Eva Green 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.
Your character Angelique Bouchard, I think it’s safe to say that she’s a bit cuckoo?
Eva Green: Angelique is definitely a bit cuckoo (laughs). She’s a very big character, she’s mad about Barnabas. When we first meet her it’s in the 18th century, and she’s a servant working for the Collins family. She has this affair with the young master, Baranabas, but he breaks her heart when he rejects her for Josette. And yeah, she’s not very happy (laughs). She’s a witch and she takes her revenge by turning him into a vampire and decides to lock him in a coffin for several centuries….as we all do, you know, when we get a bit hurt (laughs).
How was it getting into the mindset of someone like her?
Eva Green: I got inspired by many things, you know? The music of Janis Joplin, Bette Davis in her more bonkers roles. Also, Jack Nicholson sometimes, his great way of being on the edge. It was many things. But also there’s something quite human about her. I think she may be the “baddie” but she’s kind of a damaged character. Damaged by love.
What was it like walking onto the set of a Tim Burton film, someone you had admired for a number years?
Eva Green: Two months before shooting I couldn’t sleep (laughs). I was scared, I thought, “I’m gonna disappoint, I have to do this American accent, oh my god!” (Laughs) I was very stressed. But Tim Burton was so supportive, we talked a lot before. I was pinching myself everyday, but he makes you feel very at ease, very comfortable. By the time I was shooting I was fine, there was no pressure onset – it was very relaxed. It was almost like an independent feature, weirdly.
I’ve always been a big big fan of Tim’s, so it was like a dream come true. He’s a very sensitive man, very humble. And he’s so creative, you get near him and it’s very electric. It’s contagious. It’s as if he has five people in his head and it’s always very active. He’s great because he’s so open to suggestions, like Chloe said. That is a real luxury for an actor. And he really understood Angelique’s character, he was great to collaborate with.
You have some great scenes opposite Johnny Depp’s Barnabas Collins, how was he to work with?
Eva Green: It was fun, he’s so funny – my God! It was difficult to keep a straight face at times. Like Tim Burton, he’s very easy to work with, very kind and open. They understand also that it must be kind of scary for somebody from the outside coming into their world. They’re very, very open and patient. Both of them were always asking, “What do you think?” Johnny, he’s such a generous actor, a real gentleman. He’s very intense, he has the most intense eyes. He doesn’t move, then like thunder his eyes are locked (laughs). He’s very strong, he takes risks, very brave. And also he does a lot of homework, he makes sure he’s prepared. He was amazing.
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