Frankenweenie Roundtable Interview with Co-Stars Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short - Dread Central
Connect with us

Frankenweenie Roundtable Interview with Co-Stars Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short

Published

on

Post Thumb:

/may12/frankenweenies.jpg

In the last of our Frankenweenie roundtable interviews, Dread Central was on hand to catch up with two of the funniest cast members of the flick- Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short.

Both “SCTV” and Tim Burton alums, O’Hara and Short also pull triple duty on the filmmaker’s latest stop-motion animated flick, both lending their voices to three different characters in the flick. During the recent press day held at Disneyland, we heard more from Short and O’Hara about reteaming with Burton, voicing their characters and a whole lot of funny business in between.

Check out the highlights from the Frankenweenie roundtable below and look for movie to arrive in theaters everywhere tomorrow!

Question: Had you guys seen sketches of your characters and sketches of the environment you’d be working in before you began doing the voices for the film?

Catherine O’Hara: Absolutely.

Martin Short: What’s amazingly rewarding for an actor to work with Tim is that he, you know obviously he’s hired you. So the buck stops with him and starts with him. You see a sketch and then for the first session or two he wants to hear how you see it and when he starts laughing, then you know you’re on the right track. And not necessarily laughing out of something’s funny been said, but laughing because now it’s fitting in to how he saw it.

Burgermeister would be an example of someone he didn’t know what he would sound like, but he knew he should be disturbing, weird, odd, and uh… I remember at one point I said uh, what if he just had been a four packs a day smoker but had recently quit. With Tim that’s just the kind of thing he looks for (laughs).

Catherine O’Hara: Yeah. They had these drawings on easels in the first recording session; these beautiful drawings of these characters that you see in the movie and then they tell you a bit of the story and-and I find with that kind of work, when you have such a beautiful thing to work from – these images, that it is of course…

Martin Short: Did you say from or with?

Catherine O’Hara: I’m working from it.

Martin Short: I thought you were talking about me again (laughs).

Catherine O’Hara: No, dear. So yes- that you want to honor that because first of all, Tim did the short film twenty years ago, so that’s been in his head. Then people are imagining that this is a more personal story for Tim than some of his other movies so I felt a great responsibility and it was also a great honor to be able to voice those characters that had been in his head and we get to be a part of that.

Question: Both of you have worked with Tim before, so how did he approach you for these roles? And because you’re doing voice acting as opposed to live action acting, how different was it working with him as a director?

Catherine O’Hara: Well I got a call from my agent saying Tim wants you to come in and do three voices and I went ‘Really?’ My agent told me it for was the Mother, Weird Girl, and Gym Teacher and I thought, ‘Okay, that’s great!’ But I thought at the time that he was just giving me a shot at three voices; I did not for a second assume I was going to be playing all three characters. But actually each time I went in and they still had me doing all three characters which was great.

But when you see Tim again, he’s just the same as he was for me on the set of Beetlejuice; really fun and loose but absolutely knows what he wants. And when you first open your voice I think it’s scary, whether it’s live action or recording but especially if it’s voice but Tim makes you feel safe so you just sort of jump in and start playing and have fun with him. He’s the same guy in that way.

Martin Short: I worked with him on a film called Mars Attacks and I wasn’t sure what it would be like to work with Tim Burton you know. Right away you’re struck by that he’s just like a funny guy who wants to laugh and isn’t particularly dark at all; just joyful, really enthusiastic and very much wants to hear what your take on it.

I remember we were doing a scene in Mars Attacks, which was complicated blocking and he said well just go and try it. Then when you think about it, as I said earlier, that Tim has hired you but to keep you involved is his decision. I found that he was the exact same now ten or fifteen years later; I don’t find that he was particularly different, it was a new piece of art that he was creating.

Catherine O’Hara: Oh yeah Tim’s work is, I think, ever-growing and ever-changing and although he certainly has great consistency in taking care of his characters and his visuals but he seems like the same guy to work with. I remember how they were waiting to see how Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was going to perform before they would give more money for Beetlejuice and I saw back then how everything was resting on his shoulders- how that movie was going to do. But Tim nailed it- he always nails it- but when you spend time with him now, he’s the same guy.

