Character Profiles for Dark Shadows

Entertainment Weekly has done an extensive breakdown of all the main characters in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows.




Johnny Depp and Tim Burton used to run home from school just to watch this classic soap opera. It was considered ahead of it's time, and a guilty pleasure for housewives. As time passed and Depp rose to fame he went out of his way to make sure that he could secure the film rights for the show, which he did.

Barnabas begins his life in the 1700's. His family moves from London to Maine. Once in Maine, the family sets up a seafood cannery business. The family becomes incredibly wealthy, and Barnabas is then the most eligible bachelor in town. He seduces and then breaks the heart of Angelique. She just happens to be a witch, and seeks revenge against Barnabas. She curses him to become a vampire, and buries him. He is freed two hundred years later and then suffers with being a vampire which he loathes, and being uncomfortable in the modern world.

Based on reading the bios that Entertainment Weekly provided I can see that a lot of the early worries caused by that hideous set photo of Johnny Depp may have been premature. With this new information you can see that much of what made the show so great is present in the film version and that is a relief.

Barnabas Collins (Depp) — He was an 18th century gentleman, a businessman just before the Revolutionary War, who was transformed against his will into a vampire and buried in a tomb for two centuries. After he finally emerges, uncovered by construction workers in the year 1972, he seeks out his descendants — as well as some long-ago foes and a possible lost love.

“He’s been alive this whole time and very hungry, with no idea what’s going on outside,” says screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which Burton is producing as a film.)

Barnabas is one vampire who is just as frightened of our times as we are of him, says producer Richard D. Zanuck: “Two-hundred years later, he’s suddenly walking into the town he saw being built and seeing girls in skirts, cars for the first time. It’s a man-out-of-time, supernatural horror story, but I put ‘horror’ in quotes.”

Despite his confusion, he’s still a ladies man. “In some sense he can be a terrifying killer; on the other hand, women have a weakness for him and he has a weakness for women,” Grahame-Smith says. “He can be a very well-mannered, well-meaning vampire most of the time, until his stomach is empty or someone challenges his beloved Collins family.”





Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) – This prim and proper psychiatrist, who has taken up residence with the Collins family to care for their troubled youngest boy, might seem to break that trend — but don’t bet on it. “Dr. Hoffman’s been there for years, working with David [the little boy in the photo] but not making any progress. He still claims he sees ghosts and talks with his dead mother,” Grahame-Smith says. “She’s crazy but brilliant. Obviously she’s an eccentric, and definitely likes a drink or two. She’s definitely a little bit off her rocker, and is a woman with a lot of secrets herself.” The writer teases: “She’ll also become interested in Barnabas in more than one way. “








Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Moretz) — Though she played a voracious child vampire in the acclaimed (but little seen) Let Me In, Moretz is on the human side of the spectrum in Dark Shadows — though that doesn’t mean this cousin of young David Collins (and daughter of Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, seen on the far right) isn’t without her own peculiarities. “Carolyn is your typical early-1970s teenager,” Grahame-Smith says. “She likes her music and likes her magazines, and does not like anyone in her family. She likes to keep her door closed and keep to herself. She’s pretty normal, but appearances can be deceiving. I wouldn’t say there is a normal person in this photo.”








Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) — The Bond girl from Casino Royale turns up here as the villain of the story. “Angelique is a witch who has known Barnabas since the 1700s, when they had an affair that went sour. She is the one who cursed him to be a vampire and locked him in that box,” Grahame-Smith says. “Since he has been away, Angelique has made it her life’s mission to destroy the Collins family. So when Barnabas turns up again after all these years, she’s not very happy to see him.”









David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) — Lonely, confused, and neglected by his pompous father (Jonny Lee Miller, over on the right next to Pfeiffer), David has no one to confide in except his bizarre psychiatrist — and the dead people he claims to see. Grahame-Smith describes him as “a sweet, curious, precocious little boy whose family has branded him as slightly crazy.” Then he finally gets a new caretaker to look after him …










Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) — This young woman arrives to become David’s new governess, only to find herself swept up in the vampire-witch melodrama. “When Barnabas meets Victoria, he’s instantly reminded of the woman he lost in the 1700s, before he was cursed to be a vampire,” Grahame-Smith says. “I wouldn’t say he falls in love with her, but there’s an instant attraction, an instant connection.” Is she the reincarnation of his doomed lover Josette du Pres? “We get the sense at the beginning she has a secret past, and that’s unraveled as it goes on,” the screenwriter says.









Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) — How awesome is it to play an actual Groundskeeper Willie? The Oscar-nominee for Little Children is a slightly more competent servant than Mrs. Johnson, but that’s not saying much. “He’s the guy who takes out the trash, mows the lawns, and fixes the cars, except he’s usually so drunk and so disinterested that he doesn’t take his job seriously anymore,” Grahame-Smith says. “The lawn is overgrown, the house has fallen into disrepair, and all the cars are on cinder blocks. His heart’s definitely not in the job anymore.”









Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller) — This scion of the once-great Collins family is one of the main reasons the aristocratic clan has fallen into such disgrace. “He’s a creepy, self-centered guy who likes to order Willie around, likes to pretend the family is still on top of his game,” Grahame-Smith says. Not only is he a bad father to David, but he is a poor manager of whatever meager wealth the family retains. “When Barnabas shows up and has some very specific ideas about how to make things right, he’s obviously going to bump heads with Roger Collins.”









Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) — The mother of Carolyn Stoddard, and mother-figure to David, she’s the one adult member of the Collins clan who is at least slightly competent. “Elizabeth is the rock of the family. She’s the matriarch,” Grahame-Smith says. “She’s the keeper of the Collins history, and a fierce protector of what remains of her family. She’s the one that insists on the best care for the children, even though money isn’t what it used to be. She’s a very strong woman who unfortunately has been dealt a very difficult deck.” With a witch perpetually trying to destroy her, and a long lost vampire relative turning up to reclaim control, “there’s just too much for her to handle,” Grahame-Smith says.




“Dark Shadows” will star: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz and Jackie Earle Haley and is slated for a May 2012 release.

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