About The Characters
"Rushmore stars newcomer Jason Schwartzman
as Max Fischer. Finding an actor to play Max was the filmmakers'
biggest challenge. Schwartzman was cast after a nine-month search
which utilized fourteen casting directors in the United States,
Canada and England, and in which 1,800 candidates for the role
were seen. Director Anderson recalls meeting Schwartzman for the
first time. "I knew right away that he was the one, and we
shut down the search."
Bill Murray is famous for making people laugh. But, over the course
of his career, he has also played a number of unusual dramatic
roles. While his performance as Mr. Blume is often comedic, he
draws on his considerable depth as an actor, and gives a unique
performance-as funny as it is painful, odd, quiet, and real. Producer
Barry Mendel admired Murray's "unsentimental" acting
style. "He does a tremendous amount with very little. If
you just watch his eyes, you can understand his entire story.
What this performance tells us is that we've only begun to scratch
the surface of what Bill can do as an actor."
First grade teacher Miss Cross is played by Royal shakespeare
Company alumnus Olivia Williams whose appearance in "Rushmore"
marks her second film.
Mason Gamble plays Dirk Calloway, Max's fourth grade chapel partner
and protege. Gamble refers to Dirk as Max's conscience. The young
actor says, "Wes told me to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas
special. I watched it, and he said, 'OK. You're Linus."'
Academy Award-nominee Seymour Cassel plays Bert Fischer, Max's
father. Cassel describes his character as being "the opposite
of Max, much more reserved, but he encourages his son to be who
he wants to be, or who he thinks he wants to be. He just loves
him a lot and allows him to experiment with life."
Acclaimed actor Brian Cox plays Dr. Guggenheim. Cox describes
him: "I am the headmaster of Rushmore Academy, and I have
the misfortune of having to deal with a young man called Max Fischer,
who, deep down, wants my job. He is my nemesis, and I am his.
But we cannot help but respect one another as formidable enemies.
Sara Tanaka, a student at Brown University, in Providence, Rhode
Island, auditioned in New York and was cast as Margaret Yang,
a student at Grover Cleveland High School. "At first, she
comes off as sweet," Tanaka says, "but there's more
to her than meets the eye. She's the mature one in the movie."
Stephen McCole's agent sent his audition tape from Glasgow, Scotland.
He was immediately cast as Magnus Buchan, a post-graduate foreign
exchange student with half his ear missing. He torments Max and
others at the school for his own sadistic pleasure. McCole describes
his character as 'a slightly disturbed person."
Real-life brothers Ronnie and Keith McCawley play Blume's unbearable
twin sons Ronny and Donny. Casting director Mary Gail Art: sported
the pair in a video store in Los Angeles, where they were fighting
with one another. Anderson says, "It's what's known as typecasting.'
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