Johnny Depp wanted a “classic monster” look for Barnabas in DARK SHADOWS

Discussing his most recent role — the vampire Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows — Johnny Depp told Kara Warner of MTV News that Barnabas’s “highly stylized look” was an homage to the great horror movie monsters of the past. Twenty-first century vampires have, by and large, abandoned that iconic imagery, but neither Johnny nor director Tim Burton wanted to take that route. While Johnny’s “main inspiration” for Barnabas Collins was “the memory that I have of watching the show as a kid, Jonathan Frid and what he did with that character,” Johnny also confessed a desire to honor the tradition of the movie vampire as established in the groundbreaking films of the 1920s and ’30s. “Over the years, these vampire movies have come out and vampire TV shows and stuff like that, and you go, ‘Well, nobody looks like a vampire, man. What happened?'”

Johnny told Warner, “I adored Dracula, still do. I adored [everyone] from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee. I adore Nosferatu, [played by] Max Schreck. I adore all those wonderful [. . .] horror films.” Johnny saw his Dark Shadows role as “an opportunity [. . .] to go into what really doesn’t exist [onscreen] so much anymore, which is classic monster makeup and a classic monster character. So that was really the inspiration Tim and I talked about.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the MTV interview. You can read much more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and you can watch the MTV interview with Johnny HERE.

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