Question: Obviously you guys had seen sketches and read the script when you came on to the project, so when the movie was completed sometime after you’d done your voiceover work and you saw it, was there anything different about the film that you weren’t expecting to see? Given that you’d had access to all those materials ahead of time.

Catherine O’Hara: Oh yeah, I was blown away especially by the stop frame animation. You totally appreciate it as a story and you care about the characters and it’s just this beautiful, touching, funny, great movie. But it’s almost impossible to appreciate the work until you actually see it. The meticulous millisecond by millisecond handling of the characters in the set that goes into the flow. When you see that dog Sparky in the movie and the way he moves and jumps around, the little ball, it’s just so real and so alive. I can’t imagine what goes into all that work; you need to watch a six-month making-of to appreciate the artistry that goes into a movie like this.

Martin Short: I agree and what I think is kind of endearing about this project particularly is that you know that Tim is a wealthy, successful man so when he takes on a project, particularly something this personal, his agenda is to make it as good as possible. There’s no like ‘uh yeah, do whatever- I gotta go to dinner now, you take care of things’ mentality with him at all; Frankenweenie a real work of love and art.

The Frankenweenie voice cast includes four actors who worked with Burton on previous films: Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands), Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas), Martin Short (Mars Attacks!), and Martin Landau (Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow), along with Charlie Tahan and Atticus Shaffer.

Synopsis
A heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

A stop-motion animated film, ‘Frankenweenie’ will be filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience.

Frankenweenie Roundtable Interview with Co-Stars Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Re-animate the staff in the comments section below.

Image Type 1:

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading
Comments

News

Exclusive: Director Dennis Bartok and Lead Shauna MacDonald Talk Nails

Published

on

With writer and director Dennis Bartok’s feature film Nails having bowed Friday on VOD via Dark Sky Films, here’s a bit of our interview with the flick’s filmmaker, Cinelicious Pics Head of Distribution and General Manager of the American Cinematheque Bartok (he wears many hats), as well as the film’s star, Shauna MacDonald (of The Descent series).

Nails revolves around “…track star Dana Milgrom (MacDonald), who, having survived a near-death car accident, finds herself almost completely paralyzed and trapped inside her own body, and while recovering, she becomes convinced that some evil presence exists inside her hospital room and is intent on killing her,” and was executive produced by Joseph Kaufman (Assault on Precinct 13) and produced by Brendan McCarthy (Cherry Tree, The Hallow).

Bartok, who previously wrote and produced the 2006 feature anthology film Trapped Ashes, said of his approach to the narrative of Nails, “It’s very ‘anti-flight.’ Most horror movies are built around the idea that you are running away from something. The Halloween and Friday the 13th movies, there’s a mysterious creature that’s trying to track you down, or conversely you are walking into some horrible haunted house that nobody in their right mind would ever go into, for example, The Woman in Black, which is a really terrifying film. But from the very first moment Daniel Radcliffe’s character goes up to the front of that house, the audience says, ‘Turn around! Get the hell out of there! You are going to die!’ And of course he walks in. So I was really fascinated by a narrative in which the lead character was physically trapped in one space, and actually trapped in her own body. So I thought a lot about narratives like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Sea Inside and Hitchcock’s Rear Window, where the protagonist is physically handicapped and forced to confront that, so both as a writer and as a filmmaker and for Shauna it was a huge challenge, in that how do you make that (type of story) kinetic and compelling, and how do you build suspense when the lead character is trapped in the bed for eighty percent of the story?”

MacDonald said of the script’s appeal, which is a departure in ways from the action-packed The Descent films for which she’s most known, “Oddly, I don’t want to be labeled a horror girl, although the older I get, the cooler I think that sounds. Certainly in the UK they like to fit you in the box of low-budget horror films, and every year after The Descent (films) I get scripts to read, and some of them would say, ‘OK, the lead actress is tied to a stained mattress in her underwear,’ and I would be like, ‘Next!’ and for me, I knew it would be a massive acting challenge to play the lead (as it was written) in Nails, someone who is bed-ridden and paranoid and can’t speak. Her physical journey and her emotional journey is what attracted me to the role.”

“I think it’s important also that she has self-doubt,” MacDonald continues of her role, “and that she thinks she may be having a mental breakdown. No one else is seeing the things she is seeing or experiencing what she is experiencing, so I thought upon that a lot, and also I thought, as a mother of three girls myself, that the character’s connection with her daughter in the script was really heart-wrenching, and I love mother/daughter stories.”

