USA Today has our first look at director Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which follows the plight of American artists Margaret and Walter Keane, the husband and wife team responsible for launching the 'Big Eyed' kids trend in the 50s and 60s. Here, we see Amy Adams bringing Margaret to life alongside one of her iconic paintings. And a second photo offers our first look at Christoph Waltz as Walter, who was taken to court over the authorship of his shared work with his wife. Check it out and then read on for more about this intriguing new biopic.
Christoph Waltz, who grew up in Austria, is no stranger to the work of Margaret and Walter Keane. Even in his home country, the paints of these doe-eyed children were omnipresent. He explains:
"I remember the pictures from the 1960s, they were everywhere."
He also wasn't surprised when he heard that controversy had erupted over authorship of the paintings, with the husband and wife becoming embroiled in a heated legal battle over who actually created these works of art.
"We train ourselves to look for drama, to go for conflict because those are the stories worth telling. It would be expected that this (situation) too would be something extraordinary."
Big Eyes follows Margaret and Walter Keane through the 1950s, taking us through their first meeting, their marriage, their worldwide stardom, and their eventual dissolution as a married couple. For years, Walter claimed he had done the paintings, but Margaret would later prove in court that she was the one responsible for the actual works.
Of their story, Amy Adams says:
"Margaret really believed that as a woman, people would not buy her art. [Walter] convinced her the life they were able to lead was because the artist was a man, who could sell more art at a higher price than a woman."
Margaret was the one that brought her claims to the federal court in 1986, where a Judge allowed a paint-off between the now divorced couple. Margaret finished her painting in 53 minutes, while Walter claimed he had a shoulder injury and could not perform. The court awarded Margaret $4 million in damages.
While Walter died in 2000 at the age of 85, Margaret is still painting at the age of 87, and even spent time with Amy Adams helping her prepare for the role.
"The handling of the brush and paint, the way that Margaret creates the eyes, that is something I studied at great length. But I never mastered it like Margaret has."