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Dark Shadows – Director Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer together again

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Dark Shadows - Director Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer
Director Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer on set during the production © 2012 Warner Bros

It’s been exactly twenty years since director Tim Burton and actress Michelle Pfeiffer worked together on Batman Returns, in which Pfeiffer portrayed Catwoman.

They are finally reteaming for the movie version of the popular sixties daytime series Dark Shadows, which stars Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins, who has just been inadvertently freed from his tomb after two centuries. He arrives at his estate, Collinwood Manor, only to discover his stately home has fallen into ruin and the family business, a fishing empire, is being destroyed by Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), the CEO of Angel Bay, who is also the witch that turned him into a vampire in the 1700s.

Pfeiffer plays the family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, who is the one person Barnabas entrusts with the truth of his identity. She, along with Tim Burton, spoke with us about their new movie and the joys of working together again.

I hear Johnny brought this project to your attention.

Dark Shadows - Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton
Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton on set during the production © 2012 Warner Bros

Tim: We talked about it for many years. I think this is the first project that I can ever remember from Johnny where he said he wanted to play this ever since he was a little boy.

He knew Barnabas Collins before he knew his own father, pretty much. The show had a lot of impact for some of us. Johnny, Michelle and I were there at the time when it came out, so we just recall it being a very strong, interesting property.

You and Michelle are reteaming for the first time in twenty years. Was it fun to work together again?

Dark Shadows - Michelle Pfeiffer, Director Tim Burton and Jonny Lee Miller
Michelle Pfeiffer, Director Tim Burton and Jonny Lee Miller © 2012 Warner Bros

Tim: It was weird, because it reminded me of how much I love working with Michelle. [For Batman Returns] she learned how to use a whip and jump around on roofs in high-heeled shoes, let live birds fly out of her mouth, let cats eat her; very impressive stuff.

But on this she did have trouble walking down the stairs.

Michelle: I did. My first day of shooting he had me in eight-inch, platform shoes, walking down that treacherous staircase. I wasn’t allowed to look down.

Tim: They didn’t look down in Dynasty or Dallas.

Michelle: [There were] great laughs at my expense from Mr Burton.

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