The actress was a huge fan of the cult 1960s TV series growing up, and when she heard her Batman Returns director was overseeing the remake she took matters into her own hands and made a grovelling phone call.
But Pfeiffer was forced to wait for a year before finally getting the go-ahead to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the matriarch of a vampire family.
She tells Empire magazine, "I was really uncomfortable doing it and I don't think I would have done it had I not known him. I was working with a mutual friend of ours who kept encouraging me to do it.
"It just seemed a bit like it was meant to be. Just a few months before that I was in the car with my husband and we were talking about all the old television series that they were now making into movies and I said, 'God, someone should make Dark Shadows'. Then a short while later I read that Tim was going to make it with Johnny Depp.
"I didn't do anything at first. Eventually I worked up the courage to call him and was very apologetic. I didn't want him to feel obligated but I told him I was a huge fan and I would love to do it if he was making it... He didn't know what it would be and whether there would be anything for me. I think actually a year went by and I didn't think it would ever happen. But then it did."