Johnny Depp and Tim Burton appear on NBC's THE TODAY SHOW to promote SWEENEY TODD

No, that’s not a promotion picture from DONNIE BRASCO–that’s a screencap of Johnny Depp as he appeared on NBC’s THE TODAY SHOW this morning, when he and Tim Burton did an interview with Al Roker to promote SWEENEY TODD. Roker called the film “one of the most haunting movies I’ve ever seen”–high praise–but he echoes some of the critic’s concerns about the amount of blood shown onscreen. Was there any pressure from the studio to tone it down at all?

“No,” Tim Burton replies, “because they knew what the show was [. . . ] . You know, he [Sweeney] kills people and there’s cannibalism, so it’s not like they’re going to change [the plot].” The director then suggests that the dark storyline may have a therapeutic effect: “It kind of makes you feel better about your own life, in a way, watching this movie, you know? [. . . .] It’s like, ‘Well, gee, my life isn’t so bad after all.’ ” Al Roker agrees: “I’m not slitting anybody’s throat and I’m not eating anybody.”

Roker does notice that Johnny is “cringing” every time a film clip airs, and Johnny confirms that he has yet to see SWEENEY TODD. “It’s not that scary,” says Tim in a teasing older-brother voice, and Johnny responds, “I’d like to see Tim’s work, but unfortunately I’m in it.”

Many thanks to addicted2depp and Chenault for news of the TODAY SHOW appearance, and to emma for sharing a transcript of the broadcast; you can read the transcript on the Zone’s News & Views forum. To see a larger version of AnaMaria’s lovely screencap, click here: FANtasticJD has also shared some terrific screencaps; here is one of Johnny smiling and another of Johnny, Tim and Al Roker on the TODAY SHOW set The Zone thanks AnaMaria and FANtasticJD for their work–what a way to brighten up a December morning! –Part-Time Poet