Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The White Queen = Cooking Star Nigella Lawson?

Tim Burton explained some of his real-world inspiration for the White Queen character in Alice in Wonderland:

There's this very beautiful cooking show host in England named Nigella Lawson and I quietly had her as my image for this character," Burton said, referring to the comely author and television personality sometimes referred to as the "queen of food porn."

Burton said that as lovely as Lawson is, her cooking routine has an eerie edge to it at times. "She's really beautiful and she does all this cooking, but then there's this glint in her eye and when you see it you go, 'Oh, whoa, she's like really ... nuts.' I mean in a good way. Well, maybe. I don't know."

British cuisine star Nigella Lawson.

The White Queen is played by Anne Hathaway in Burton's film.

Burton also discussed the tense relationship between the Red Queen and the White Queen.

"With a lot of people I've known, when it comes to sisters, there's this perception that there's the nice one and the bad one," Burton said. "But then, that nice one, there's also undercurrents there and things going back and forth between the two. She can stay up sharpening knives all night, but she's still the nice one."

The director said that Linda Woolverton's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's original stories bent the perception of good and evil beyond cliched archetypes.

"The interesting thing I think was to have them connected, and neither is quite what you expect," Burton said. "What Linda did with that was great. It helps with the thing that really sets Alice apart from so many other types of kids literature, which is the fact that everybody is a little bit off. Even if somebody is good, there's something wrong with them. Everyone is a bit twisted somehow. The White Queen is no exception."

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