Tim Burton: Johnny Depp always wanted to play 'Dark Shadows' Barnabas (Video)
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have worked together many times - but the director says his friend had a personal agenda when it came to their latest film - "Dark Shadows."
"This is probably one of the first movies where Johnny probably came to me," Burton told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "Barnabus was always a character, I think even before he became an actor, he wanted to play. I knew it was in his heart. We both were fans of the show, as well as Michelle Pfieffer."
"Dark Shadows" hit theaters on Friday, May 11, Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a playboy vampire who was buried alive for more than 200 years after breaking the heart of a witch, played by Eva Green. The film is based on a 1960s soap opera. Burton made his film adaptation a comedy set in 1972.
Depp told reporters at the movie's Los Angeles premiere earlier this week: "From a tiny conversation with Tim years ago, when we were doing 'Sweeney Todd,' [came] the idea of making a film about vampires and now here we've done it."
Collins is freed by construction workers in 1972 and returns to his family mansion, which is now occupied by his cousin Elizabeth, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, her brother Roger, portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller and her daughter Carolyn, played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Helena Bonham Carter, Burton's life partner and frequent star of his films, plays Pfeiffer's character's live-in psychiatrist.
"I think people were worried that we're kind of making fun of it - the reason I'm doing it is that I have such affection for the show," Burton told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "Even though there's humor in it, I actually tried really hard ... with the acting style. Even the way it's shot, where people kind of walk up into their own close-ups. It was important to try to give the spirit of why I love the show so much."
Aside from "Dark Shadows" and the 2007 dark musical movie "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," Depp has also appeared Burton-directed films such as "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," the animated "Corpse Bride," "Alice in Wonderland," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
The actor said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" earlier this week that he based his character of chocolate factory mogul Willy Wonka on what he "imagined what George Bush would be like incredibly stoned."
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).