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For the better part of 30 years now, Hollywood has been harboring a
secret. Something that threatens the prevailing public perception of one
of the town's more talented filmmakers.
"People always mistake Tim Burton for the characters who appear in
his movies. They figure that Tim has to be this dark, twisted guy who's
socially awkward. But that couldn't be further from the truth," said
Catherine O'Hara. "The Tim Burton that I know is a complete sweetheart.
Easy to work with, always open to suggestions, quick to laugh. Which is
why -- once you work with Tim -- whenever he calls and says that he's
got another role for you for play in a new project of his, you
immediately say 'Yes.'"
Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara discuss what it was like to work with Tim Burtonon his new stop motion film for Walt Disney Studios, "Frankenweenie." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
This sentiment was echoed by O'Hara's "Frankenweenie"
co-stars during a recent media junket for this new Walt Disney Pictures
release. Take -- for example -- Martin Short's memories of the very
first time he worked with Burton on 1996's Mars Attacks!
"It was my first day on set with Tim. We were getting ready to shoot
this scene where I'm supposed to be seducing this statuesque blonde
who's later revealed to be a Martian in disguise," Short recalled. "And I
figured -- given that all of Tim Burton's movies have such a
distinctive look -- that he'd then have some very specific directions
for me. But that really wasn't the case. Tim turned to me and said 'What
do you think your character would do in this scene?' And I thought for a
moment and then said 'Well, it might be funny if he jumped on the bed
and then tried but failed to strike a seductive pose.' And Tim laughed
and said 'That'd be great. Let's shoot that.' And that's how that scene
wound up playing in the finished version of Mars Attacks! "
(L to R) Martin Landau and Tim Burton last night at the 56th BFI London Film Festivalfor the U.K. premiere of "Frankenweenie 3D" at the Odean Leicester Square Theatre.Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images Europe. All rights reserved
Martin Landau (who won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in Burton's 1994 film, Ed Wood) also had plenty of praise for Tim and his directing style.
"I've worked with some of Hollywood's very best directors over the
course of my 50 year career. Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola,
Woody Allen," Landau stated. "And I'd put Tim right up there with those
gentlemen because -- just like with Hitchcock, Coppola and Allen --
Burton doesn't really direct his actors. He just creates this safe &
welcoming atmosphere on set where the actors are encouraged to
contribute. To offer up suggestions about how their scenes could
possibly be staged, what their character might do in a particular scene.
And when an actor gets that level of trust from their director, when
they actually have some say in the collaborative process, that's when
you get some really great performances."
Tim Burton poses with some of the stop-motion puppets that were used in the production of "Frankenweenie." Photo by Leah Gallo. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
But it's not just Tim's light hand as a director that his actors admire.
O'Hara was equally effusive when it comes to how generous Burton is
with his ...
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Oops. Sorry. Thanks for putting out my typo. It's fixed now
:) We all do it.