Long be­fore Bella and Ed­ward be­witched the teen masses, di­rec­tor Tim Bur­ton cut his oth­er­worldly teeth on the su­per­nat­u­ral soap opera, Dark Shad­ows. It tells the tale of vampire Barn­abas Collins, who is en­tombed for two cen­turies be­fore emerg­ing into a va

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - DARK SHAD­OWS NOW SHOW­ING VIL­LAGE CINE­MAS

Dab­bling in dark arts

Q: So were you one of those kids in the ’ 70s who rushed home from school to watch the TV show Dark Shad­ows? A: Oh yes, didn’t do my home­work. Lousy stu­dent! It was such an un­usual thing. It was a spe­cific time in Amer­ica. Tele­vi­sion was ba­sic. It’s not like now where you can get ev­ery­thing on cable. It was kind of this weird, su­per­nat­u­ral soap opera on ev­ery day in the af­ter­noon. I re­mem­ber it. Johnny [ Depp, who plays Barn­abas] re­mem­bers it. And Michelle [ Pfeif­fer], she used to watch it ev­ery morn­ing in the make- up chair. It’s etched like a weird dream in our minds. Q: It was meant for housewives, but ended up be­ing loved by teenagers and now you’re mak­ing the movie . . . A: It was a strange phe­nom­e­non. It was a melo­dra­matic gothic soap opera and then they brought [ vampire] Barn­abas Collins in and that’s what clicked with ev­ery­body. Strangely enough, it was the first ver­sion of what we see a lot of now – those TV shows GOTHIC TV: An ABC file photo shows Jonathan Frid, of the ’ 60s orig­i­nal vampire soap opera, Dark Shad­ows. that mix su­per­nat­u­ral and drama, vam­pires, witches, were­wolves. Dark Shad­ows was the first ver­sion. Q: How hes­i­tant were you about do­ing a vampire movie? A: I never con­sid­ered it to be a vampire movie. Barn­abas Collins [ Depp] is a reluc­tant vampire. For me, it’s more of a fam­ily story that hap­pens to have a vampire.

I never re­ally felt I’m jump­ing on the vampire band­wagon.

I felt more this is a story where a guy’s been locked up for 200 years and he comes back and has trou­ble deal­ing with his life and fam­ily. Q: Is it true Johnny Depp was so ob­sessed with Barn­abas when he was young that he wanted to grow up and be him? A: So he says. Look­ing at the way he turned out, be care­ful what you wish for! Q: There’s some­thing like 1220 Dark Shad­ows episodes. What was es­sen­tial for you to re­tain from the orig­i­nal? A: That made it hard. You can’t have ev­ery char­ac­ter. I fi­nally boiled it down to a story about a fam­ily. The hard­est thing was try­ing to cap­ture the weird tone of Dark Shad­ows but still mak­ing a movie. Q: You made Alice in Won­der­land in 10 days on a set and the rest was green screen. A: Yeah, hor­ri­ble! Q: What was it like go­ing back to ba­sics with Dark Shad­ows? A: It was great, es­pe­cially with a project that is more ac­tor- based and not over- re­liant on spe­cial ef­fects and more about the char­ac­ters. It helps me. It helps ev­ery­body. Es­pe­cially when we’re go­ing for kind of a strange tone: the Dark Shad­ows vibe. The house be­comes a char­ac­ter and the en­vi­ron­ment is a char­ac­ter.

Q: Why no 3D?

A: Well, first of all, there wasn’t a lot of time. It’s a fairly short sched­ule for a movie like this. But bot­tom line, it’s set in the ’ 70s and we wanted it to feel like a ’ 70s film.

Q: I have to say, it’s a pretty spec­tac­u­lar cast you’ve got

A: Oh yes. It was a weird thing cast­ing, too, ’ cos with the cast­ing di­rec­tor we’d think about ac­tors and I’d have this weird thing. I told her, ‘ Look, I can’t ex­plain to you what I mean by this but some ac­tors are Dark

Shad­ows and some aren’t.’ We’d talk about re­ally good ac­tors and I’d go ‘ They’re not re­ally Dark Shad­ows to me.’

‘‘ I still can’t de­scribe what that is. But when I look at our group of ac­tors, they’re all Dark Shad­ows peo­ple. ‘‘ Whether they like it or not, they’re in the

Dark Shad­ows club.

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