Empire (UK) – May 2012, thanks to the wonderful Lorna
There’s a night and day difference between the soundstages of Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” and his previous movie, “Alice in Wonderland,” and, no surprise, this is a filmmaker far more comfortable in the darkness.
The digital ambitions of “Alice” required numbing weeks of work in a green-screen chamber, and by the end of it Burton was desperate to get back to his roots — building a cinematic house and then haunting it with his unique brand of cemetery cabaret.
For “Dark Shadows,” an eccentric vampire romance starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green, he’s staged a minor one-man rebellion against CG imagery; the story has some digital effects, but where the script called for a Maine fishing town’s waterfront, circa 1972, Burton persuaded Warner Bros. and the film’s producers to build it on the back lot of England’s storied Pinewood Studios instead of on a computer screen.
“It’s so nice to come to work here — not everything is green,” Burton said last summer as he roamed the gothic, crushed-velvet trappings of the mansion that is home to Depp’s aristocratic bloodsucker, Barnabas Collins. “It’s a soap opera — or started as one — and that really means working with the actors. And the sets help everyone. And it’s just more fun.”
“Dark Shadows,” which arrives May 11, is a curious creature and an ongoing mystery. A trailer recently premiered to mixed reactions; its winking tone possibly suggested that the film is an elaborate goof on the overwrought “Twilight” movies, but actually, like so many Burton projects, this one is a fractured valentine to the pop-culture obsessions of his youth.
Dark Shadows released a trailer to near-unanimous applause yesterday, and if it has left you hungry to know more about Tim Burton’s latest, look no further than the new issue of Total Film magazine.
We went on set of the gothic soap opera, and you can read a full report in the new issue.
To tide you over though, here are some tidbits from our chat with Eva Green who makes her Burton debut as Angelique, one of the most seductive screen witches in some time.
On her character, Green told us: “Tim never real treated her like a ‘baddie’ baddie. She’s kind of a damaged character. I think I could identify with her because all the bad things she does comes from the incredible love she has for Barnabas, who broke her heart.
“She’s a great character: very sarcastic, very irreverent, a great, dark sense of humour. I called her a ‘ballsy Barbie’.”
And when we asked about working with Johnny Depp, Green said: “He’s a gentleman. He’s intense in a nice way – he has very intense eyes in this film. They see right through you.
“He’s not afraid of taking risks, you know… He’s not afraid about going over the top.”
This looks like it’ll be a blast! I can’t wait for it to be released. Happy viewing!
It’s a vision of the end of the world unlike anything we’ve seen before. Perfect Sense, directed by David Mackenzie, takes place in a world struck by a mysterious disease that feverishly knocks out the senses, one by one, from the human race. This is the backdrop for the love story of Susan (Eva Green), a wounded-in-love epidemiologist, and Michael (Ewan McGregor), the chef in the restaurant downstairs from her apartment who occasionally bums smokes off her and admires from afar. Together, they navigate the new world, struggling to stick together as society is crumbling around them.
Interview spoke with Eva Green about the normalcy of her character, the gallows humor of biologists and epidemiologists, and her electric character in the upcoming Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows.
CRAIG HUBERT: Initially, what interested you in the character of Susan?
EVA GREEN: I thought, first of all, that it was a very romantic movie, very sentimental; a thought-provoking film. Susan is a nice character, kind of damaged, her heart is broken and she doesn’t want to fall in love. It was a nice love story.
When we think of Eva Green, adjectives like “regal,” “evil” and “French” come to mind. Not that she’s wicked in the slightest, of course, but the acclaimed actress just seems to get those uber-dramatic and slightly scary roles—the sort that require elaborate period costuming and an intimidating glare.
She’s been seen recently as the ruthless heir to her father’s throne on Starz’s Camelot, donned amazing headgear and romanced Orlando Bloom in the Crusades-set Kingdom of Heaven and entranced us as a powerful witch in the fantasy flick The Golden Compass. Of course, she has also notably kicked butt as a Bond girl (in Casino Royale).
We recently got to chat with Green about her current role as a scientist investigating a mysterious disease in the very modern, no-costumes-necessary Perfect Sense, which opens today. It’s a far cry from those femme fatale roles that Green is so known for, yet her trademark intensity is palpable in every frame. “There is a bit of a darkness in the background, but Perfect Sense is an uplifting movie and a metaphor for falling in love,” says Green. Working with Ewan McGregor, who plays the the chef she falls for, wasn’t bad either. “He’s an instinctive actor. He’s a beautiful person and doesn’t behave like a big star. He’s down-to-earth and charming and pure.”
Eva Green is best known to audiences as the mysterious femme fatale Vesper Lynd in the James Bond-reviving Casino Royale (although some hot-blooded males might best recall her revealing star turn in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers). Since then she’s appeared mostly in small, thoughtful, and British films, and her latest, Perfect Sense, continues the trend. A small-scale doomsday romance, the film follows Green’s scientist , who falls in love with a chef (played by Ewan McGregor) as a mysterious epidemic begins to rob people of their five senses. We recently spoke to Green about what attracted to her this role, and her return to big-budget filmmaking opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s upcoming black comedy, Dark Shadows.
What attracted you to Perfect Sense?
I thought it was kind of a brave, unusual story, thought-provoking but mainly a love story with the background of a catastrophe. I thought it was quite charming. I knew the director, David Mackenzie, and also the fact that Ewan McGregor was onboard was very appealing.
She can put “Bond girl extraordinaire” on her resume and describes her character in the forthcoming Dark Shadows as a “bawdy Barbie,” but between those two roles Eva Green is a woman holding on for dear life during a global pandemic in Perfect Sense. In David Mackenzie’s romantic drama, Green plays an epidemiologist struggling to track and contain a series of mass-scale maladies. Acute emotional states like unexplained sadness cause the human race to gradually lose the ability to taste, smell, hear and see, leading to more than a few mood swings.
Amid catastrophe, though, the pieces are finally falling into place for Green’s Susan: She’s found love and a rock to lean on in Michael (Ewan McGregor), a chef with just a splash of bad-boy. It’s this love story that Green is most in touch with, and what drew her to the film in the first place. The emotional and, it must be said, super-steamy scenes between Green and McGregor halt the chaos and serve as a reminder that we should always stop to smell the roses, even if we technically can’t.
Movieline talked to Green about her career path, love vs. calamity and Tim Burton fostering collaboration on Dark Shadows.
Tim Burton is one busy fella. Not only is the director putting the finishing touches on the big-screen adaptation of Dark Shadows, but he’s also helming a stop-motion, 3D expansion of his short Frankenweenie and serving as executive producer on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. MTV caught up with Burton and got the details on the projects he’s working on this year.
He said that not every member of the Dark Shadows cast — it includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz and Helena Bonham Carter — was familiar with the source material, a gothic soap opera that aired daily on ABC from 1966 to 1971. However, they quickly caught on to its “strange vibe”:
It’s got such a strange vibe. And it’s not something that a lot of people necessarily know. You’re trying to do a weird soap opera. I felt really lucky, because the cast is really good. People like Michelle [Pfeiffer] grew up watching it. Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn’t, but they were all game for it — getting into the weird spirit of what Dark Shadows was. It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama. There was a generation of us who would run home from school to watch it. That’s probably why we were such bad students. We should have been doing homework; we were watching Dark Shadows instead. It was hard to put into words the tone it was. It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn’t really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone. We didn’t do any real rehearsals, because the cast all came in at different times. But there was an old photo of the [original] cast which I always remembered, so a couple days before shooting, we got the whole cast together to take a similar shot so everyone could see each other and get that vibe from doing a group photo. That helped set the tone more than anything.