ANAHEIM, California — Marilyn Manson is one weird dude — but if you didn’t already know that, well, you haven’t been paying attention.
“Do these glasses make my butt look fat?” he joked last weekend as he made a rare appearance at, of all places, Disneyland. “I really want a pirate hat.”
Longtime pal and part-time pirate Johnny Depp could likely fulfill that request for Manson, who was walking the red carpet at the premiere of Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” As the aspiring filmmaker later revealed, however, he wanted more from Depp than just a black felt chapeau.
“In less than two weeks, I’m going to France to start production on my film, ’Phantasmagoria,’ ” Manson said from behind his enormous shades. “And maybe I’ll convince Johnny to be in it — I’ll extort him to be in it.”
Adding, “I don’t pressure him,” Manson was as sincere about pitching his dream project to Depp as he was while discussing their lengthy friendship. “[British fashion designer] John Galliano said I was one of the true great pirates, and I told Johnny that,” Manson laughed. “So it’s like me, Johnny and Cap’n Crunch. I have hung out with Jack Sparrow, because Johnny is Jack Sparrow. We drink absinthe; that’s what we do.”
So over a few glasses of heaven-knows-what, Manson planned to talk Depp into joining several other recently cast stars. “I’m directing and playing [’Alice in Wonderland’ author] Lewis Carroll, with Tilda Swinton and hopefully Evan Rachel Wood. Lily Cole, the model, is playing Alice” (see “Marilyn Manson Finds Creepy Soul Mate In ’Wonderland’ Author” ).
Manson has appeared in small roles previously in films like “Lost Highway” and “Party Monster,” but this film — its full title is “Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll” — would mark his biggest role yet and his first attempt at a Rob Zombie-like career as a film director. “It’s about the period in his life where there was a real split,” Manson said of the script, which he wrote alongside producer Geoffrey Cox. “It’s a very Jekyll-and-Hyde sort of story. It’s based on his diaries, and it’s all very factual.”
When asked about his directorial style, Manson cited the atmospheric directors behind the unsettling classics “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Seventh Seal.” “I’m a big fan of [Roman] Polanski and of Ingmar Bergman, and I wouldn’t say it will be like a modern horror film,” the rocker insisted. “It wouldn’t be like what people are used to seeing today. But I think by being traditional, sometimes like a Hitchcock, it’s almost modern, because people are so used to seeing special effects.”
Such a statement may make Manson seem less like the weird dude he so eagerly aspires to be. What he had to say next, however, seems certain to get some Hollywood suits scratching their heads. “I have a magician that I’ve hired to do my special effects,” Manson grinned. “I don’t want any CGI. I want only in-camera, so I have a magician who’s my special-effects man.”
Manson insisted: “I just want to be unconventional by being traditional.”
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