The 10 Most Memorable Wes Anderson Minor Characters
By Will Hinton
10. Rat (Willem Dafoe) – The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Boggis, Bunce and Bean are bad men, but Bean’s guard Rat is deliciously psychotic and evil. Armed with a switchblade and fancy moves, Rat cares less about doing his job than thwarting Fox at every turn.
9. Pele dos Santos (Seu Jorge) – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Brazilian singer/songwriter Seu Jorge plays the memorable Pele dos Santos, Zissou crewmate and resident crooner. Wes Anderson is known for brilliant soundtracks; Seu Jorge’s covers of David Bowie tunes (with made-up Portuguese lyrics) make this soundtrack a must have.
8. Magnus Buchan (Stephen McCole) – Rushmore
Magnus Buchan is the Scottish bully at Rushmore Academy, always a thorn in Max Fischer’s side. Buchan’s malevolent grin and hulking physicality make him a schoolboy’s worst nightmare. Yet Max eventually wins him over:
Max: “I gotta hand it to you Magnus. You have a way with words. You wanna be in a play?”
Buchan: “I always wanted to be in one of your fucking plays.”
7. Mr. Henry (James Caan) – Bottle Rocket
Mr. Henry. Criminal mastermind. Karate expert. Father figure to Dignan. Caan plays the rakish con man, Mr. Henry, to perfection and steals the show with his beat down of Future Man.
Mr. Henry: “The world needs dreamers.”
Future Man: “Excuse me?”
Mr. Henry: “I don’t think so. You know one day you’re going to wake up and realize that you no longer have a brother. And you no longer have any friends. And on that day, I’m gonna be front and center laughing my fucking ass off.”
6. Alistair Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum) – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Alistair Hennessey is Steve Zissou’s foppish and more successful nemesis. Hennessey has endless resources, a sweet espresso machine in his research vessel, derides Zissou’s quest for the Jaguar shark, and was previously married to Zissou’s wife Eleanor. Jeff Goldblum’s Hennessey lives to tweak Zissou at every step.
5. Pagoda (Kumar Pallana) – The Royal Tenenbaums
Kumar Pallana is a long-time member of Wes Anderson’s inner circle of actors. In The Royal Tenenbaums, Pallana has his biggest role as Pagoda, the Tenenbaum’s butler and doesn’t disappoint. The loyal servant always manages to insert himself into family matters and stir the pot. Royal describing Pagoda: “He saved my life, you know. Thirty years ago. I was knifed at a bazaar in Calcutta, and he carried me to the hospital on his back.” When asked who stabbed him, Royal pointed to Pagoda, replying, “He did!”
4. Dirk Calloway (Mason Gamble) – Rushmore
Max Fischer’s best friend is Dirk Calloway, possibly because Max wants a hand job from Dirk’s mom. Dirk eventually confronts the back-stabbing Herman Blume in an Old West show down. With a cold stare, Dirk accuses Blume, “With friends like you, who needs friends”, and spits on Blume’s Bentley. What a badass!
3. Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave) – Bottle Rocket
Who can forget the neurotic Bob Mapplethorpe? Bob is growing a crop of marijuana plants in his parents’ back yard, is constantly terrorized by his brother Future Man, almost breaks up the team because he can’t keep his hand off the gun, and eventually has his house emptied in a robbery by Mr. Henry. Bob vacillates between a sad sack who can’t sell himself to a raging adolescent always on the verge of losing it. Bob Mapplethorpe, potential get-away driver: Go!
2. Klaus Daimler (Willem Dafoe) – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Klaus Daimler. Calm. Collected. German. Wes Anderson’s films are full of sidekicks and Klaus Daimler is one of the best. Dafoe’s Daimler is the hard-charging second-in-command who’s threatened by the arrival of Steve Zissou’s son Ned Plimpton. We finally see the soft side of Klausey when he complains of not being picked by Zissou. “I’m sick of always being on the B squad.” Zissou: “You may be on B squad but you are the B squad leader.”
1. Future Man (Andrew Wilson) – Bottle Rocket
Bob Mapplethorpe’s über-jock brother Future Man is the closest thing there is to an antagonist in Bottle Rocket. Played by Andrew Wilson (Owen and Luke Wilson’s brother), Future Man figures into some of the best scenes. He beats up Bob for not cleaning the pool, makes fun of a yellow jump-suited Dignan for looking like a “little banana” and embarrasses Bob at the country club. Somewhere there is a town full of jocks led by Future Man, just waiting for their comeuppance.