VENICE Owen Wilson, the Hollywood actor
hospitalized just over a week ago following a reported suicide
attempt, is "doing very well," said Wes Anderson, who directed
him in the new comedy "The Darjeeling Limited."
Wilson had been expected to join the cast and crew of the
movie in Venice, where it is one of 22 entries in the main
competition at the annual film festival. "The Darjeeling
Limited" has its world premiere later on Monday.
"We all miss having him here very much right now,"
Anderson, who has worked with Wilson on several films, told a
news conference following a press screening of the movie.
"Obviously he's been through quite a lot this week, but I
can tell you that's he doing very well and making us laugh, and
when he's ready he's going to speak for himself much better
than any of us could. He's got a very good way with words."
Anderson urged reporters to restrict their questions to the
film in order to protect Wilson's privacy.
The 38-year-old actor and writer, nominated for an Oscar
along with Anderson for the screenplay to "The Royal
Tenenbaums," was released from a clinic over the weekend,
according to media reports.
Wilson's box-office record -- "Wedding Crashers" topped
$200 million in U.S. box office sales -- and his onscreen image
as an affable everyman who charms the ladies and boozes with
the boys, has made him a favorite with filmmakers and
"Darjeeling" follows three troubled brothers who meet on a
train in India and embark on an often hilarious spiritual
journey they hope will heal family rifts.
Owen plays the oldest sibling Francis Whitman, a control
freak whose head is wrapped in bandages and whose face is
covered in plasters after a near-death motorcycle crash.
Adrien Brody plays the middle sibling Peter, deeply anxious
about the impending birth of his child, and Jason Schwartzman
rounds off the trio as Jack, a writer who obsessively monitors
the messages on his girlfriend's answering machine back home.
Most of the action takes place on an Indian train called
The Darjeeling Limited, which trundles across stunning
landscapes between teeming towns, where the brothers alight to
visit shrines they hope will bring answers to their problems.
But the real epiphany comes when they attempt to rescue
three Indian boys whose raft overturns in a fast-running river.
Tragedy and absurdity blur as the boys' family and friends
welcome the three bewildered Whitmans into their homes in a
village in the middle of nowhere.
The ultimate quest is to find their mother, played by
Anjelica Huston, who left them to be a nun on a remote Indian
hilltop. When they finally reach her, she meets them briefly
only to disappear the following morning.
Anderson and his team hired a real Indian train and 10
coaches for three months, stripped them down, rebuilt the
interiors and painted them in vivid colors, negotiating what
they called "Byzantine Indian bureaucracies" to get the job
Bill Murray has a fleeting cameo role, appearing near the
beginning of the film chasing a train he does not catch and
again briefly at the end.
Murray joked: "Finally in this film I have the role ...
that I've always cherished," before he described working a
handful of days while relaxing for weeks in India and Venice.
"This is what I cherish about this man," he added, referring to