Helena Bonham Carter Talks ‘Dark Shadows’ Character

'She's an alcoholic psychiatrist, so I hadn't played that before,' actress tells MTV News.

We’re still waiting for a teaser trailer for the hottest vampire movie that doesn’t sparkle in the sun. Details about “Dark Shadows” have been scant, but one of the film’s stars is finally talking about her role and what inspired director Tim Burton to take on the project.

At this week’s BAFTA Britannia Awards, MTV News spoke to two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter about “Shadows,” her role in the film and what made her real-life love Burton want to director the vampire epic, which is set to hit theaters May 11, 2012. “I love ‘Dark Shadows.’ It’s very original. It’s uncategorizable,” Bonham Carter said. “It’s going to be impossible to sell, frankly, because it’s just so … it’s a soap opera but it’s very, very subtle.

It’s a ghost story but then it’s an unhappy vampire story. It’s a mixture of so many different things and a real ensemble piece. And hopefully it will be funny.”

Bonham Carter plays Dr. Julia Hoffman. In the late-’60s television soap opera on which the movie is based, Hoffman specialized in psychology and rare blood disorders and eventually tried to cure Barnabas Collins (played in the film by Burton regular Johnny Depp) of his vampirism by injecting him with a vaccine made of healthy plasma to counteract the destruction of his own blood cells by the vampire cells. (Got that?) Whether that’s part of the film’s plot remains to be seen, but Bonham Carter did have a colorful response for MTV News when asked about playing Hoffman.

“I did love playing her. I mean, she’s an alcoholic psychiatrist, so I hadn’t played that before,” she said. “And she’s got a secret. They all have secrets.”

She also explained that “Shadows” has long been something of a passion project for Burton, with whom she has two children, because the quirky director was a huge fan of the TV show as a child. “This was a thing that he raced home to see when he was about age 10,” she told MTV. “So it was returning to his childhood roots of what he loved watching.”

The always outrageous actress was also pretty frank about her own feelings about the campy soap, saying, “It’s actually a really bad, hilariously bad soap opera. And because it’s so bad, [Burton] felt he had to make a hugely expensive movie.”

Are you excited to see Helena Bonham Carter bring new life to quirky psychologist Julia Hoffman in the big-screen adaptation of “Dark Shadows”? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me at @JohnMitchell83 with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!

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