Tim Burton on ‘Dark Shadows’: ‘I always felt like an outsider’

Director reveals his inspiration for making gothic new movie

Tim Burton has revealed that he was inspired to make Dark Shadows because he feels like an outsider.

The director’s new movie is a remake of the cult 1960s gothic soap opera, which saw the vampire Barnabas Collins wake from a 200-year slumber and reconnect with his family. Johnny Depp plays the character in the film.

But in a new interview which you can watch above, Burton reveals that he identified with the out-of-time bloodsucker from an early age. He says: “Back in the late ’60s early ’70s, this weird gothic soap opera was on every day, and it was just such a weird event, there was nothing like it on television at the time, or before, or since.


“The thing that freaked me about it was that I had that feeling, I still have that feeling like you don’t fit into your environment and society or whatever. That for me [made it] easy to identify with the Barnabas character and just the kind of nature of feeling like you don’t fit into the world.”

The director explained of the film’s quirky style: “To me I like things that are a mixture of things. When something is sad, often-times it’s funny, or vice versa, it’s light, dark, life is comprised of all those things at once, so for me I hope [people] can go with the tonal shifts.”

He goes on to praise his cast, which includes Michelle Pfieffer, Chloe Moretz and Jonny Lee Miller: “I felt blessed with the cast as well. For me, they’re Dark Shadows [people]. I would drive the casting director nuts, ‘that person, they’re not very Dark Shadows, but I was so lucky to get what I consider [to be] Dark Shadows people. Because when you’re making a film, it is like a weird family and so you kind of like to have that wonderfully dysfunctional family.”

Dark Shadows is on general release in the UK now.

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