Filmmaker Bartok added, “I thought very much about the bond between a mother and her daughter while writing it, and the sacrifice a parent would make in order to protect their child, and that was one of the main themes from the very beginning. When I set out to make the film I knew that there were two things that I needed to make it work. One was that I needed to make it scary, and to really unnerve people, and to build that suspense and a rising tension throughout, and the second thing was, that I’d really need someone amazing to play the character of Dana, because she’s in nearly every scene of the film, and we experience the story entirely through her perception. And if we hadn’t cast someone with Shauna’s acting gifts, the film would have fallen flat.”

In regards to casting the film’s antagonist, the gaunt, towering and ghostly figure of ‘Nails,’ Bartok states of actor British Richard Foster-King, of which he’d been introduced to via an audition tape for an entirely different movie, “Richard had done these beautiful movements (in that tape), as if he was swimming in the air and elongating his arms, and I think he had even crawled along the floor at one point. And as soon as I saw that tape, I said, ‘That’s it. That’s Eric Nillson. That’s Nails!’ And the producers, because they wanted to keep the budget as low as possible, had wanted to hire local actors out of Dublin, and I would look at those tapes, and they were OK, but I felt we really needed to get Richard. So bit by bit I kept saying, ‘No,’ to these other suggestions, and finally I was able to convince them to bring Richard in from London.”

As for the evolution of the character, which itself possesses some of the nuanced tragedy of Universal’s classic monsters, Bartok stated, “It was really fascinating because we had reached out to several gothic, surreal artists who had been recommended to me by various friends, and asked them to submit concept designs, and the one that we liked the best, and they were all actually excellent, was by a French photographic artist named Nihil, who takes photographs and then manipulates them digitally. So Nihil did an amazingly creepy concept, which provided the blueprint as to how we approached the character’s design. There were several steps in getting it onto the screen, though. Maybe seventy-five percent of it came from Richard’s physicality and his on screen presence, and the rest could only be achieved digitally, and we brought in an incredibly gifted visual effects artist named Eli Dorsey, who had worked on Ted Geoghegan’s film We Are Still Here. And Eli created the milky white eyes, and the dentures which kind of sit outside the palate, and the ghostly pallor. But primarily, I think its Richard’s performance which makes the character, an evil tormenting character who is also tormented, so very haunting.”

Nails also stars Ross Noble, Steve Wall, and Charlotte Bradley. You can watch the film on iTunes.

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

News

Exclusive: studioADI and 20th Century Fox Unveil Stunning Alien 3 and Resurrection Art Collection

Published

on

Today, Yahoo! Movies have announced that studioADI, who we’ve seen this year in IT and will see next year in The Predator and in 2019 Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and 20th Century Fox Consumer Products have launched The studioADI Collection, a new initiative that will see the award-winning FX studio create art inspired by Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. The pieces that will come from this collection are not to be confused as collectible figures but should rather be seen as high-quality works of art as each one will be hand-crafted based on original molds and they will then be individually painted. Prices will range from $250 to $4,000 and they will go on sale beginning December 1st through Big Cartel.

StudioADI’s Alec Gillis states, “The studioADI collection is our tribute to the films that have been an important part of our legacy as artists. Each piece of art reflects the same detail and passion we poured into the characters when we created the original Alien films.

Tom Woodruff Jr. adds, “This is the collection designed for fans of these entries into the Alien franchise as well as aficionados of the art of creatures and monsters of iconic pedigree.

The studioADI Collection will include the following seven pieces:
Queen Alien Embryo from Alien³
Newborn Alien Design Maquette Bust from Alien: Resurrection
Newborn Alien Full Body Design Maquette from Alien: Resurrection
Swimming Alien Study Model from Alien: Resurrection
1:1 Alien Warrior Half Head from Alien: Resurrection
1:1 Newborn Alien Head from Alien: Resurrection
1:3 Scale Queen Alien Head from Alien: Resurrection

These are descriptions of two of these items:
“The Newborn” from Alien: Resurrection was the terrifying mix of human and Alien DNA gone wrong. This Full-Scale Bust is cast from hand-laid translucent polyester resin from ADI’s original production molds and is painted to the same exacting specifications by ADI’s painter who painted the character for the original film. The piece measures 30″x20″x40″

“The Queen Alien Embryo” was seen in David Fincher’s Alien³ was nestled next to the beating heart of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver. Cast in translucent urethane and hand painted by the same ADI artists who created the piece for the film in 1991.
At 7″ x 9″ this piece of art is perfect for desktop display.

