Mia Wasikowska, the star of Alice in Wonderland, discussed her experiences working on the phantasmagorical film with the Los Angeles Times.
How did shooting the film feel to the 20-year-old actress? "Isolating," she said, considering that 90% of the shooting was in front of a green screen. Instead of conversing with a caterpillar or Chesire Cat, Wasikowska had to interact with a bit of sticky tape, a tennis ball, or, at best, a cardboard cutout of the said character.
"I was basically planted in this sea of green," the Australian actress said. "I really had to use my imagination."
While Alice is 7 years old in Lewis Carroll's original stories, the character is a young woman at the age of 19 in Burton's upcoming film. “She’s grown up a lot and is somewhat a different person, and she’s kind of going back to her roots and discovering herself," said Wasikowska.
The actress also talked about her co-star, Johnny Depp, who plays the Mad Hatter.
“I think he’s so brave and smart with his choices. He can play a crazy character but still give it a core humanity which I think people can identify with,” Wasikowska said.
But as insane as he may be, Wasikowska assured that Alice and the Hatter are allies (and, evidently, are much in the spirit of Tim Burton's other outsider characters). "They"re on the same side," Wasikowska said. "They have an understanding about each other. They both feel like outsiders and feel alone in their separate worlds, and have a special bond and friendship."
Depp tends to prepare for his roles by drawing his characters, and sought the wild orange hair as an allusion to the mercury poisoning (many hatter used mercury to cure felt). Depp previously said, "I think he was poisoned, very, very poisoned, and it was coming out through his hair, through his fingernails and eyes."