"Demon Barber, Meat Pies and All, Sings on Screen:" The New York Times profiles Tim Burton's SWEENEY TODD

Sylvaine Gold presents a lengthy behind-the-scenes article on the making of Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET in the November 4th edition of the New York Times. That’s a serious expression of interest in a film that will not be seen in the U.S. until December 21st. The reporter calls bringing the “grim and glorious” Sondheim musical to the screen “a gamble,” especially with untested singers in the leading roles; screenwriter John Logan admires his gambling colleagues and their decision to go all-in for SWEENEY. “It took courage and a certain lunatic leap of faith to think we could really bring this wild beast to the screen,” says Logan. And how did director Burton ask his frequent (but non-singing) collaborator Johnny Depp to consider playing Sweeney Todd? Gold reports that Burton gave Johnny the soundtrack album and asked, “Would you ever think about doing something like this?” Johnny’s response after listening to the score? “I may sound like a strangled cat.” Says Gold, “Mr. Burton took that as a yes. ‘If he didn’t think he could do it, he would have said no.'”

Gold sees the demon barber fitting in well with the “gallery of memorable weirdos” that Tim and Johnny have already created on film: “With a Susan Sontag patch of white streaking his pompadour, ghostly skin and distraught eyes, this Sweeney is both wretched and mad,” writes Gold. Responds Johnny, “He needed to have a look that would say a lot about what he’d been through.” Mission accomplished–to see a larger view of the lovely Leah Gallo photo of wretched, mad Sweeney that accompanies the Times article, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2faj7k Many thanks to emma for posting the New York Times article; you can read it in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet