Boris Karloff presides over an art deco Black Mass in The Black Cat (1934, dir. Edgar Ulmer) (via)
”[Frankenstein director James] Whale and I both saw the character as an innocent one. Within the heavy restrictions of my make-up, I tried to play it that way. This was a pathetic creature who, like us all, had neither the will nor the say in his creation, and certainly did not wish upon itself the hideous image which automatically terrified humans it tried to befriend.
The most heartrending aspect of the creature’s life, for us, was his ultimate desertion by his creator. It was as though man, in his blundering, searching attempts to prove himself, was to find himself deserted by his God.”
-Boris Karloff, 1932
“I was having lunch and [Frankenstein director] James Whale sent either the first assistant or maybe it was his secretary over to me, and asked me to join him for a cup of coffee after lunch, which I did. He asked me if I would make a test for him tomorrow. ‘What for?’ I asked. ‘For a damned awful monster!’ he said.
Of course, I was delighted, because it meant another job, if I was able to land it. Actually that’s all it meant to me. At the same time I felt rather hurt, because at the time I had on very good straight makeup and my best suit - and he wanted to test me for a monster!”
-Boris Karloff, on being offered the role of Frankenstein’s monster (via)
Boris Karloff relaxes on the set of Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir. James Whale) (via)
“The monster was the best friend I ever had. Certainly I was typed. But what is typing? It’s a trademark, a means by which the public recognizes you. Actors work all their lives to achieve that. I got mine with just one picture. It was a blessing.”
“When I was nine I played the demon king in Cinderella and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster.”
-Boris Karloff(photographed here w/ make-up phenom Jack Pierce)