Exclusive: Kathryn Leigh Scott Talks Dark Shadows, Dark Passages, and More! - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Kathryn Leigh Scott Talks Dark Shadows, Dark Passages, and More!

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For this writer one of the highlights of this past July’s San Diego Comic-Con was the chance to sit in on the “Dark Shadows” panel, which included actress turned author Kathryn Leigh Scott, whose first fiction novel, Dark Passages, was recently released by Pomegranate Press. To coincide with the release, Dread Central interviewed Ms. Scott about not only her new book but also the time she spent working both on the “Dark Shadows” TV series and in the Playboy Club during its heyday. We also managed to garner a tiny bit more info on what’s in store for fans of “Dark Shadows” in the upcoming Tim Burton film adaptation.

Kathryn Leigh Scott

Dread Central: “Dark Shadows” began airing 45 years ago, and now all these years later there’s a major motion picture based on the series on its way. How do you account for its continuing appeal to so many generations?

Kathryn Leigh Scott: I think its appeal lies in the chemistry among the actors who originated the roles, the plots based on stories from classic literature, and the sheer inventiveness of the series. It was so ahead of its time, and now it’s become a classic.

DC: Can you recall a time over the last 45 years when it wasn’t as popular, and if so, what do you think caused that decline?

KLS: There’s never been a time when the show was not popular, largely because it remained on the air in reruns and then was available on VHS and DVD. Also, the continued interest in “Dark Shadows” has much to do with the response of the fans to our annual festivals and to all the books the various “Dark Shadows” actors have written about the show. We’ve really supported the series. As a result, we now see a fourth generation of new fans!

DC: Any regrets about leaving the show when you did, especially since it ended just a few months later?

KLS: No regrets. It was time to move on, and even Dan Curtis wanted to try his hand at new projects … and there’s no truth to the rumor that the show went off the air because I left!

DC: You played, if I counted them right, five different characters on the show: present day governess Maggie Evans, Josette DuPres (Barnabas’ lover circa 1795), governess Rachel Drummond (circa 1897), Kitty Soames (aka Lady Hampshire, also circa 1897), and Maggie Collins (Quentin’s wife in parallel time 1970). Was that at all confusing for you? I know I’m confused just writing about the roles! What methods did you use to differentiate each one?

KLS: The roles were all so entirely different, and the time periods alone helped keep the characters very individual. I was invested in each one and appreciated the challenge of defining and developing more than one character on the show. What a gift for a young actor! The confusing part was in keeping the storylines straight! To this day, the fans watching the reruns seem to have a better grasp of the plots.

Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jonathan Frid in Dark Shadows

DC: Getting off the horror track for a second, the rights to your book The Bunny Years, a firsthand account and recollections of the time you spent working in the New York City Playboy Club before joining the cast of “Dark Shadows”, have been acquired by Imagine Television as a potential source of episodes for the upcoming new NBC TV show “The Playboy Club”. Besides the obvious influence of the phenomenal success of “Mad Men”, what do you think is the reason for the public’s ongoing fascination with the 1960’s?

KLS: It was a time of explosive change in our society, especially for women … a time of redefining the roles and relationships of the sexes, particularly in the workplace, which is really what The Bunny Years is about. Bunnies, stewardesses, and secretaries are all very much a part of that 60’s story. It was also a time of glamour, sophistication, and romance … as soon as cigars, martinis, banquette seating, and smart cocktail dresses came back into vogue, I knew we were in the midst of rediscovering the era.

DC: What about how women’s roles have changes since the 1960’s? Are you ever nostalgic for those days, or do you feel much better off now?

KLS: Women’s Lib was about equal opportunity and equal pay in the workplace, and we have come a long way. There’s greater respect for everyone’s rights, and I think we’re all better off. I also have great nostalgia for that period and don’t necessarily think the changing roles of men and women robbed us of what was wonderful about that time. There is a coarsening of our culture, and I think many other factors are to blame for that.

DC: Aside from The Bunny Years, you’ve primarily written non-fiction books regarding your time on “Dark Shadows” such as My Scrapbook: Memories of Dark Shadows, The Dark Shadows Companion: 25th Anniversary Collection, and The Dark Shadows Almanac: Millennium Edition for Pomegranate Press, the publishing company you launched in 1986. What made you decide to try your hand at fiction after all these years?

KLS: I’ve always wanted to write fiction, but it’s harder to sell than nonfiction, where subject matter is the key. Also, it’s taken me a while to develop the skills to write fiction. I think it was a “now or never” proposition, and I just dived in. I also had stories I wanted to tell and could only do so with fiction.

DC: There’s been a huge resurgence in popularity for vampire-themed movie and TV projects that started out as books such as Twilight, “True Blood”, and “The Vampire Diaries”. What do you think sets your new book, Dark Passages, apart from the rest of the pack?

