Johnny Depp Discusses Playing a Vampire in Dark Shadows; Two New TV Spots Released
05.11.12 by Ryan
With Dark Shadows arriving in theaters today, fans will finally get a chance to see Johnny Depp's take on the vampire craze that's sweeping through TV and movies. During the movie's press conference, Depp revealed that Dark Shadows is "a kind of rebellion against vampires that look like, you know, underwear models," so it's a solid guess that Depp wasn't watching DVDs of The Vampire Diaries for inspiration. In fact, Depp also revealed that his performance as the 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins was mostly based on Jonathan Frid's portrayal of the character from the Dark Shadows soap opera that ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971.
Approaching Barnabas, even in the early days of trying to explore the possibilities of the character, no matter where you went in your head, if you tried to veer away from the original Jonathan Frid character, it was apparent to both Tim [Burton] and myself that it had to be rooted in Jonathan Frid's character of Barnabas. It just had to be. It was so classic and the sort of classic monster, you know like Fangoria magazine and that sort of thing. In terms of that, Jonathan did have, when he was playing Barnabas, there was a kind of rigidity to him, kind of that pole up the back, an elegance that was always there.
The movie's initial trailer highlighted the more comedic tone Burton chose for the movie version of the soap opera, creating a wave of online reaction that ran from excitement to outrage. For Depp, the juxtaposition of Barnabas in a surreal decade like the 1970s was the the other half of inspiration for the character.
I mean, what I wanted Barnabas to come across as is... you know, the idea of this very elegant, upper echelon, well-schooled, kind of gentlemen, who's cursed in the 18th Century and brought back to, probably, the most surreal era of our times — the 1970s, 1972. How he'd react to things, how radically different things were. Not just technology, you know, automobiles and such, but actual items of enjoyment like pet rocks, fake flowers, plastic fruit, troll dolls, and lava lamps. And macrame owls.
As reviews slowly trickle out for Dark Shadows, Warner Bros. has released two new TV spots for the adaptation, highlighting the positive affection some reviewers have given the movie.
Dark Shadows was adapted by adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and co-stars Eva Green as Angelique Brouchard, Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins, Chloe Moretz as Carolyn, Gulliver McGrath as David Collins, Bella Heathcoate as David's governness Victoria, Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman, and Jackie Earle Hayley as caretaker Willie Loomis.