In preparation for his forthcoming film "Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll," Marilyn Manson did quite a bit of research on the life of "Alice in Wonderland" author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll. And the more he read up on Dodgson, the more he found himself relating to the writer.
"I felt like there were a lot of things about his personality that were like mine," Manson said from a hotel room in Berlin, where, earlier this week, at the Berlin International Film Festival, he rolled out a teaser trailer for his directorial debut (filming for the project is set to begin this summer in Ireland). "His creativity thrived mostly at night. He was a very odd person. In the past year, just putting together the script, I think I've adopted a lot of his personality, whether for better or for worse."
Manson, who will also portray Dodgson in the film, hasn't become completely immersed in his "Phantasmagoria" (see "Marilyn Manson Won't Let Scary Michael Chiklis Stop His Scary Films"). He's also been working a lot on his music. But this week it's talking about the film, which will also star fashion model Lily Cole as Alice, that's taking up most of his time.
Before turning his attention to Dodgson's disturbing life, Manson had been focused on retelling his "Alice in Wonderland." He'd even approached his friend Angelina Jolie for the role of the Red Queen (she never committed to the project). But after reading through Dodgson's diaries and letters, Manson's fascination with the author continued to intensify, leading to the current endeavor.
"I discovered that Charles Dodgson, who called himself Lewis Carroll, was more of a creation than his stories were," he said. "He was very much a Jekyll and Hyde story, and the more I looked into it, the more [I realized] this was a ghost story, really. He was haunted by his own demons and had a split personality in a lot of ways. He couldn't find happiness; he couldn't find a family. He didn't sleep. I think that he was seeing things. You start seeing things differently, stuff that normal people don't see — stuff that I have seen now and again. I think I was able to relate to that and to want to put it on the screen."
"Phantasmagoria," he said, will be "something people haven't seen before. It's going to be a very scary film, but that goes without saying, I suppose."
Manson hopes to finish his sixth LP before filming begins. While he wouldn't provide specific details on the effort, he did say the album could surface this summer (see "Marilyn Manson Likens His New Guitar God To A Naked Woman").
"I started singing on it, but right now, musically, it's quite complete," he said. "I'm trying to find the time to finish doing my part, vocally. It's a different sort of creativity with the band. It's more 'everything goes' at this point. I think everyone will be pleased with the record when it's done. I feel I'm at my most creative at this time — I feel I can do whatever I want."
In addition to directing "Phantasmagoria," Manson said he's also composing the film's score. That project, too, is nearly completed, with most of the elements coming from past Manson recording sessions.
"It's interesting that we can create scenes around the mood of certain songs," he said. "It's working in a different way than you normally would with film. I just started making music that ended up not fitting anywhere on any of the Marilyn Manson albums over the years, and I kind of collected it together. It's much more cinematic."
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