Michelle Pfeiffer Interview For Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’
Director Tim Burton brings the cult classic series ‘Dark Shadows’ to the big screen featuring an all-star cast, led by Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter. In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles. Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). ‘Dark Shadows’ is released in cinemas May 11th. Look out for a more in-depth interview with Michelle Pfeiffer closer to the films release.
Speaking to Tim Burton, he told me that you were a fan of the ‘Dark Shadows’ show, and that you called him about your interest in the part before the film was officially a go?
Michelle Pfeiffer: It was pretty shameless, I’m actually embarrassed to admit it (laughs). But I came so close to not getting the part in ‘Batman Returns’ with him, to play Catwoman. Only because Annette Bening fell out of it, that I got it. So I thought, “I’m not gonna let that happen this time.” And also, I happened to be working with a mutual friend of ours, and she kept really pushing me to call him. Anyways, I finally did. I was apologising the whole time I was talking to him, assuring him that he didn’t really need to cast me (laughs). But I just wanted him to know that I was interested. Then a long time went by, at least a year went by, I didn’t hear anything.
What were you thinking then?
Michelle Pfeiffer: I just thought, “Well, that was embarrassing.” (Laughs) And then they called me, I was very surprised, it happened a while after that phone call.
What was the appeal of the show for you?
Michelle Pfeiffer: ‘Dark Shadows,’ it was just the first of its kind. There was nothing “dark” in general on TV, nothing like that at all. It was about vampires. It was dark, sexy, naughty, scary for its time – its tame for today’s standards, but at that time there was nothing like it on Television. There was certainly nothing like it that kids were watching. You felt like you were participating in something you perhaps shouldn’t be.
How was it working with Tim Burton again, 20 years since you first worked with each other?
Michelle Pfeiffer: He hadn’t changed. And I hadn’t talked to Tim in a long time when I did make that phone call. It was like hearing my brother on the other end. I think I’m just very comfortable with him, he’s so accessible, that may surprise people from the outside, but he is, he’s so accessible. Sometimes you really just gel with a director, you have kind of a shorthand with each other. Maybe it’s because we had similar upbringings, we grew up in similar neighbourhoods, ate the same food, watched the same TV shows. So we just have this short hand. When you have that relationship with a director, it just makes the process so fun. It was terrific.
I have to ask, with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ coming out, are you excited to see Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman?
Michelle Pfeiffer: So much, I’m so excited! She’s so talented. You can’t lose, you know? There’s never been a bad Catwoman, honestly. It’s such a fun part to play, such a great character. She’s so gifted and funny and she has it all, I’m very excited to see what she does with it. I can’t wait.
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