An excellent movie isn’t an excellent movie without its star. While Johnny Depp may be the biggest name in Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (and he IS amazing in his performance as the Hatter), Mia Wasikowska playing the protagonist as Alice shines brightly!! That made it especially an honor to have a chance to interview her the day of the LA premiere of the film.
At the start of the film we see Alice returning from three years she has spent sailing the high seas as captain of The Wonder. Mia said that she loved seeing Alice’s journey from her point in the the first film, Alice in Wonderland, as a girl a little uncomfortable and trying to bridge the gap between knowing who she is on the inside and the ability to be that on the outside. Now, after Alice’s experience as captain of her own ship, she has a strong sense of who she is. Despite the low expectations of her as a woman in society, she manages to hold on to her sense of being worth more than what people want of her. I agree with Mia’s sentiment that this is an important message for young girls AND boys.
Mia felt a big part of the movie is relationships. There are family relationships between Alice and her mother, the Hatter and his father, and the root of the rivalry between the sister queens. Asked about the relationships Alice has with other characters in the film, one of Mia’s favorites is that between Alice and Time. She believes “Sacha plays a confident idiot very well. He’s like this old powerful loser in a way.” She believes Alice is the only one who isn’t scared to call him out on how he doesn’t make any sense at all. Mia shared that Sacha Baron Cohen improvises a lot, about half of which wouldn’t be appropriate for a Disney film!
Mia also enjoyed the scenes with the Hatter. After five months of filming with green screen and so much time running and jumping around, the days when it was “really lovely scenes between the two of us was really nice”. Mia commented that Johnny Depp is a wonderful person – sensitive and creative. “All of his characters are very, very different, but they’re also distinctly his own characters.”
Mia particularly enjoyed her scene with Johnny where she travels in time and meets the young hatter in the marketplace and tries to explain to them that they have met in the future. She said, “I think that’s so sweet and it’s got such an essence of the original book to it – that whole abstract, quite bizarre nature of it.
When asked what making the Alice films taught her, Mia said that she learned how much stamina it takes to make a film and that the perception of movie making is quite different than the reality of it. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work and very long days.
As for what she would like to do in the future, Mia thinks she would like to do a comedy, but that it is really hard to find a good one. “There are a million great dramas every year, but comedies are a tiny bit harder to find one that is really great and funny.” I look forward to seeing her in the “just right” comedic role!
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ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS opens in theaters everywhere on May 27th!