KLS: I didn’t start out to write a paranormal novel with a vampire theme. I wrote the entire book as a coming-of-age story set in the early 60’s. When I finished it, I suddenly thought, “What if?” and then completely rewrote the book. So Meg Harrison in Dark Passages was a fully defined character with a complete story before I added the vampire dimension and gave her the added challenge of living as an “other” among mortals, some of whom are even family members.

DC: What else can you tell us about Dark Passages (review here) that you think both your followers and fans of “Dark Shadows” will find interesting? How much of it is autobiographical?

KLS: Even one of my brothers wondered why I didn’t call Dark Passages a memoir … and the answer is: None of it is true! Only the setting is drawn from real life and my knowledge of that time and place. Readers of my nonfiction books about “Dark Shadows” and the Playboy Club know what really happened … Dark Passages is about what could have happened.

Kathryn Leigh Scott's Dark Passages

DC: Checking IMDB, it appears your last acting project was Parasomnia – as a fan of both you and horror films, I was glad to see you return to the genre. Aside from your cameo in Tim Burton’s upcoming Dark Shadows (which we’ll get to next), any other acting projects on the horizon? And are you yourself a horror fan? If so, what horror films are among your favorites?

KLS: Parasomnia was fun because the director actually named the nurse I played “Margaret Evans, RN” because he was a fan of “Dark Shadows”. I enjoy some horror classics but not the current blood and guts movies. I need a good story that’s character driven.

DC: Now, about that cameo. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to attend the “Dark Shadows” panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con and learn that you, Lara Parker, David Selby, and the great Jonathan Frid were all flown to Pinewood Studios in England to participate in the film. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

KLS: We’ve not only been sworn to secrecy, we had to sign confidentiality agreements! I can only tell you that it was a joy for all of us to be so wonderfully transported into this new era of “Dark Shadows” … and this sort of homage and inclusiveness is rare! Johnny [Depp], Tim [Burton], Helena [Bonham Carter], Michelle [Pfeiffer], and everyone else on the set of the new Warner Bros. film made us feel so welcome and honored. And they are making a darn good movie!


Our thanks to Kathryn Leigh Scott for her time and to her publicist Darlene Chan for facilitating the interview. To stay up-to-date on what Ms. Scott has going on, be sure to visit her official site KathrynLeighScott.com.

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Get a Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Pre-Production for Marcel Walz’s New Film

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The Blood Feast remake directed by Marcel Walz has been generating quite a buzz (read our review here) so we’ve been wondering what’s next for him, and over the weekend Walz provided us with an answer… sort of.

He sent over the following photos for us to share with our readers, some of which also appeared on his social media accounts.  Marcel is in pre-production on a new film that will start shooting in Los Angeles next month.

Right now the title and primary cast members are being kept under wraps, but you can expect an official announcement soon.

In the meantime check out the images, and let the guessing games begin!

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Death House Theatrical Release Delayed One Week Due to Black Panther Success

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Death House

If you were excited to see Death House this week, you’re going to have to pump your brakes as the film’s theatrical release has been postponed one week due to the success of Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther.

Eric Pakrinson, C.E.O. of Hannover House, who is distributing Death House in theaters, states, “Obviously, we are very disappointed to find such pressure from the exhibitors to hold-over multiple screens for ‘Black Panther’ but we are happy for the success that this film is providing to theatre owners, and we know that the slight delay we are implementing for ‘Death House’ will ultimately pay big dividends for the film.”

The plan is to now launch Death House on Friday, March 2nd with a special media event and public opening at the Regency Plant 16 in Van Nuys, California, where 20 cast members, along with additional crew, will be present. From there, the film will spread to other markets on March 9 and March 16. If performances are strong, additional markets will be added following those dates.

This shift in release also pushes back the home video and digital release dates to July, although no official date has been locked.

Director Harrison Smith recorded a video asking the horror community to turn out in droves when the film hits their market. You can see it below.

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Rumor: Stephen King’s IT: Chapter 2 Starts Shooting this Summer

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Let me start this out by saying that this bit of Stephen King’s IT news has not been confirmed. That said, I can only hope that it is true so let’s see what you think.

Today, Omega Underground is reporting that Andres Muschietti’s IT: Chapter 2 will begin filming this summer on June 18th. The site also claims that filming will take place at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

I guess we’ll see if this rumor is true or not in the next few weeks as the casting of the adult Loser’s Club should be underway one way or the other soon as the movie already has a set release date in September 2019.

Are you excited that IT: Chapter 2 might begin principal photography this summer? Let us know below!

IT is directed by Andrés Muschietti from a script by Chase Palmer & Cary Joji Fukunaga and Gray Dauberman, based on the novel by Stephen King. The film stars Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, Owen Teague, Javier Botet, Steven Williams, and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

IT: Chapter 2 creeps into theaters September 6th, 2019.

BUT THE ORIGINAL ON BLU-RAY HERE!

Synopsis:

A group of young kids faces their biggest fears when they seek answers to the disappearance of children in their hometown of Derry, Maine. They square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

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