HOLLYWOOD – Tim Burton takes a break from spinning Lewis Carroll in his grave to be our second interviewee in the classic series: Breakfast with Assholes.
Poached eggs (x 2), two slices of toast, cup of coffee
Timothy Burton might be a scatter-haired Goth for many but at breakfast he presents himself in a Gucci hairnet, smoking jacket by Valentino and prepares the best poached eggs I’ve ever tasted.
So my first question is simple:
Timmy boy, you are famed as one of the most original and innovative film-makers of our time where do you get your original innovative ideas from?
Well, Batman – my first true hit – was from an old comic book, and Planet of the Apes was from an old film, Sweeney Todd was from an old musical, Alice in Wonderland was from an old book, Sleepy Hollow also an old book, Big Fish was from a new book, Ed Wood was a book and you know real life, Dark Shadows was from an old TV series and Mars Attacks was from a trading card series (I know).
But Betelgeuse was original: where did you get the idea for that?
Someone else’s script. You want more coffee?
No. Okay. Edward Scissorhands?
Oh yeah, I did that. Well, the story, then Caroline Thompson wrote the script.
Okay so your ideas aren’t necessarily original as such but your treatment of them are. The Tim Burton look. Where does that come from?
Old Sisters of Mercy videos. And Billy Idol. “White Wedding” was a real inspiration to me. You know cobwebs, wedding dresses, that sort of stuff. Or like Wonderland in Alice in Wonderland, I just added a couple of waterfalls, but it was basically Disney.
But the performances are always great in your movies. These eggs by the way are fantastic.
Thanks. Yeah. What I do is I visualize a poster and I think is there anyway I can get Johnny Depp’s big fat face front and centre. Because you know, people would pay to watch Johnny Depp flushing the toilet.
I didn’t see Dark Shadows.
You didn’t miss much. Then I say “honey do you want to be in the film?” to whomever I’m married to at that given moment. Mostly Helena Bonham Carter these days. And the work’s more or less done. Then I find filming quite peaceful. I like to wear dark glasses so I can just nod off and people usually mistake my confusion for dreamy visionary-ness. Now if you don’t mind, I usually like to take a dump after breakfast.
‘Sure, Tim,’ I say and show my way out. I meet Johnny Depp on the porch his got an armful of Betamax video cassettes and a guilty grin.
‘Beats working,’ he shouts over his shoulder as we pass.