You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sound Bites: Danny Elfman

Milk

For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.”

The result is a departure for a composer best known for his fantastical collaborations with director Tim Burton. “Gus (Van Sant) wanted to avoid getting overly dramatic or worse, melodramatic,” he says. “The trick here was to find a theme that was emotional, but not trying to ‘push’ the audience.”

Initially, Elfman considered taking an approach inspired by Milk’s love of opera. “It was one of those things that worked better in concept than in reality,” he says. “I played around with some string effects and various guitar sounds, which we used a lot. It became about finding a melody that felt like it had purpose and momentum.

“(Milk’s) theme is not a ‘gay’ theme or a ‘straight’ theme. It’s an American theme for a great man.”

More Scene

  • Katy Perry amfar

    Katy Perry Chides Los Angeles Mayor Over 'Those F---ing Bird Scooters'

    For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.” The result is a departure for a composer best known for his […]

  • Katy Perry Taylor Swift

    Katy Perry Praises Taylor Swift for Political Instagrams (EXCLUSIVE)

    For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.” The result is a departure for a composer best known for his […]

  • Travis KnightVariety New Leaders, Arrivals, Los

    How 'Bumblebee' Director Travis Knight Turned 'Soul Crushing Rejection' into Success

    For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.” The result is a departure for a composer best known for his […]

  • Darren Criss and Nick Jonas'Beyond' GLAAD

    Nick Jonas, Darren Criss Help Raise $400,000 at Justin Tranter's GLAAD Benefit

    For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.” The result is a departure for a composer best known for his […]

  • Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas in

    'Game of Thrones': Will Joe Jonas Appear on Final Season With Fiancee Sophie Turner?

    For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.” The result is a departure for a composer best known for his […]

  • Lena Waithe Halle Berry

    Lena Waithe Wants 'Boomerang' Adaptation 'to Change the Face of BET'

    For “Milk,” about the pioneering gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978, Danny Elfman found all the drama he needed in the storyline. “Harvey’s story is a really moving, poignant story,” he says. “The inspiration was right there all the time.” The result is a departure for a composer best known for his […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content