Later today, at 6:50pm, Edward Scissorhands will hit BBC 2 screens. The horror-fantasy movie from Tim Burton features Johnny Depp as the titular creature who is discovered in a derelict castle and assimilated into « normal » life.
The movie’s screenwriter, Caroline Thompson, revealed Depp was not the only actor originally keen to jump in the latex-clad role.
Depp went up against the likes of Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks and even Michael Jackson. But it was Cruise who eventually came out on top. However, he quickly made things difficult for Burton when cameras were about to start rolling.
Thompson recalled: « [Cruise] wanted to know how Edward went to the bathroom. »
That wasn’t all for the Mission: Impossible star. He was reportedly full of incessant questions during the pre-production period about how Edward Scissorhands survived from day to day.
« He was asking the kind of questions about the character that can’t be asked for this character! » Thompson said. « Part of the delicacy of the story was not answering questions like: ‘How does he go to the bathroom? How did he live without eating all those years?' »
The screenwriter added that Cruise was « certainly unwilling » to be in the film after Burton could not answer his questions, adding that he « needed » the questions to be answered to carry on with the job.
Before long, Cruise and Burton amicably parted ways, and Depp was brought onto the picture instead.
But Depp was just as obsessed with the blade-handed character. During a TV special in 1999, the Chocolat star looked back on bringing Edward to life.
« I just used to put [the hands] on in my house, » he admitted. « And I can remember trying to go to sleep with the hands on, you know, to see what it would be like when I woke up having forgotten that they were on. »
Things went badly for him, though.
Depp went on: « I woke up and the hands were completely across the room! I’d flung them off during the night at some point. »
The actor’s obsession with the role likely started because he loved it so much.
He later went on to confess how he felt when he first read the script: « I can remember reading the script and… It’s embarrassing – weeping! I mean, I cried. I read the thing and I cried. I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I’d read in my life.”