Here are images of some of these pieces:

We got our hands on three exclusive images from this collection that add a glorious vision of how detailed and intricate these pieces are going to get.

The first image is of the back of the 1:3 scale Queen Alien Head from Alien: Resurrection. You can see that every square inch of the design is tended to and that no stone is left unturned when it comes to the mold and paint.

The second image shows the Newborn Alien Full Body Design Maquette from Alien: Resurrection from a wide, almost full-front angle. You can really see the spindly, almost delicate structure to its body while also being intimately aware of the grotesque yet hypnotizing physique.

Lastly, the third image is a closeup of the Queen Alien Embryo from Alien³. Here you can see just how detailed the mold is, each wrinkle and crease in the Xenomorph’s body etched finely and with precision.

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

News

Whatever Happened to Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?

Published

on

Back in April of 2007, we all sat in our local darkened theater and watched as Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s exploitation double feature Grindhouse (review) blew the roof off the place for 3 hours straight.

Well, it’s ten years later, and I think we are all asking ourselves the same question: Where the hell is Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?

Like every other human out there, I enjoyed both Tarantino and Rodriguez’s films – along with the fake trailers by Rob Zombie and Edgar Wright – but the big takeaway was Eli Roth’s faux trailer for the greatest 80’s slasher that never was.

So what happened to the feature?

Well, Roth was originally working on the feature back in 2007 after finishing his work helming Hostel: Part II, telling Cinema Blend:

“I’ve been working on the script with my co-writer, Jeff Rendell, who plays the pilgrim in the trailer,” Roth told the site. “And it’s me imitating Jeff’s voice [for the narration]. But Jeff has been working. I said that his deal is he has to work on the script while I’m promoting The Last Exorcism, and as soon as I’m done in mid-September he’s going to fly to California, we’re going to sit down, and bang out the script.”

But then the planned film died out as Grindhouse flopped at the box-office. Following the film’s underperformance, all talks surrounding Edgar Wright and Eli Roth’s Grindhouse double feature spin-off were silenced in a single weekend.

In fact, the last update we received on the possible standalone Thanksgiving film was last year when Roth did a Reddit AMA, and said this about the film’s current development:

“Have a draft not totally happy with. I want to put some more work into it so the film lives up to the trailer. We have the story and mythology cracked so now it’s about getting the kills right.”

Nice. Seemed like the film was making some headway. Nothing to do but gut the T’s and cut the heads off the I’s. But then nothing happened. At all. No updates. No nothing.

With that in mind, we here at Dread Central decided to reach out to Roth personally and see if there were any new happenings in regards to the film. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach him so I guess we’ll all just have to keep wondering and waiting.

Maybe it’s the pressure he no doubt feels making the much loved faux trailer into a feature. After all, he did say this back in 2007: “No matter how many movies I make my whole life, that two-and-a-half minute trailer is what I’ll be remembered for: ‘Eli Roth — he had a guy fucking a turkey with a decapitated head on it.’”

Or maybe the rights to the film were just tied up with the now infamous Weinstein company. But with that company finally going under (thank God) maybe now the rights could be sold off to new producers and finally, we’ll see not only Thanksgiving but features based on Don’t and possibly even Werewolf Women of the S.S.

But I dream…

Until we get the full-length feature flick of Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, we can always look back on the comments he made to Rolling Stone way back in April of 2007, in which he talked a bit about the Pilgrim’s backstory.

“My friend Jeff… we had the whole movie worked out,” Roth told the magazine. “A kid who’s in love with a turkey and then his father killed it and then he killed his family and went away to a mental institution and came back and took revenge on the town.”

Jesus, please us. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the f*cking perfect setup/backstory for an 80’s slasher throwback flick set on Thanksgiving.

So ten years later, let me be the one to come right out and say it: Please, Eli Roth, make Thanksgiving. Please. Every horror fan in the world would thank you. Forever.

Sigh…

We’ll make sure to update this article in another ten years.

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

From Around the Web

Trending