Dark Shadows: Ladies’ Night
By: Lynn Barker
Kidzworld sat down with the actors who play the fun “family” in the horror comedy Dark Shadows and decided to ask some of the spooky gals a Q or two.
Chole as a sulking Carolyn
Meet Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Grace Moretz of Hugo). You might identify with this 15-year-old. She’s cooped up in a creepy old mansion, her family hates her music, she can’t wait to grow up and escape to New York and, yes, her mom is totally clueless as to her needs and desires….oh, and she has a few creepy personal secrets.
“Mom” (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) is played by classic beauty Michelle Pfeiffer. She is the only family member who knows that visiting “cousin” Barnabas (Johnny Depp) is actually a 200-year-old vampire.
Angelique “Angie” Bouchard (Eva Green, who was James Bond’s love in Casino Royale) runs a rival canning factory in this coastal town and is actually a gorgeous but very old witch. When Barnabas dumped her, she made him a vampire and had him buried alive way back when! Real sweetie.
Pretty Aussie transplant Bella Heathcote plays two parts; Barnabas’s true love back in the 1700’s, Josette DuPres and modern, reincarnated look-alike Victoria Winters who has been drawn to the Collinwood family mansion and is the new governess. As Josette, she’s now a ghost so one more weirdo chick for our collection!
Kidzworld: Hi, Chloe. I wanted to know if you went through the ‘my parents just do not understand me’ phase yet. Or maybe you’re still going through it. If so, did you bring that experience to your Carolyn character because she is really a typical teen in her own, weird way?
- Chloe: (looking around) Is my mom in the room? Yeah. I mean I guess Carolyn was pretty easy to get into because she was a lot like me in a lot of ways but very different from me in a lot of ways too. I guess I definitely perfected the eye roll pretty well, which my mom wasn’t happy with. Because whenever we get in some sort of fight or something, I’ll roll my eyes and she’ll always go, “Stop bringing your characters home with you.” I’m like, “Sorry.”
Kidzworld: For Eva Green, I have to say, you are fantastic in this movie as hot Angelique. How much fun did you have playing the role? What kind of approach did you take to really just make her such a vibrant villainess?
- Eva: Well, what was great is that (director) Tim (Burton) gave me a lot of freedom and ideas. I got really inspired by his book that he gave me actually, with all his drawings. The exhibition was in New York and now is in Paris. So, I got inspired by those kind of crazy characters, broken dolls, and I don’t know, music, Janis Joplin. You know, Angie is quite raw and animal. And the American accent, that was like a big challenge but I didn’t get fired so… (must have worked).
Kidzworld: Michelle, Tim Burton, whom you worked with years ago as Catwoman in Batman Returns, says you learned how to use a whip and jump all over in very high heeled shoes.
- Michelle: I did. My first day of shooting Dark Shadows he had me in eight inch platform shoes walking down that treacherous staircase. I wasn’t allowed to look down.
Kidzworld: Yikes! He also said you were a huge fan of the old 1960s-early ‘70’s TV series “Dark Shadows” on which this movie is based and we understand you called Tim up for a role?
- Michelle: I did. Yeah. I shamelessly called him. ‘Give me a job after 20 years’. No. It was really horrible. It’s not done and I don’t think I would have had the courage but a mutual friend of ours knew how much I wanted to be in this movie and she kept egging me on to call him. I don’t think I would have had the courage to do it. At that point, I didn’t even know if there was a part for me. And it had been so long since I had seen the series and I didn’t even remember. I just said, ‘If there’s anything I want to throw my hat in the ring’. Then I hung up. I thought, ‘oh, I’ll never hear from him again’. But I did.
Kidzworld: Anne Hathaway will play a new version of Catwoman in the new Batman film. How do you feel about that? Catfight?
- Michelle: No. I love Anne Hathaway. I’m a huge fan. The nature of all of these characters is they are played by different people all the time (Halle Berry played Catwoman too). I think Anne’s great and she’ll be awesome.
Michelle as Elizabeth defending her family home
Kidzworld: Bella, this is a big movie for you. You play two roles in it. What’s it like to be on the rise as a performer being in such a massive Hollywood production with so many established stars and a visionary filmmaker?
- Bella: Intimidating. No. It was fun. Everybody was really great. Everyone made me feel really welcome. I got to hang out with a bunch of people like Michelle Pfeiffer. And playing two characters was a blessing. (Oscar-winning costume designer) Colleen Atwood did a great job with the costumes. And just every element was there.
Bella as Josette
Kidzworld: We understand you shot the ghost shots underwater so later it would look like the ghost was just kind of floating and flowing around. Was that scary?
- Bella: There was one day I had to do a scene in a wave machine. I expressed some reservations. I said, ‘Oh, it’ll be fine. I’ll just get pumped up’. I walked scared on set and Tim’s blasting “Eye of the Tiger” in this outdoor stadium.