda Swinton - 5 films

The French Dispatch Year: 2021 USA Director: Wes Anderson Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton in The French Dispatch (Alamy)

Tilda Swinton is one of the more recent Anderson collaborators, first working with the director in 2012's Moonrise Kingdom and continuing to work with him ever since.

Swinton has starred in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs, The French Dispatch, and viewers will be able to see her onscreen once again in Asteroid City. Bringing her to a total of five Anderson films.

5. Edward Norton - 5 films

Los Angeles. CA. USA. Edward Norton in the ©Focus Features promo for : Moonrise Kingdom (2012).  Plot: A pair of teenage lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them. Directed by Wes Anderson.  Ref:LMK106-33475-230112 Supplied by LMKMEDIA. Editorial Only. Landmark Media is not the copyright owner of these Film or TV stills but provides a service only for recognised Media outlets. pictures@lmkmedia.com
Edward Norton in Moonrise Kingdom (Alamy)

Like Swinton, Edward Norton has been working with Anderson since Moonrise Kingdom, and he has made an appearance in all of his films since.

Read more: Scarlett Johansson says Wes Anderson was 'uncomfortable' directing her 'Asteroid City' nude scene

The actor has been in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs, The French Dispatch, and he will soon be seen portraying the playwright Conrad Earp in Asteroid City.

4. Adrien Brody - 5 films

JASON SCHWARTZMAN, ADRIEN BRODY, OWEN WILSON, THE DARJEELING LIMITED, 2007
Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson in The Darjeeling Limited (Alamy)

Adrien Brody has worked with Anderson since 2007's The Darjeeling Limited, in which he played Peter Whitman, brother to Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman's Francis and Jack.

He has gone on to appear in Fantastic Mr Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch and, finally, in Asteroid City. Bringing his total to five as well.

Also on 5 appearances: Eric Chase Anderson, Wallace Wolodarsky, and Bob Balaban.

3. Owen Wilson - 7 films

Owen Wilson Film: Bottle Rocket (1996) Characters: Dignan  Director: Wes Anderson 21 February 1996   **WARNING** This Photograph is for editorial use only and is the copyright of COLUMBIA and/or the Photographer assigned by the Film or Production Company and can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above Film. A Mandatory Credit To COLUMBIA is required. The Photographer should also be credited when known. No commercial use can be granted without written authority from the Film Company.
Owen Wilson in Bottle Rocket (Alamy)

As mentioned, Anderson and Owen Wilson have worked together often since they have known each other since they were in college.

Wilson first appeared in Bottle Rocket, he co-wrote Rushmore but only appears in a photograph, and he returned to the Anderson film-verse for The Royal Tenenbaums.

The actor has since appeared in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. He also starred in The French Dispatch, but he will not be appearing in Asteroid City.

2. Jason Schwartzman - 7 films

RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2023. TITLE: Asteroid City. STUDIO: Focus Features. DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson. PLOT: The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer convention is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events. STARRING: (L to R) Writer/director WES ANDERSON, actor JASON SCHWARTZMAN and actor TOM HANKS on set. (Credit Image: © Focus Features/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE!
Wes Anderson on set with Jason Schwartzman and Tom Hanks for Asteroid City (Focus Features).

Like Wilson, Jason Schwartzman has starred in seven of Anderson's films, first appearing in Rushmore and going on to star in The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

He has also starred in The French Dispatch, and he takes on one of the lead roles in Asteroid City as war photographer Augie Steenbeck, and the actor playing the part on stage.

1. Bill Murray - 9 films

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU, BILL MURRAY, 2004
Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Alamy)

This may or may not come as a surprise to Anderson fans, but Bill Murray is the actor to have worked with the director the most as he has appeared in every one of his films since Rushmore.

He took the lead role in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and has appeared in The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs, and The French Dispatch.

Murray was originally set to appear in Asteroid City, but he had to drop out of the film because of the COVID pandemic and Steve Carrell took on the part originally intended for him.

Asteroid City comes to UK cinemas on Friday, 23 June.

Watch a trailer: