Edward Cullen: The cast of Twilight is extremely interested to see what comes of the new Tim Burton movie, Dark Shadows. We weren’t surprised to hear that Johnny Depp will be portraying the vampire, Barnabas Collins. Thanks for coming in to talk to us, Johnny.
Edward: Yes, we can see you.
Johnny: Is this Skype? Am I Skyping with you?
Alice: (Does he not know he’s in a box?)
Bella: (OMG I can’t believe how sexy he is.)
Alice: (I KNOW!!!1!1!!)
Edward: Johnny, how much preparation did you do for your role as Barnabas, the tortured vampire of Collinsville?
Johnny: I can’t hear you. Can you hear me? I feel like I’m in a phone booth. It’s crazy. Remember phone booths? They used to be everywhere.
Edward: Can we get him out of there?
Jacob: I’m on it.
Jacob: I cut you out of your packaging. I’m going to hang onto the sword until we’re done talking, though. That OK with you?
Johnny: Certainly. Yes. By all means. Please don’t kill me.
Edward: So, Johnny, the soap opera Dark Shadows ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971, and Barnabas Collins was one of the most gothic characters ever to appear on daytime television. How did you find yourself getting in touch with the tragedies that informed his past?
Johnny: Well, er, Barnabas Collins was a kind of hero to me as a child, I was obsessed with him, and the darkness that the gothic writers explored. It all goes in a straight line through Keith Richards and straight back to Bram Stoker, with a little side trip through Goethe and a glimpse of Mary Shelley’s ankles.
Edward: Keith Richards? Is your hat on too tight?
Johnny: It is! It’s incredibly tight, how did you know! Who wants to hold it for me? What’s your name, darling?
Johnny: Alice, lovely. There’s a good girl.
Alice: I’m going to die.
Bella: Ha! You’re already dead. Let me try it on.
Alice: Give me a minute. Let me have this moment.
Edward: Johnny, what can you tell us about Barnabas’s beginnings? How did he become a vampire?
Johnny: He was bitten by a vampire bat.
Johnny: Yes, it was gross! It was a vampire bat from Hell, too! That’s some straight-up intravenous vampire smack, my friend. Try having your blood changed in Switzerland after that little pajama party. No dice.
Bella: Okay, now it’s my turn.
Edward: Oh, sorry. Please, Bella, ask Johnny a question.
Bella: No, I mean I want to try on his hat!
Bella: You can have a turn after me.
Edward: I don’t want a turn.
Bella: You’re jealous.
Edward: Of him? Sorry, no.
Bella: Yes, you are. He is way more famous than you.
Edward: I’m not going to dispute that.
Johnny: Lovers spat, eh, Alice? What’s a nice girl like you doing celebrity interviews for? Someone should be interviewing you. You look devastating in that chapeau.
Edward: FINE, I’LL WEAR THE HAT.
Edward: This is humiliating.
Johnny: So it is, my friend. So it is.
Bella: Johnny, was Barnabas Collins the main character in the show? Was Collinsville named after him?
Johnny: That’s a good question, Bella, because Barnabas was actually introduced as a short-running character after ratings started to flag, and then he proved to be hugely popular so they gave him a bigger role and eventually he became the star of the show. Collinsville was named for his family, who were the big shots in that part of Maine. That fictional part of Maine, I should say. I think Maine is the creepiest state, don’t you?
Bella: I don’t know, the Pacific Northwest is pretty spooky.
Johnny: Yes, in a sort of Indian burial ground way, I suppose. But New England had witch burnings and they gave little girls those terrible porcelain dolls with blinking eyes, and then the eyes get stuck half-open! Creepy. It’s creepy vs. spooky, I suppose. Apples and oranges.
Bella: My dad had the Barnabas Collins board game as a kid.
Johnny: Yes! Loved that! Wish I still had one.
Edward: I’m going back into my box now.
Bella: You’re just jealous that I’m a better interviewer than you.
Edward: I can’t hear you, Bella.
Bella: I can’t believe I’m married to you forever.
Edward: Join us next time when we continue discussing season two of Downton Abbey with a surprise special guest!
Johnny: Will it be me? I love Downton Abbey. I could be a butler if I wanted. Anthony Hopkins told me how. He said, “When a butler is in the room, the room should feel even more empty.” Isn’t that amazing advice? A real butler told him that.
Edward: I can’t hear you!
Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins photo ©Warner Brothers, 2012. Board game photo courtesy legendaryauctions.com. All other photos by yours truly.