Tim Burton ‘grateful’ for Paul Reubens’ support at start of career

Tim Burton has praised Paul Reubens for supporting him directing the 1985 movie despite only having short films under his belt.

Tim Burton always felt grateful to Paul Reubens for supporting him when he made his feature directorial debut with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

In his tribute to Reubens after the actor’s death in July, the Edward Scissorhands filmmaker told his Instagram followers that he will “never forget” how the actor, best known for his alter ego Pee-wee Herman, helped him at the start of his career.

Elaborating on his heartfelt post in an interview with the British Film Institute (BFI), Burton explained that Reubens supported him directing the 1985 movie despite only having short films under his belt.

“Because he had probably as equal or more say as the studio, in a way. That’s why I was always grateful,” he stated. “I’d only done two short films, and at that time, that was unheard of – to go from doing two short films that nobody saw to doing a feature film. So even I knew that this was very special and amazing. If he hadn’t been supportive, it wouldn’t have happened.”

The Beetlejuice filmmaker admitted going from his animated shorts to a live-action feature was “a surreal experience”.

“All of a sudden, to be working with the crew and all these people with Paul, the surrounding comedians and characters. He was great, because it was the first time working with people that are from improv. Because I didn’t really speak, I’d sit in a dark room with animation drawings,” he shared.

“He felt comfortable with me, and I was there to basically support that character. Luckily, I didn’t know anything (about the difficulties of making films), so I wasn’t scared of anything.”

Reubens passed away on 30 July at the age of 70 after a private battle with cancer.

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