Tim Burton & Michelle Pfeiffer on Dark Shadows, Reteaming After 20 Years and the New Catwoman
The upcoming Dark Shadows film introduces a new generation of fans to the popular Gothic TV series and also marks the 8th collaboration between actor Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton and their 5th adaptation of popular material together.
And while that's definitely impressive, there hasn't been nearly that kind of fanfare surrounding the fact that Dark Shadows is also the 2nd collaboration between Burton and actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who first teamed up 20 years ago on 1992's Batman Returns.
During the recent press conference for the latest from Burton, both the director and Ms. Pfeiffer discussed why her role as family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard was a dream come true for the actress and weighed in (sort of) on the latest Catwoman to be hitting the big screen later this year, Anne Hathaway.
Pfeiffer on "Dark Shadows" and approaching Burton for a role in the feature film:
I was obsessed; it was the first vampire show ever on television, and I think my mother probably assumed that given that it was on in the afternoon, it was safe for me to be watching. But see, I always felt like I was somehow breaking the rules because it was quite terrifying and sexy, too, especially for that time.
When I heard that Tim was making this, I shamelessly called him- I did. "Give me a job after twenty years." I know, it was really horrible. And I don't think I would have had the courage to just call him, but I was working with a mutual friend and she knew how much I wanted to be in this movie so she kept egging me on to call him. At that point I don't even know if there was a script really so I didn't even know if there was a part for me so I just said, "If there's anything, I want to throw my hat in the ring." When I hung up, I thought, "I'll never hear from him again." But I did.
Burton on working with Pfeiffer for Batman Returns and Dark Shadows:
It was such a long time ago, but it just flooded back. I've never watched the movie again, but when I heard from her, it all sort of flooded back, like how impressed I remember being with Michelle the first time we worked together.
You know, for that one she learned how to use a whip and jump around on roofs in high-heeled shoes, birds fly out of her mouth, cats eat her- very impressive stuff. So it was a real joy to get a call from Michelle and also to find out she was a closet "Dark Shadows" fan, too. I think between myself, Michelle and Johnny, we were the only ones on the cast that knew "Dark Shadows". I don't think I showed it to anybody else because you can't really show "Dark Shadows" to anybody who doesn't know it because they'd probably run screaming out of the room.
So it was nice that Michelle played the head of the family, and it just made me realize how much that I enjoyed working with her. She did have trouble walking down the stairs though...(laughs).
Pfeiffer, Burton and Depp all comment on Anne Hathaway's Catwoman, a role Pfeiffer portrayed for Burton two decades earlier:
Burton: They want you to comment on something you haven’t seen. (laughs)
Burton teasing Pfeiffer: Make some kind of derogatory comment that shows you versus somebody else. You know, cat fight.
Pfeiffer being diplomatic: I love Anne Hathaway; I’m a huge fan. You know, the nature of all of these characters is they’re played by different people all the time. No, I think she’s great; I think she’s going to be awesome.
Depp offering up his two cents on the matter: I was thinking of throwing my name into the ring for Catwoman. Anne Hathaway, damn it.
Look for more coverage from the Dark Shadows press conference soon!
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