It’s Halloween time. In other words, it’s Vincent Price time. Of course, there’s only ever an appropriate time to celebrate the acting and cookbook legend, but around the holiday season, Price’s face, stature, and iconic voice are never far from the mind. The star of such horror classics as The Tingler, House of Wax, The Raven, House on Haunted Hill, and one of the star’s personal favorites, the glorious Theater of Blood, is what the Halloween season is all about.
Price made his final big-screen appearance in the Tim Burton picture, Edward Scissorhands, as the titular character’s creator. With only a few minutes of screen-time, Price delivered his signature charm in the movie, which featured work from another legend in the movie business, four-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood.
Atwood’s body of work includes Chicago, Gattaca, Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, and several Tim Burton films. Needless to say, Atwood, whose latest work is featured in David Yates’ Pain Hustlers, has designed many iconic outfits. During a recent interview with the artist, she kindly reflected on her time with the man, the legend, the chef, Vincent Price.
When Price’s name was mentioned, Atwood was clearly pleased to remember the man. “Well, it was pretty magical,” she told Below the Line. “He did not disappoint, the elegance and beauty of the man. He was quite frail when we did [Edward] Scissorhands, so I went to his home for his fitting, and I spent the whole day there basically with him just talking.”
What did they talk about? Art, which Price spent his whole life celebrating and sharing with the world; thousands of pieces from his personal collection featured at the Vincent Price Art Museum.
Price studied Art History at Yale well-before serving on the committees of the Archives of American Art and the White House Commission of Fine Arts, to name two of his many accomplishments in the world of creativity. “He came from very humble beginnings and always supported the arts,” Atwood said, “and he told me with his first checks he used to go to Paris and buy [Émile] Bernards on the street. I was like, oh my God. At least he knew what to buy. They were beautiful.”
For Atwood, the fitting with Mr. Price for Edward Scissorhands was just that — beautiful. “He had an amazing collection of Colombian, little pre-Columbian art and stuff, showing me his art collection, talking to me about art and just, it was one of the most beautiful afternoons of my life, and it was just him,” she concluded. “I think some of those guys, that generation, they didn’t have an entourage. They didn’t have assistants even. I just went to his house, knocked on his door, and he answered it. I ended up spending four hours there because he kept engaging me. He was a special human being. He really was.”
To learn more about Price’s love of the arts, check out “I Like What I Know: A Visual Autobiography.”