Coming to the 30th anniversary of The Addams Family, director Barry Sonnenfeld reflected on his experience making the original live-action film. In 1991, Sonnenfeld took on the original live-action film as a director for the first time, and his success established him as a Hollywood name. He went on to direct the sequel. Addams Family Values along with the titles Shrink, Wild wild west, and the first three Men in black films.
In a new Variety interview, Barry sonnenfeld points out how the project was not so much fun behind the scenes. Paramount president Stanley Jaffe had told the director that the film was “inalienable” after watching ten minutes of footage, and the costs were reduced to such a degree that there was not even bottled water on set. The good news is that the other Paramount executives were on board, even if Jaffe wasn’t.
Another benefit to the production is that Sonnenfeld was given a bit more latitude than most rookie directors who work for a large studio when it comes to casting. Early in production, when the film was in development at Orion Pictures before being sold to Paramount, the studio directors were pushing for Cher to play Morticia. However, Sonnenfeld stood his ground with Anjelica Huston, choosing her alongside Raul Julia like Gomez for almost the same reason.
“I felt like the IP, which was the Charles Addams cartoons, was going to be our selling point. For a while, Orion really wanted Cher to play Morticia. I don’t remember who they wanted for Gomez. But I felt like they really needed two actors. really good. Both Gómez and Raúl had a true love for life and nothing could make them sad. And Anjelica was perfect for that role. Because it was Orion, they let us make those decisions. “
While Raul Julie and Anjelica huston They are perfect for those roles, what mattered most was that the two of them had incredible chemistry together. It was actually their romance that helped attract Sonnenfeld to the project in the first place. He also loves the movie’s “pro-family” message, insisting that family is very functional even if they are a bit eccentric. As Sonnenfeld says:
“One of the things that I love about this movie is how romantic it is. It is also very pro-family. Every critic would write ‘It is the most dysfunctional family’. Not really. It is a very functional family. Parents love their children. Children love their parents. Parents leave children alone so they can grow and learn. “
In the interview, Barry Sonnenfeld also seems to shut down the rumors that Kim Basinger and Anthony Hopkins were also interested in the roles of Morticia and Uncle Fester, respectively. Sonnenfeld is not aware of that happening, and was on board the project even before it got the green light. However, it does reveal that Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam turned down the direction of the film before the offer was made to him.
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the film, The Addams Family gets a new release in 4K UHD. It features extended footage and is labeled “more mamushka” due to its longer dance scene with Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd. You can read the full interview at Variety.
Topics: The Addams Family