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Tim Burton on Twilight and His Own Two Upcoming Vampire Movies

This weekend, Tim Burton hosted a dinner at Royalton for his good friend Cherry Vanilla, a seventies groupie, singer, writer, and actress who just published a tell-all autobiography, Lick Me: How I Became Cherry Vanilla. In it, she details her many sexual encounters with men of rock, including a particularly lurid first time sleeping with David Bowie, for whom she acted as a publicist (see here). Anyway, we managed to squire Burton off to chat for a few minutes about Vanilla and his next couple of projects (only one of which will star Johnny Depp).

When did you meet Cherry?
Shit, I can’t remember. It was like fifteen years ago. She worked for me. I knew her through some other friends. She’s obviously quite memorable. You never forget her once you meet her. She’s quite honest and open and refreshing to be around.

Did anything in the book shock you?
Nah. I mean, I know her. [Laughs.]

You knew the stories?
No, but you see things. We never got into the gruesome details. But whenever you hear Cherry talk, it’s quite funny. You get the full flavor of it whether you know exactly what’s going on or not.

Yeah, that one with David Bowie was quite ... detailed.
[Rolls eyes and buries head in hands.]

Did Cherry’s book make you think about what you’d write in your own tell-all book?
No, it makes me realize I wouldn’t do it. It takes a certain kind of fearlessness that I don’t have, at least for that. I prefer things to be private. So I’m amazed at her. It’s great. It’s not something I would do.

Okay, so your next two movies are Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. They’re both about vampires?
Sort of. I wouldn’t say they’re about vampires. In Dark Shadows, there’s a character that happens to be a vampire.

How are you going to turn a soap opera into a movie?
We’ll see. I don’t really know until I start it. I’m trying to find a certain tone, and we don’t know if we get it until we start it.

Johnny Depp will be in both of them?
No, just one. Dark Shadows.

How do you feel about Twilight and True Blood?
I haven’t seen them. I saw part of one of the Twilights.

What did you think?
I think some things are just a phenomenon and that’s okay.

Did you like any movies this year?
I really wanted to like Piranha 3D, but I didn’t. I had an affinity for The Wolfman. [Long, agonizing pause as he thinks ... ] You’re pointing out a sad fact of my life. I don’t watch movies very much.

How much of an Oscar campaign will there be for Alice in Wonderland?
Not for me. I’m not a politician. You make the movie and that’s it. You don’t go running for president after.

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images