“A mixture of light and dark”–Geoff Boucher interviews Johnny Depp and Tim Burton on the DARK SHADOWS set

Geoff Boucher, who writes for the Hero Complex blog at the Los Angeles Times, visited the soundstages of Dark Shadows when the Tim Burton film was shooting at Pinewood last summer. According to Boucher, the director seemed much more comfortable in the re-created Collinwood mansion than on the mind-numbing green screen sets of his previous film, Alice in Wonderland. “It’s so nice to come to work here — not everything is green,” Burton said, adding that the more realistic sets benefit the creative process. Dark Shadows is “a soap opera — or started as one,” Burton explained, “and that really means working with the actors. And the sets help everyone. And it’s just more fun.”

Boucher describes the film as “an ongoing mystery” and “a fractured valentine to the pop-culture obsessions” of Burton’s youth. The new Dark Shadows retains the elements of the original series but adds a large helping of humor — intentionally so, according to Burton, who must entice a new audience of moviegoers who weren’t born when the series aired. “What I loved about [Dark Shadows] was the fact that it was a melodramatic soap opera, and, well, that flies in the face of any modern studio’s interests as far as moviemaking,” Burton confessed. “But what we’ve gone for is a mixture, and that’s always what I’ve been interested in; I think most of my movies are mixtures of light and dark and serious things and things that have humor in them.”

Boucher spoke with Johnny Depp about his role as the vampire Barnabas Collins. “There’s an elegance to this guy that’s kind of fun; Barnabas is a good one,” Johnny said. “And just look around — there’s nothing like working with Tim.” Johnny should know; Dark Shadows marks their seventh live-action film collaboration. Boucher reports that Johnny achieves the distinctive voice of Barnabas Collins by counting backwards from ten: “[H]e’s himself at the top,” Boucher writes, “but the accent and affectations gather with each digit until he is a vampire at zero.” Fascinating!

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the article; you can read much more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Geoff Boucher article is available HERE, and it’s a great read.