Then and Now: The Cast of ‘Edward Scissorhands’ on the Film’s 30th Anniversary
What kind of movie do you get by crossing Frankenstein with garden sheers? The answer is Tim Burton‘s 1990 masterpiece Edward Scissorhands, a heart-wrenching gothic fairy tale that’s a cut above the rest. The premise draws heavily from the director’s own childhood. Like many young artists, Burton felt othered in the conformist suburban landscape. But instead of succumbing to self-loathing or resentment, he learned to embrace his inner weirdo.
The film’s subdivision overflows with horny moms, douchebag jocks and nosey neighbors. Despite its stinging indictment, it never feels preachy. The director doesn’t revel in torturing “normies.” Instead, he exposes the primal psychic wounds we all share. He couldn’t have done it so well without a super talented cast. Burton has directed many other cinematic greats since, and a few stinkers. Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, and the other actors had their ups and downs, too. Still, this sweet yet uncanny film holds up even after three decades. We look at where the cast and crew of this subversive movie classic are today.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
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There are good directors and then they’re ones like Tim Burton, whose filmography is so packed with cinematic masterpieces you wonder what he sold to the devil to get it all. He must've gone Dr. Faustus on the deal, as his recent movies have been just awful, most especially his unwatchable version of Dumbo from 2019.
When Edward Scissorhands hit theaters, Johnny Depp was one of the hottest young leading men in Hollywood who wanted to focus on small, independent films. That didn't work out since he ended up making dozens of blockbusters, though recently his star fizzled after a series of major suck burgers and two very ugly divorces. He hopes to recover his ailing career with the film Minamata, which is supposed to be released later this year, and the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, due out in November 2021.
Winona Ryder, like her costar Depp, appeared in tons of incredible films since 1990, but also faced public humiliation with an arrest for shoplifting in 2001, which to be honest only made her seem even sexier. The talented beauty didn’t let this hold her back, and once again she’s captivating audiences, like in her role as fearless mama bear Joyce Byers in Stranger Things.
Tim Burton once described two-time Academy Award-winning actor Dianne West as his “guardian angel,” and freely admits Edward Scissorhands might never have been made without her. She hasn’t slowed down one bit in her 70s either, recently appearing in films like The Mule, Sisters, and in Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk, which is due out later this year.
Over Alan Arkin’s decades-long career, he has been a singer, composer, author, grumpy pants, producer, director, and — of course — actor. Now he plays more grandpas than papas, as he did in Edward Scissorhands, but he is still slaying in Hollywood, with a role in Netflix's The Kominsky Method and Spenser Confidential, due out this March.
Anthony Michael Hall
Edward Scissorhands was the beginning of Anthony Michael Hall’s attempted transformation from the quintessential '80s dweeb into an action star. While that never quite panned out, he’s stayed busy with supporting roles in hundreds of films and TV shows over the years, such as the upcoming Halloween Kills, the latest in the Halloween series.
Vincent Price is to horror actors what Dracula is to vampires: the true GOAT. Edward Scissorhands was the dark lord’s last major film role — he died in 1993 — and thankfully it sent him into the afterlife on an appropriately high note.
This ginger goddess played mean housewife Joyce, who tried to seduce the film’s blade-handed protagonist. She’s been in Oscar-winning films like Cold Mountain and all over TV throughout the years — including a role in the upcoming film Wake — but we’ll never forget her orgasmic haircut in Edward Scissorhands.
O-Lan Jones is another redheaded beauty on our list, and though her character is a nasty Scissorhands hater, she’s a sweetheart in real life. Her filmography is packed with big features like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — directed by Burton — or the hilariously titled Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox