Hackney teen actor doesn’t move a muscle for big film role in The Grand Budapest Hotel
12:49 28 February 2014
A teenage actor is playing a pivotal part in new film The Grand Budapest Hotel by featuring in a supposedly priceless Renaissance portrait which appears throughout the movie.
Ed Munro was picked to appear in the “Boy with apple” painting by the film’s American screenwriter and director, Wes Anderson, who is known for the distinctive visual and narrative style of his movies, which include The Darjeeling Limited.
Anderson’s latest work, which opens in the UK next Friday and is being marketed across London with posters of a massive pink hotel, centres on a painting that is left in a bequest to the hotel’s concierge, played by Ralph Fiennes, before being stolen.
The 15-year old from Lordship Park, Stoke Newington was thrilled when Anderson personally invited him and his parents to Paris last Thursday for the film’s premiere and glamorous after-party, where they brushed shoulders with the likes of Fiennes and his co-stars Jude Law and Tilda Swinton.
Ed was chosen for the portrait nearly two years ago when a casting agent approached Pineapple Dance School in Covent Garden, where he dances.
Once selected, he went for a costume fitting where he tried on a huge selection of fur-trimmed cloaks, embellished bodices, silk pantaloons and codpieces.
He then travelled eight times to a Jacobean school in Dorset for two-hour sittings with Michael Taylor, a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters who has had work exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.
“It was quite strange sitting in a big old crazy building with these amazing old clothes. My hands started to hurt after a while holding the apple,” said Ed, who attends the Italia Conti drama school in the Barbican and hopes to become an actor.
“It was quite strange to see the finished product. I thought it looked like me, but in a year I’ve changed a bit.”
Ed, who attended Grazebrook Junior School in Stoke Newington, and danced the role of Young Don in Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue in 2012, added: “It was crazy and a weird experience to go to Paris. Every corner you turn, there was a huge poster.
“I knew about Wes Anderson before and I really loved all his films. Every moment of it is thought of.
“The film was amazing, better than I even expected. It was quite amazing to finally see my face on the big screen. I get a credit as well which really made me happy.”
Ed took the opportunity to chat to Wes at the party and they plan to meet up again in a few weeks after the film’s opening in America.
He and his family are looking forward to seeing the film again this Sunday afternoon at the Hackney Picturehouse in Mare Street.