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‘Budapest’ Stars Banter Through Berlin Intro

BERLIN — A dream cast of top European and U.S. thespians hammed it up for the assembled press pack as they presented Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as the light-hearted opener of the 2014 Berlin Film Festival.

Bill Murray, who has appeared in a succession of Anderson movies, joked about travelling to faraway place to shoot only a few minutes of footage. “You lose money on the deal,” he said.

“The romance has gone,” Murray quipped, deadpan, in response to a question about his relationship with the director.

Tilda Swinton said she hoped that a “Budapest” prequel might one day be made in order that she could do more sexy scenes in a younger version of her character. “I’m very, very, very, very old,” she said.

Swinton spoke about the importance of the Berlinale in her career — she attended the fest with her debut film, Derek Jarman’s “Caravaggio” — and said that she had asked festival head Dieter Kosslick for a job as a cleaner. “I’ve done pretty much everything else here,” she said.

Swinton will also be in attendance for the Forum screening of Bong Joon Ho’s “Snowpiercer,” a film she described as a “masterpiece.”

Ed Norton joined in the fun suggesting that his “Budapest” costumes reflected Anderson’s uniform fetish. “Wes likes tight trousers and epaulettes on a man,” he said.

Anderson himself jokingly admitted to “more or less plagiarism” of the introduction to Stefan Zweig’s 1939 novel “Beware of Pity.” He said that the Austrian author, who in the 1920s and 1930s was one of the world’s best-known writers, has been unfairly neglected by U.S. readers.

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