Tim Burton’s famous concoction of dark fairytale and sharp humour sees his muses Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter join forces with the gracious Michelle Pfeiffer for his new film ‘Dark Shadows’. We know that Depp and Bonham tickle Burton’s fancy… it's been 20 years since Burton and Pfeiffer worked together, is this the right time for them to reunite?
Michelle Pfeiffer’s star was sent to new heights in last 5-years when her role as Lamia in the globally successful and celebrated ‘Stardust’ (2007) by Matthew Vaughn gave her profile a welcome boost, not to mention her part in the rehashed version of ‘Hairspray’ (2007). Since then, it seems as if the golden girl of the 80s has been selecting her projects carefully, leading her back into the talented arms of Tim Burton – the hideously talented man who has brought cinematic gems like ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Batman Returns’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and more recently ‘Corpse Bride’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Those that know of Burton's work, recognise that he has worked extensively with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Cater throughout the years, often pairing them up and reaping the rewards of the magic they create. As a director, he is very selective (let's just say fussy) as to who he welcomes on to his set, hence his perchant to stick with what he knows. It seems that, after a 20-year hiatus, he decided that he required the skills of Michelle Pfeiffer once again.
‘Dark Shadows’ sees the stellar talent of Pfeiffer being put to use as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the eldest child of the wealthy Collins family who ran the family home where she lived with her daughter, Carolyn, and brother, Roger. Little does Elizabeth know the true nature of many members of the household; a vampire, Roger’s two wives – an undead phoenix and a witch – and then there is also Cousin Quentin, who is a werewolf. How she fails to take note of the fact that she is in the presence of these fantastical entities makes Tim Burtons new romp even more worthwhile. This brought Swide to pose the question; After 20 years, what makes Michelle Pfeiffer perfect for Tim Burton?
Michelle Pfeiffer wearing Dolce&Gabbana for C Magazine USA
1) Well for starters, as we said, these two go way back and worked with each other on Tim Burton’s cloaked crusader flick ‘Batman Returns’ back in 1992 (the same year she turned down the lead role in “Basic Instinct”). This film say Pfeiffer command the attention of each and every red-blooded male as the PVC clad incarnation of Catwoman. Meow, indeed. So, 20 years on, a reunion was definitely on the cards and ‘Dark Shadows’ is the perfect opportunity for these two cinematic legends to get back together and make some magic. This time round is slightly different though as the stunning Pfeiffer is playing the role of a batty house owner, a role which seems perfect for her when considering the wonderful character she created as the evil witch in 'Stardust'.
2) She’s established. There is no doubting that Michelle Pfeiffer is respected amongst her peers and an actress whose name was on the lips of everyone during the 80s and 90s. This was thanks to her roles in classic films such as “Scarface” (1983), ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ (1987), ‘Dangerous Liasons’ (1988) and also ‘Dangerous Minds’ (1995) where she played no-nonsense teacher Louanne Johnson and proved herself to be quite the badass. Talking of being a badass, she famously cut Al Pacino’s face during her audition for ‘Scarface’… Burton knows that this woman takes her work seriously.
3) Her cinematic C.V. is not one to be scoffed at. The acting skills of Michelle have enabled the star to take on a multifarious range of roles, ones that have seen her assume those characters that are quirky in their nature (Stardust’s Lamia is a standout example), those that tread along a horror laden path (as seen in What Lies Beneath (2000) with Harrison Ford) and also roles where all but her voice takes centre stage for various animations. She is strong in her discipline and someone who pushes themselves out of their comfort zone, a trait that Burton looks for in his cast members as he likes to create works where the actor/actress are almost unrecognisable when in character – long-time collaborator Johnny Depp is solid example of this.
4) Michelle Pfeiffer is one hot lady and, since her profile was raised once again by the success of ‘Stardust’, she has been hitting the hottest female lists again. Does she mind this? Well, seeing as the sex kitten is now in her 50s, it can’t be doing her self-confidence any harm. Being a presence on these polls isn’t anything new for Pfeiffer, whose name made it on to numerous prestigious lists that were both voted for by the public and her peers. Who wouldn’t want to use such a sought after talent to play a starring role in their new film? Tim Burton certainly snapped up the chance when she auditioned and drafted her to play Elizabeth.
So, is this 20-years too late or right on time? Well, this is something that you can judge for yourself when Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows' hits the cinema screens from the 9th May.
For more information about the film:
And if you're wondering how you go about getting the same look as Michelle, click below:
Credits: C Magazine USA